S. Katherine Nelson

What leads people to live happy and fulfilling lives? How do major life events, such as having children, alter the course of adults' lives and ultimately shape their well-being? These questions are…




  • Lyubomirsky, S., Layous, K., Chancellor, J., & Nelson, S. K. (in press). Thinking about rumination: The scholarly contributions and intellectual legacy of Susan Nolen-Hoeksema. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 
  • Nelson, S. K., Della Porta, M. D., Jacobs Bao, K., Lee, H.C., Choi, I., & Lyubomirsky, S. (in press). “It’s up to you”: Experimentally manipulated autonomy support for prosocial behavior improves well-being in two cultures over six weeks. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 
  • Nelson, S. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (in press). Juggling family and career: Parents’ pathways to a balanced and happy life. To appear in Page, K., Burke, R., & Cooper, C. (eds.), Flourishing in life, work, and careers. London, UK: Edward Elgar.
  • Nelson, S. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (in press). Gratitude. To appear in Friedman, H. S. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mental Health. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
  • Nelson, S. K., Kurtz, J. L., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2015). What psychological science knows about achieving happiness. In S. J. Lynn, W. O’Donohue, & S. Lilienfeld (Eds.), Health, happiness, and well-being: Better living through psychological science (pp. 250-271). New York: Sage.


  • Nelson, S. K., Fuller, J. A. K., Choi, I., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). Beyond self-protection: Self-affirmation benefits hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 998-1011
  • Nelson, S. K., Kushlev, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). The pains and pleasures of parenthood: When, why, and how is parenthood associated with more or less well-being? Psychological Bulletin, 140, 846-895.
  • Nelson, S. K., Kushlev, K., Dunn, E. W., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). Parents are slightly happier than nonparents, but causality still cannot be inferred: A reply to Bhargava, Kassam, and Loewenstein (2014). Psychological Science, 25, 303-304
  • Nelson, S. K. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). Finding happiness: Tailoring positive activities for optimal well-being benefits. In M. Tugade, M. Shiota, & L. Kirby (Eds.), Handbook of positive emotions (pp. 275 – 293). New York: Guilford.


  • Nelson, S. K., Kushlev, K., English, T., Dunn, E. W., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). In defense of parenthood: Children are associated with more joy than misery. Psychological Science, 24, 3-10.
  • Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). What is the most optimal way to deliver a positive activity intervention? The case of writing about one’s “best possible selves.” Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 635-654.  
  • Peréz-Edgar, K., Kujawa, A., Nelson, S. K., Cole, C., & Zapp, D. J. (2013). The relation between electroencephalogram asymmetry and attention biases to threat at baseline and under stress. Brain and Cognition, 82, 337-343


  • Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being. PLOS ONE, 7, e51380.
  • Cole, C., Zapp, D., Nelson, S. K.& Pérez-Edgar, K., (2012). Speech presentation cues moderate frontal EEG asymmetry in socially withdrawn young adults. Brain and Cognition, 78, 156-162
  • Martin-Krumm, C., Lyubomirsky, S., & Nelson, S. K. (2012). Psychologie positive et adaptation: Quelle contribution? [What is the contribution of research in positive psychology and hedonic adaptation?] In C. Tarquinio & E. Spitz (Eds.), Psychologie de l’adaptation (pp.333-354). Bruxelles: De Boeck.

2009 – 2011 

  • Schiffrin, H. H., Rezendes, D., & Nelson, S. K(2010). Stressed and happy? Investigation of the relationship between happiness and perceived stress. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11, 33-39.
  • Falkenstern, M., Schiffrin, H. H., Nelson, S. K., Ford, L., & Keyser, C. (2009). Mood over matter: Can happiness be your undoing? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 365-371.
  • Nelson, S. K., & Schiffrin, H. H. (2009). Happy people don’t follow the stereotype: The impact of mood on stereotyping. Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research, 14, 148-157.

Isobel Williamson

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