Peggy Kern

A/Prof. Peggy Kern

Associate Professor In Wellbeing Science, ISCAST Secretary


I am an associate professor at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. Originally trained in social, personality, and developmental psychology, I received my undergraduate degree in psychology from Arizona State University (with minors in Communications and Spanish), a Masters and PhD in social/personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania.

My research is collaborative in nature and draws on a variety of methodologies, including big data, integrative data analysis, and mixed methods to examine questions around who thrives in life and why, including: (a) understanding and measuring healthy functioning, (b) identifying individual and social factors impacting life trajectories, and (c) systems informed approaches to wellbeing.


Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, CA (Social/Personality Psychology)
M.A., University of California, Riverside (Social/Personality Psychology)
B.A., Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (Psychology)

Science/Faith Interests

I work in the area of positive psychology – the science of wellbeing. With considerable concern of mental health issues, disconnection, and many other problems facing humanity, there is considerable interest in understanding and supporting the wellbeing and resilience of individuals and communities. There are interesting intersections between positive psychology and Christianity, which I have been exploring in some of my research, teaching, and conversations.

Professional Associations

  • International Positive Psychology Association
  • Association for Research in Personality
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology


My research has resulted in 2 books and over 80 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. A few examples are given below (view the full list and links to articles).

  1. Allen, K. A., & Kern, M. L. (2017). School belonging in adolescents: Theory, research and practice. Singapore: Springer Briefs in Psychology.
  2. Friedman, H. S., & Kern, M. L. (2014). Personality, well-being, and health. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 719-742.
  3. Kern, M. L., & Friedman, H. S. (2008). Do conscientious individuals live longer? A quantitative review. Health Psychology, 27, 505-512.
  4. Kern, M. L., & Friedman, H. S. (2011). Personality and pathways of influence on physical health. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5 76-87.
  5. Kern, M. L., Park, G., Eichstaedt, J. C., Schwartz, H. A., Sap, M., Smith, L. K., & Ungar, L. H. (2016). Gaining insights from social media language: Methodologies and challenges. Psychological Methods, 21, 507-525.
  6. Kern, M. L., Reynolds, C. A., & Friedman, H. S. (2010). Predictors of physical activity patterns across adulthood: A growth curve analysis. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1058-1072.
  7. McQuaid, M., & Kern, P. (2017). Your wellbeing blueprint: Feeling good and doing well at work. Victoria, Australia: McQuaid Ltd.