Since 1998, Dr. Lawler-Row has been researching forgiveness and health, examining forgiveness as a general personality style and as a response to a particular betrayal event. She interviews individuals and examines the relationship of forgiveness to blood pressure and heart rate, measured while they recall a hurtful offense. She also studies how forgiveness is linked to stress, physical health, and successful aging. Having administered over 300 interviews, Lawler-Row has seen clearly how degrees of forgiveness map onto the body, with resentment and thoughts of revenge associated with higher blood pressure, higher heart rates, and greater levels of stress, depression, and symptoms of physical illness.
She is the author and co-author of scores of publications and articles and has presented at countless conferences, both nationally and internationally. She is a fellow of the American Psychology Society.
Dr. Kathleen Lawler-Row is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University.