How do youth develop into thriving adults? We conduct research and develop the tools that allow young people to go from merely existing to truly thriving.

We Conduct Transformative Research

Thrive Center Research

The Thrive Center for Human Development is recognized as a leading research center in the study of spirituality and youth development. Researchers at the Thrive Center seek to better understand human thriving and to generate resources that transform the lives of youth and their communities. Our researchers pioneer new ways to look at and promote human thriving through projects such as developing a phone app that nurtures character development or studying how intercessory prayer is a path to broader generosity. We study thriving in diverse populations, with longitudinal research studies ranging from an examination of purpose- versus performance-based identity in elite athletes to an evaluation of the power of holistic, faith-based developmental support for youth living in poverty globally.

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Interested in joining the Thrive Center as a student research partner? Find out more about advanced degree programs in Fuller’s School of Psychology:

We Generate Tools and Resources to Promote Thriving

CharacterMe App Cropped

This smartphone app, developed as part of a large-scale experimental study, combines technology and positive psychology interventions to help teenagers—in a game-like way—grow in their emotional regulation and conflict resolution while also delivering real-time data to researchers.

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We cultivate dynamic partnerships

We partner with a wide range of schools, organizations, and communities by sharing our research, resources, and scholarly expertise to improve the lives of youth and promote human thriving.
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We are the Thrive Team

Ben Houltberg

Ben Houltberg
Associate Professor of Human Development

Pam King

Pamela Ebstyne King
Peter L. Benson Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Science

Sarah Schnitker

Sarah Schnitker
Associate Professor of Psychology

Theresa Kiene

Theresa Kiene
Executive Director of the Thrive Center

Kristen Capodanno

Kristen Capodanno
Project Facilitator


Thrive Contact

The Thrive Center for Human Development
180 N. Oakland Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182