Oklahoma State University
Human Development and Family Science
Alexander J. Bishop

Alexander Bishop

Associate Professor

Area: Human Development and Family Science

228 Human Sciences
Stillwater OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-3989
Fax: 405-744-6344

  • Profile
  • Publications
  • Research

Educational Background:

Degree Institution Area of Study
Ph.D. Iowa State University Human Development and Family Studies
M.A. Western Illinois University Gerontology
B.A. Benedictine College Sociology

Courses Taught:

Adulthood and Aging HDFS  4413
Family and Interpersonal Relationships in Adulthood HDFS  4543
Concepts and Controversies in Aging HDFS  4823
Adult Development and Aging HDFS  5413
Research Perspectives in Gerontology HDFS  5423
Theories of Aging HDFS  5433
Honors Seminar HES  4000


  • OSU Group IV Graduate Faculty
  • HDFS Graduate Curriculum Committee

Professional Memberships:

  • Gerontological Society of America
  • American Psychological Association
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
  • Phi Kappa Phi

Research Statement:

My primary work is focused on understanding subjective well-being outcomes in late and very late life. In particular, I am interested in the theoretical conceptualization and measurement of well-being among persons who reach 100 years of age and older. A central part of my work is focused on identifying and determining distal and proximal attributes that allow centenarians to flourish and remain satisfied with life. I am currently analyzing data to understand how sources of impairment and psychosocial resources foster an association between positive and negative emotional experiences in well-being and life-appraisal outcomes of well-being in exceptional old age. As a secondary area, I also conduct research on the health and well-being of older prison inmates. I am most interested in understanding how incarceration contributes to the improvement and/or deterioration of the health of older prisoners. Of key interest is determining how religious and spiritual resources may provide underlying therapeutic benefits relative to counteracting the negative impact of incarceration on older inmate physical and mental well-being.

Research Areas:

  • Aging-in-prison
  • Centenarians/Oldest-old
  • Religiosity and spirituality
  • Subjective well-being


  • Bishop, A. J., Smith, B., Gardner, B., & Carnes, B. Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) “Psycho-Physiological Dynamics of Health in Old-Old Age”(PI). $118,046, 2013-2016.
  • Fuller-Iglesias, H., O’Conner, M. L., Bishop, A. J., Cooney, T., Killian, T., Turner, J., Margrett, M., & Scott, J. P. Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDA). “Aging in Place in Rural Areas: Relationships between Support Needs, Caregiving Decisions, and Well-Being” (Co PI), $15,000, (2013-2014).
  • Bishop, A. J., Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. “Unlocking the Secret to Optimal Health Status: The Oklahoma Centenarian Project. (PI). $76, 893, 2008-2010.
  • Bishop, A. J. & Hermann, J. Donna Cadwalader Research Development Fund. “Healthy Aging in Rural Oklahoma: Resilience to Disparity Among Old and Very Old Survivors” (PI). $2,300. June 2007-June 2008.
  • Bishop, A. J. (May 2007). Board of Human Sciences Professional Development Grant. (Co-PI with Whitney Brosi). $1500, 2007.
  • Martin, P. (PI), & Bishop, A.(Co-PI). Surviving Alone: The Unmarried in Later Life. (January 2004-January 2005). The Anthony Marchionne Foundation. ($39,381).


  • Bishop, A.J., Randall, G. K., Bailey, W. A., & Merten, M.J. (2015). Experience of parental marital dissolution earlier in life and the disposition to forgive among older violent and non-violent prisoners. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 27, 108-124.
  • Bishop, A.J., Randall, G. K., & Merten, M.J. (2013). Consideration of forgiveness to enhance the health status of older male prisoners confronting spiritual, social, and emotional vulnerability.  Journal of Applied Gerontology.
  • Tapps, T., Passmore, T., Lindenmeier, D., & Bishop, A.J. (2013). An investigation into the effects of resistance physical activity participation on depression of older adults in long-term care. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.
  • Bishop, A.J., Martin, P., Randall, G. K., MacDonald, M., & Poon, L. (2012). Exploring life satisfaction in exceptional old age: The mediating role of positive and negative affect. Clinical Gerontologist, 35, 105-125.
  • Merten, M.J., Bishop, A.J., & Williams, A. L. (2012). Prisoner health and valuation of life, loneliness, and depressed mood. American Journal of Health Behavior, 36, 275-288.
  • Randall, G. K., Martin, P., Bishop, A.J., & Poon, L. W. (2012). Social resources and change in functional health: Comparing three age groups. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 75(1), 1-29.
  • Bishop, A.J. (2011). Religious and spiritual connections to mental and physical health among the oldest-old. Religious and spiritual connections to mental and physical health among the oldest-old. In L. W. Poon & J. Cohen-Mansfield (Eds.). Understanding well-being in the oldest old, pp. 227-239. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bishop, A.J. & Martin, P.   (2011). The measurement of life satisfaction and happiness in old-old age. In L. W. Poon & J. Cohen-Mansfield (Eds.). Understanding well-being in the oldest old, pp. 290-331. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bishop, A.J., Martin, P., Poon, L., & Johnson, M.A.  (2011). Life satisfaction as an indicator of wellbeing: Does cognitive performance matter? Journal of Aging Research, Article ID 953031, 10 pages. doi: 10.406/2011/953031.
  • Bishop, A.J. & Merten, M.J.   (2011). Risk of comorbid health impairment among older male offenders. Journal of Correctional Healthcare, 17, 34-45. doi: 10.1177/1078345810385912..
  • Randall, G. & Bishop, A.J.   (2011). Direct and Indirect Effects of Religious Practices on Valuation of Life through Forgiveness and Social Provisions among Older Incarcerated Males. The Gerontologist., 51, 405.
  • Randall, G. K., Martin, P., Bishop, A.J., Poon, L. W., & Johnson, M. A.  (2011). Age differences and changes in resources essential to aging well: A comparison of sexagenarians, octogenarians, and centenarians. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, Volume 2011. Doi: 10.1155/2011/357896
  • Randall, G. K., Martin, P., MacDonald, M., Margrett, J., Bishop, A.J., & Poon, L.  (2011). Comparing the support-efficacy model among centenarians living in private homes, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Journal of Aging Research, volume 2011. doi: 10.4061/2011/280727.
  • Bishop, A.J., Martin, P., MacDonald, M., & Poon, L. (2010). Predicting happiness among centenarians Gerontology: International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural, Regenerative, and Technological Gerontology, 56, 88-92.
  • Poon, L. W., Martin P., Bishop, A.J., Cho, J., daRosa, G., Deshpande, N., Hensley, R., MacDonald, M., Margrett, J., & Randall, K. (2010). Understanding centenarians’ psychosocial dynamics and their contributions to health and quality of life. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 1-13.
  • Bishop, A.J. (2008). Stress and depression among older adults residing in religious monasteries: Do friends and God matter? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 67, 1-23.
  • Bishop, A.J. & Martin, P.   (2007). The indirect influence of educational attainment on loneliness among unmarried older adults. Educational Gerontology, 33, 897-917.
  • Bishop, A.J., Martin, P., Courtenay, B., Poon, L., & Johnson, M. A. (2007). Gerontological evaluation of the Religiosity in 5-D Scale. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 19, 87-105.
  • Bishop, A.J. (2006). Age and gender differences in adaptation and subjective well-being of older adults residing in monastic religious communities. Pastoral Psychology, 55, 131-143.
  • Bishop, A.J., Martin, P., & Poon, L. (2006). Happiness and congruence in older adulthood: A structural model of life satisfaction, Aging and Mental Health, 10, 445-453.
  • Martin, P., Bishop, A.J., Poon, L.W., & Johnson, M.A. (2006). Influence of personality and health behaviors on fatigue in late and very late life. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 61B, P161-P166.
  • Kohut, M.L., Lee, W., Martin, A., Arnston, B., Russell, D.W., Ekkekakis, P., Yoon, K.J., Bishop, A.J., & Cunnick, J.E. (2005). The exercise-induced enhancement of influenza immunity is mediated in part by improvements in psychosocial factors in older adults Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 19, 357-366.