Kevin Masters, Ph.D.

Kevin Masters headshot
Clinical Health Psychology

Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology 
Campus Box 173, PO Box 173364 
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
North Classroom Building
1200 Larimer Street
Room 5008G (5th floor)

Office Hours:
By appointment

Expertise Areas:
I specialize in clinical health psychology with particular research interests in cardiovascular health psychology and related topics. I study how sense of meaning and purpose can be used to increase adherence to healthy behavioral lifestyles, particularly physical activity and exercise. In general, I am interested in sustained behavior change. I also study issues of religiousness/spirituality and health. You can read more about my research on my lab's website.

B.A. Cedarville University, 1980
M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of Dayton, 1982
Clinical Psychology Internship, Duke University Medical Center, 1988
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Brigham Young University, 1989

Dr. Masters is a clinical psychologist and a leader in the fields of health psychology and behavioral medicine. He served a term as the Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and previous to that, was editor of Journal of Behavioral Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Masters is interested in studying cardiovascular processes and disease from the perspective of behavioral medicine as well as the relations between meaning/purpose, religiousness/spirituality, and health. He is also very interested in sustained lifestyle behavior change and is currently the Denver PI on the multi-site Enhancing Lifestyles for Metabolic (ELM) Syndrome randomized controlled lifestyle intervention for metabolic syndrome. He is also currently involved in research examining how meaning/purpose may increase adherence to healthy behavior regimens.He has published laboratory studies on cardiovascular reactivity to stress based on religious orientation and practices and his meta-analytic reviews on distant intercessory prayer and health outcomes have been influential.

Selected Recent Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

Rush, C.L., Masters, K.S., Wooldridge, J.S., & Ranby, K.W. (In press). Is Grace Amazing  or Old Wine in a New Bottle? Psychometric Development of the Perceptions and  Experiences of Grace Scale (PEGS). Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Deng, L.R., Masters, K.S., Schmiege, S.J., Hess, E., & Bekelman, D.B. (In press). Two  factor  structures possible for the FACIT-Sp in patients with heart failure. Journal  of Pain and Symptom Management.

Deng, L.R., Masters, K.S., Schmiege, S.J., Hess, E., & Bekelman, D.B. (In press). Factor  structure of Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Spiritual Well- Being Scale in patients with heart failure depends on method used. Journal of  Palliative Medicine.  

Stevens, C.J., Shaffer, J.A., Edwards, K.S., Masters, K.S., Leon, K.K., Wood, M.J., &  Pittman Wagers, T. (2022).  Younger age impacts perceptions of the care  received in the emergency department among women with spontaneous  coronary artery dissection  (SCAD). Journal of Women’s Health, doi:  10.1089/jwh.2021.0162.

Rush, C.L., Hooker, S.A., Ross, K.M., Frers, A.K., Peters, J.C., & Masters, K.S. (2021).  Meaning in life is mediated by self-efficacy in the prediction of physical activity.  Journal of Health Psychology, 26, 753-757.

Whipple, M.O., Masters, K.S., Huebschmann, A.G., Scalzo, R.L., Reusch, J.E.B.,  Bergouignan, A., & Regensteiner, J.G. (2021). Acute effects of sedentary breaks  on vascular health in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes: A systematic review.  Vascular Medicine, 26, 448-458.

Hooker, S. A., Masters, K. S., *Ross, K. M., Jackson, K. H., & Peters, J. C. (2021).  Multiple dimensions of wellness: Development and psychometric properties of  the Anschutz Wellness Evaluation 360 (AWE 360). Journal of Well-being  Assessment, 4(2), 95-119.

Masters, K.S., Shaffer, J.A., & Vagnini, K. M. (2020). The Impact of Psychological  Functioning on Cardiovascular Disease. Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2251

Masters, K.S. Emerson, R.W. IV., & Hooker, S.A. (2020). Effects of devotional prayer and  secular meditation on cardiovascular response to a faith challenge among  Christians. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Advance online publication:

Hooker, S.A., Masters, K.S., & Ranby, K. W. (2020). Integrating meaning in life and Self- Determination Theory to predict physical activity adoption in previously inactive  exercise initiates enrolled in a randomized trial. Psychology of Sport and  Exercise, 49.

Hooker, S. A., Masters, K. S., Vagnini, K. M., & Rush, C. (2020). Engaging in personally  meaningful activities is associated with meaning salience and psychological  well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(6), 821-831.

Yeary, K., Alcaraz, K.I., Ashing, K.T. Chiu, C., Christy, S.M., Friberg Felsted, K., Lu, Q.,  Lumpkins, C.Y., Masters, K.S., Newton, Jr., R.L., Park, C.L., Shen, M.J., Silfee, V.J.,  Yanez, B., & Yi, J. (2020). Considering religion and spirituality in precision  medicine. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 10. 195-203.  doi:10.1093/tbm/ibz105  

Masters, K.S., Ross, K.M., Hooker, S.A., & Wooldridge, J.L. (2018). A psychometric approach to theory-based behavior change intervention development: Example from the Colorado Meaning-Activity Project. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52, 463-473.

Hooker, S.A., & Masters, K.S. (2018). Daily meaning salience predicts daily physical activity in previously sedentary exercise initiates. Health Psychology, 37, 344-354.

Caldwell, A.E., Masters, K.S., Peters, J.C., Bryan, A.D., Grigsby, J. Hooker, S.A., Wyatt, H.R.,  & Hill, J.O. (2018). Harnessing centered identity transformation to reduce executive     function burden for maintenance of health behavior change: The Maintain IT Model.  Health Psychology Review, 12, 231-253. DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2018.1437551

Brown, C., S., Masters, K.S., & Huebschmann, A. (2018). Identifying motives of midlife black triathlete women using survey transformation to guide qualitative inquiry. Journal    of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 33, 1-20.

Pittman Wagers, T., Stevens, C.J., Ross, K.V., Leon, K.K., & Masters, K.S. (2018).   Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): Female survivors’ experiences of stress          and support. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.

Hooker, S.A., Masters, K.S., & Park, C.L., (2018). A meaningful life is a healthy life: A    conceptual model linking meaning and meaning salience to health. Review of General       Psychology, 22,11-24.

Hooker, S.A., Wooldridge, J.S., Ross, K.M. & Masters, K.S. (2018). Do monetary incentives       increase fitness center utilization: It depends. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32,       606-612.

Hooker, S.A., Ross, K., Masters, K.S., Park, C. Hale, A.E., Allen, L.A., & Bekelman, D.B.           (2017). Denver Spirited Heart: Mixed methods pilot study of a psychospiritual     intervention for heart failure patients. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 32, 226-235.

Park, C.L., Masters, K.S., Salsman, J.M., Wachholtz, A., Clements, A.D., Salmoirago-Blotcher,   E., Trevino, K., & Wischenka, D. (2017). Advancing our Understanding of        Religion and Spirituality in the Context of Behavioral Medicine. Journal of Behavioral      Medicine, 40, 39-51

Steffen, P.R., Masters, K.S. & Baldwin, S. (2017). What mediates the relationships between         church attendance and aspects of well-being? Journal of Religion and Health, 56, 158- 170.

Hooker, S.A., Ross, K., Ranby, K.W., Masters, K.S., Peters, J.C., & Hill, J.O. (2016).      Identifying Groups at Risk for 1-Year Membership Termination from a Fitness Center at         Enrollment.  Preventive Medicine Reports, 4, 563-568.

Hooker, S.A., & Masters, K.S. (2016). Purpose in life is associated with physical activity            measured by accelerometer. Journal of Health Psychology, 21, 962-971. DOI:      10.1177/1359105314542822

Masters, K.S., Beacham, A.O., & Clement, L.R. (2015). Use of a standardized patient      protocol to assess clinical competency: the University of Colorado Denver         Comprehensive Clinical Competency Examination. Training and Education in        Professional Psychology, 9, 170-174.

Masters, K.S. (2014). Cardiovascular reactivity to stress: A potentially important link between   religion and cardiovascular health. Spiritual Care, 78-86. (German language publication).

Jordan, K., Masters, K.S., Hooker, S.A., Ruiz J.M., & Smith, T.W. (2014). An interpersonal       approach to individual differences in religiousness and spirituality as influences on    health and well-being. Journal of Personality, 82, 418-431.

DeBerard, M.S., & Masters, K.S. (2014). Psychosocial correlates of the Short-Form 36    Multidimensional Health Survey in university students. Psychology, 5, 941-949.

Hooker, S.A., Masters, K.S., & Carey, K.B. (2014). Multidimensional assessment of        religiousness/spirituality and health behaviors in college students. The International        Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 24, 228-240. Doi:     10.1080/10508619.2013.808870

Masters, K.S., & Hooker, S.A. (2013). Religiousness/Spirituality, cardiovascular disease and        cancer: review with emphasis on cultural sensitivity and methodological innovation.     Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 206-216.

Nash, J.M., McKay, K., Vogel, M.E., & Masters, K.S. (2012). Functional roles and          foundational characteristics of psychologists in integrated primary care. Journal of         Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 19, 93-104.

Masters, K.S. (2012). If God is in Control of My Health, What Should I Do? The Importance      of Religious, Ethnic, and Social Culture: A Comment on Umezawa et al. Annals of       Behavioral Medicine, 44, 3-4.

Masters, K.S., & Knestel, A. (2011). Religious orientation and cardiovascular reactivity among     middle aged adults: is being pro-religious really that good for you? Journal of     Behavioral Medicine, 34, 449-461.

O’Dell, K., Masters, K.S., Spielmans, G.I., & Maisto, S.A. (2011) Does Type-D Personality predict outcomes among patients with cardiovascular disease? A meta-analytic review.      Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 71, 199-206.

Deaner, R.O., Masters, K.S., Ogles, B.M., & LaCaille, R.A. (2011). Marathon performance as     a predictor of competitiveness and training in men and women. Journal of Sport        Behavior, 34, 325-342.


Beacham, A.O., Kinman, C., Harris, J.G., & Masters, K.S. (2011). The patient-centered medical home: Unprecedented workforce growth potential for professional psychology.       Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43, 17-23. doi:10.1037/a0025320

Masters, K.S., Spielmans, G.I., LaCaille, R.A., Goodson, J.T., Larsen, B.T., Heath, E.M., &        Knestel, A. (2011). Effects of home exercise on immediate and delayed affect and mood among rural individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes. Journal of Social, Behavioral, and        Health Sciences, 5, 1-16.

Masters, K.S., & Knestel, A. (2011). Religious orientation among a random sample of       community dwelling adults: Relations with health status and health relevant behaviors.       The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21, 63-76.

Kapuscinski, A.N., & Masters, K.S. (2010). The current status of measures of spirituality: A      critical review of scale development. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2, 191-205. .

Hyland, M.E., Wheeler, P., Kamble S., & Masters, K.S. (2010). A sense of ‘special           connection,’ self-transcendent values and a common factor for religious and non-        religious spirituality. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 32, 293-326.

Masters, K.S. (2010). The role of religion in therapy: time for psychologists to have a little          faith? Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 17, 393-400.

Gillum R.F, & Masters, K.S. (2010). Religiousness and blood donation: Findings from a    National Survey. Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 163-172

Health Psychology II - Graduate Course
Cardiovascular Health Psychochology - Graduate Course