Blake Victor Kent, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
(805) 565-6783

Office Location

Deane Hall 209

Office Available

Monday 12:15-1:45 PM and Tuesday 1:00-2:30 PM and you may email him for an appointment. 


Sociology of Religion, Social Epidemiology, Life Course, Quantitative Methods.

Research Interests
  • Subjective religion and spirituality
  • Mental health
  • Flourishing
  • Religious struggles
  • Diverse populations

Blake Victor Kent is Associate Professor of Sociology at Westmont College; Research Affiliate at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities; Research Affiliate at Harvard University's Human Flourishing Program; and Non-Resident Scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He serves on the boards of Review of Religious Research and the Public Health, Religion, and Spirituality Network, as well as the Global Flourishing Study's (GFS) core analysis team. The GFS, a $43 million dollar initiative led by researchers at Harvard and Baylor Universities, will examine flourishing, religion/spirituality, and well-being among 220,000 participants in 20 countries over a five year period.

Dr. Kent's broad research interest is in religion/spirituality and mental and physical health, with particular attention given to subjective religious and spiritual experiences, particularly attachment to God. Some of his current projects utilize data drawn from five racially and ethnically diverse U.S. cohorts participating in the National Consortium on Psychosocial Stress, Spirituality, and Health, with the goal of identifying how religion and spirituality affect disease etiology in diverse populations. His work has appeared in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Health Psychology, Quality of Life Research, Ethnicity & Health, Research on Aging, Journal of Aging & Health, and others, and has received national attention in outlets such as Forbes, Christianity Today, Huffington Post, USA Today, and Newsweek. He is married to Rachel, and when their two young boys allow it, he enjoys camping, running, scuba diving, soccer, and reading novels.



Davidson, James C., Blake Victor Kent, Yvette Cozier, Alka Kanaya, Erica Warner, Heather Eliassen, David Williams, and Alexandra Shields. “Does Religious Service Attendance Modify the Relationship between Everyday Discrimination and Risk of Obesity? Results from the Study on Stress, Spirituality and Health.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Stroope, Samuel, Blake Victor Kent, Anna Schachter, Alka Kanaya, and Alexandra Shields. “Why is Religious Attendance Linked to More Anxiety in U.S. South Asians? The Mediating Role of Congregational Neglect.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Upenieks, Laura, Blake Victor Kent, Nagaswami, Megha, Yue Gu, Alka Kanaya, and Alexandra Shields. “Do Religion and Spirituality Buffer the Effect of Childhood Trauma on Depressive Symptoms? Examination of a South Asian Cohort.” Journal of Religion and Health.


Kent, Blake Victor, Laura Upenieks, Alka Kanaya, Erica Warner, Yvette Cozier, Martha Daviglus, Heather Eliassen, Daniel Jang, and Alexandra Shields. “Religion/Spirituality and Prevalent Hypertension in Five Racially and Ethnically Diverse U.S. Cohort Studies.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 57(8):649-661.


Bradshaw, Matt, Blake Victor Kent, Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, Byron Johnson, Sung Joon Jang, and Joseph Leman. “Perceptions of Accountability to God and Psychological Well-Being Among U.S. Adults.” Journal of Religion & Health 61(1):327-352.

Cowden, Richard, Victor Counted, Blake Victor Kent, and Ward Davis. “Resource Loss and Suffering During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Moderating Effects of Positive Religious Coping in a Prospective Sample of U.S. Adults with Chronic Illness.” Mental Health, Religion, & Culture 25(3):288-304.

Henderson, W. Matthew and Blake Victor Kent. “Attachment to God and Psychological Distress: Evidence of a Curvilinear Relationship.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 61(1):161-177.

Isehunwa, Oluwaseyi, Erica Warner, Donna Spiegelman, Ying Zhang, Julie Palmer, Alka Kanaya, Shelley Cole, Shelley Tworoger, Lester Orville Shields, Yue Gu, Blake Victor Kent, Immaculata De Vivo, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Depression, Religiosity, and Telomere Length in the Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health.” International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 20(3):1465-1484.  

Kent, Blake Victor, Richard Cowden, Victor Counted, Edward Davis, Sandra Rueger, and Everett Worthington, Jr. “Do Religious/Spiritual Factors Moderate the Association Between Suffering and Religious/Spiritual Struggles? A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study of US Adults with Chronic Illness.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 61(3-4):642-662.

Stroope, Samuel, Blake Victor Kent, Ying Zhang, Donna Spiegelman, Alka M. Kanaya, Namratha Kandula, Anna B. Schachter, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Mental Health and Self-Rated Health among U.S. South Asians: The Role of Religious Group Involvement.” Ethnicity & Health 27(2):388-406.


Bradshaw, Matt, Blake Victor Kent, James C. Davidson, and Stacy de Leon. “Parents, Peers, and Trajectories of Cigarette Smoking: A Group-Based Approach.” Youth & Society 53(4):676-694.

Isehunwa, Oluwaseyi, Erica Warner, Donna Spiegelman, Shelley Tworoger, Blake Victor Kent, Nicholas Spence, and Alexandra Shields. “The Association between Religion, Spirituality, and Salivary Rhythms of Cortisol and DHEA in Postmenopausal Women.” Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology 7:100064.  

Kent, Blake Victor and Matt Bradshaw. “Adolescent Context and Depressive Symptom Trajectories in a National Sample: Ages 13 to 34.” International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 19(5):1468-1484.

Kent, Blake Victor, W. Matthew Henderson, Matt Bradshaw, Christopher G. Ellison, and Bradley R.E. Wright. “Do Spiritual Experiences Moderate the Effect of Daily Stressors on Psychological Well-Being?: An Experience Sampling Study of Depressive Symptoms and Flourishing.” International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 31(2):57-78.

Kent, Blake Victor, James C. Davidson, Ying Zhang, Ken Pargament, Tyler J. VanderWeele, Harold Koenig, Lynn Underwood, Neal Krause, Alka M. Kanaya, Shelley Tworoger, Anna B. Schachter, Shelley Cole, Marcia O’Leary, Yvette Cozier, Martha L. Daviglus, Tracey Zacher, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Religion and Spirituality among American Indian, South Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latina, and White Women in the Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 60(1):198-215.

Ngo, Long, M. Austin Argentieri, Simon Dillon, Blake Victor Kent, Alka M. Kanaya, Towia Libermann, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Plasma Protein Expression Profiles, Cardiovascular Disease, and Religious Struggles among South Asians in the MASALA Study.” Scientific Reports 11(1):961-977.

Schachter, Anna B., M. Austin Argentieri, Bobak Seddighzadeh, Oluwaseyi Isehunwa, Blake Victor Kent, Philip Trevvet, Michael McDuffie, Laura Mandel, Ken Pargament, Lynn Underwood, Alexa McCray, and Alexandra Shields. “The R|S Atlas: Accelerating Epidemiological Research on the Influence of Religion and Spirituality on Human Health.” BMJ Open 11(10):e043830.

Shields, Alexandra, Yuankai Zhang, M. Austin Argentieri, Erica Warner, Yvette Cozier, Chunyu Liu, Blake Victor Kent, Andrea Baccarelli, and Julie Palmer. “Stress and Spirituality in Relation to HPA Axis Gene Methylation among Black Women: Results from the BWHS and SSSH.” Epigenomics 13(21):1711-1734.

Warner, Erica T.,  Blake Victor Kent, Ying Zhang, M. Austin Argentieri, Wade Rowatt, Kenneth Pargament, Harold Koenig, Lynn Underwood, Shelley Cole, Martha Daviglus, Alka Kanaya, Julie Palmer, Tianyi Huang, Mark Blais, Alexandra E. Shields. “The Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health (SSSH): Psychometric Evaluation and Initial Validation of the SSSH Baseline Spirituality Survey.” Religions 12(3):150.


Kent, Blake Victor. “Religion/Spirituality and Gender-Differentiated Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms Age 13 to 34.” Journal of Religion and Health 59(4):2064-2081.

Kent, Blake Victor, Samuel Stroope, Alka M Kanaya, Ying Zhang, Namratha Kandula, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Private Religion/Spirituality, Self-rated Health, and Mental Health among U.S. South Asians.” Quality of Life Research 29(2):495-504.

Stroope, Samuel, Blake Victor Kent, Ying Zhang, Alka M. Kanaya, Namratha Kandula, and Alexandra E. Shields. “Self-Rated Religiosity/Spirituality and Four Health Outcomes Among U.S. South Asians.” Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 208(2):165-168.


Bradshaw, Matt, Blake Victor Kent, W. Matthew Henderson, and Anna C. Setar. “Attachment to God and Social Trust.” Sociological Perspectives 62(6):1001-1021.

Kent, Blake Victor and Christopher M. Pieper. “To Know and Be Known: An Intimacy-Based 
Explanation for the Gender Gap in Biblical Literalism.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58(1):231-250.


Bradshaw, Matt and Blake Victor Kent. “Prayer, Attachment to God, and Psychological Well-being in Later Life.” Journal of Aging and Health 30(5):667-691.   

Kent, Blake Victor, Matt Bradshaw, and Jeremy E. Uecker. “Forgiveness, Attachment to God, and Mental Health Outcomes in Older U.S. Adults: A Longitudinal Study.” Research on Aging 40(5):456-479.