Dr. Olivia Pethtel | Saint Francis University
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Dr. Olivia Pethtel

  • Olivia Pethtel Profile

    Position: Assistant professor of Psychology

    Department: Francis Worldwide

    Office: Library 311

    Email Dr. Olivia Pethtel


    About Dr. Olivia Pethtel


    • Ph.D., Bowling Green University
    • M.A., Bowling Green University
    • B.A., University of South Carolina


    Dr. Olivia Pethtel joins Saint Francis University with three years of university-level teaching experience. She has taught Introductory Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Methods in Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Adult Development and Aging, Adolescent Psychology, and Psychology of Women and Gender at Bowling Green State University, Youngstown State University, and Saint Francis University. In 2007 she received her B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina, in 2009 she received her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at Bowling Green State University, and in 2012 she received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Bowling Green State University.

    Dr. Pethtel’s research focuses on aging in relation to well-being, decision-making, socioemotional development, and cultural influences. Her thesis research examined the well-being of younger and older adults in the United States and China. This study was published in the journal Psychology and Aging. Her preliminary research examined choice deferrals in younger and older adults and was published in Educational Gerontology. Her dissertation research, which is currently in review for publication, examined decision-making competence, life regrets, and well-being in mature adults. She has also presented her research at professional conferences for the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. She plans to continue conducting research in relation to aging and well-being at Saint Francis and looks forward to involving undergraduate students in her research as well as working with them on their own research projects.

    • Teaching & Research
    • Papers & Presentations
    Teaching & Research


    • Developmental 
    • Aging


    • PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
    • PSYC 205: Abnormal Psychology
    • PSYC 209: Developmental Psychology
    • PSYC 322: Women and Gender
    • PSYC 423: Psychology of Aging
    Papers & Presentations

    Recent Publications

    •  Pethtel, O., & Chen, Y. (2014). Life regrets and life satisfaction in mature adults. The Journal of Happiness & Well-Being, 2, 106-118.
    • Chen, Y., Wang, J., Kirk, R., Pethtel, O., & Kiefner, A. (2014). Age Differences in Adaptive Decision Making: The Role of Numeracy. Educational Gerontology.
    • Pethtel, O., & Chen, Y. (2013). Age differences in choice deferrals as functions of interattribute conflict and decision domain. Educational Gerontology, 39, 772-782.
    • Chen, Y., Lee, Y., Pethtel, O., Gutowitz, M., Kirk, R. (2012). Age differences in goal concordance, time use, and subjective well-being. Educational Gerontology, 38, 742-752.
    • Pethtel, O., & Chen, Y. (2010). Cross-cultural aging in cognitive and affective components of subjective well-being. Psychology and Aging, 25(3), 725-730.


    • Pethtel, O., & Moist, M. (August, 2016). Time-Perspective and Psychological Well-Being in Younger and Older Adults. Poster presented at American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO.
    • Pethtel, O. & Chen, Y. (November, 2014). Decision-Making Competence, Life Regrets, and Life Satisfaction in Mature Adults. Poster presented at the 66th Annual Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting, Washington, D.C.
    • Pethtel, O. & Chen, Y. (November, 2011). Age Differences in Choice Deferrals as Functions of Interattribute Conflict and Decision Domain. Poster presented at the 63rd Annual Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting, Boston, MA. 
    • Pethtel, O., Chen,Y. & Ma, X. (August, 2010). Cross-Cultural Aging in Cognitive and Affective Components of Subjective Well-Being. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Conference, San Diego, CA.
    • Pethtel, O., & Chen,Y. (November, 2008). Age Differences in Definitions of Psychological Well-Being. Poster presented at the 61st Annual Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting, National Harbour, MD.