Jean Kristeller (Professor emeritus)

 Degree: Clinical Psychology, Yale University

Research Interests/Specialties: Health Psychology; Spirituality; Binge Eating Disorder; Meditation and Self-Regulation

Joined ISU: August, 1991

Retired from ISU:  May, 2011:  While no longer teaching, Dr. Kristeller remains active in research and is currently administering grants related to Mindfulness and Eating.

Contact Information:

Psychology Department                                                                                                                                                         Root Hall, B-216                                                                                                                                                             Phone:  812-237-2467                                                                                                                                                         Email:


Dr. Kristeller's Vita

Jean Kristeller is Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality at Indiana State University ( She received her doctorate in clinical and health psychology from Yale University in 1983, her M.S. from the University of Wisconsin in 1978 in clinical psychology and human psychophysiology, and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Swarthmore College in 1974. Previous appointments have been at the Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School in behavioral medicine and Cambridge Hospital, Harvard University Medical School, in psychiatry and behavioral medicine.

Dr. Kristeller is interested in the effects of psychological variables on physical health and illness, which has informed much of her research. It has included work with compulsive eating and obesity, smoking, the role of the physician in facilitating health behavior change, spirituality and health, anxiety disorders and the use of meditation as a way to promote self-regulatory processes. Her interest in the mind-body interface and integrative medicine arose initially from two years of studying and working in Japan, where traditional models are less inclined to separate the psychological from the physical processes than were Western models.

She has conducted research on the psychology of meditation for over 25 years, including investigations on the effects of meditation on heart rate control, general well-being, spirituality, psoriasis and anxiety disorders (see Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999; Kristeller, 2007). Her previous and currently funded NIH research is investigating the value of Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) on compulsive overeating and obesity (see Kristeller & Hallett, 1999; Kristeller, 2005; Kristeller, Quillian & Baer, 2006). She is a founding member and President of The Center for Mindful Eating (, a virtual organization bringing resources about mindful eating to professionals in related fields.

Her other (but related) line of research is investigating the role of spirituality in adjustment to serious medical illness. A recently published randomized intervention study documented benefits of a very brief physician-delivered spirituality intervention offered to cancer patients on quality of life, emotional well-being, and satisfaction with care (Kristeller, Rhodes & Cripe, 2005; click on paper below for more information). Current work is investigating how religious and spiritual resources, from the patient’s perspective, may help in adjusting to cancer.

Selected Publications:

Kristeller, J.L. and Epel, E. (2014).      Mindful eating and mindless eating.  In A. le, C.T. Ngnoumen, & E.J. Langer (Eds.).  The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness.  Vol.2, Ch. 47, pp. 913-931 [download PDF version]

Kristeller, J.L. (April, 2014).  Eat, drink, be mindful.  Mindful. 2 (1). p. 66.  [download PDF version]

Kristeller, J., Wolever, R.Q., Sheets, V. (2013).  Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) for Binge Eating:  A randomized clinical trial.  Mindfulness.  10.1007/s12671-012-0179-1. [download PDF version of paper]

Miller, C., Kristeller, J.L., Headings, A., Nagaraja, H., Miser, W.F., (2012).  Comparative effectiveness of a mindful eating intervention to a diabetes self-management intervention among adults with Type 2 diabetes:  A pilot study.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112, 1835 - 1842.  [Download PDF version of paper]

Daubenmier, J., Kristeller, J., Hecht, F., Maninger, N., Kuwata, M., Jhaveri, K., Lustig, R.H., Kemeny, M., Karan, L., & Epel, E. (2011).  Mindfulness intervention for stress eating on cortisol and abdominal fat among overweight and obese women:  An exploratory randomized controlled study. Journal of Obesity. 13 pages.  doi:  10.1155/2011/651936. [download PDF version of paper]

Kristeller, J.L., and Rapgay, L. (2013).  Buddhism:  A Blend of Religion, Spirituality, and Psychology.  In Kenneth Pargament, Julie Exline, and James Jones (Eds.).  APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality (Vol 1):  Context, theory, and research.  Washington, D.C.:  American Psychological Association.  Vol 1. pp. 635-652.  [download PDF]

Kristeller, J.L., and Wolever, R.Q. (2011).  Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training for treating binge eating disorder:  The conceptual foundation.  Eating Disorders, 19, 49-61. [download PDF version of paper]

Kristeller, J.L. (2007). Mindfulness meditation. In P. Lehrer, R.L. Woolfolk, & W.E. Simes. Principles and Practice of Stress Management. New York: Guilford Press. [download PDF]

Kristeller, J.L., Baer, R.A., & Quillian, R. W. (2006). Mindfulness-Based approaches to eating disorders. In Baer, R. A. (Ed.). Mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions: Conceptualization, application, and empirical support. San Diego, CA: Elsevier. Pp. 75-91. [download PDF]

Kristeller, J., Rhodes, M., Cripe, L. (2005). Oncologist Assisted Spiritual Intervention Study (OASIS): Patient acceptability and initial evidence of effects. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. [download PDF]

Kristeller, J., Johnson, T. (2005). Cultivating loving kindness: A two-stage model of the effects of meditation on empathy, compassion, and altruism. Zygon, 40, 391-407. [download PDF]

Kristeller, J.L. (2005). Know your hunger. Spirituality & Health. The Soul/Body Connection. Vol. 8 (2). 28-35. [download PDF]

Kristeller, J.L., Hallett, B. (1999). Effects of a Meditation-Based Intervention in the Treatment of Binge Eating. Journal of Health Psychology. 4(3), 357-363. [download PDF]

Marlatt, G.A., Kristeller, J.L.. (1999). Mindfulness and meditation. In W. R. Miller (Ed.). Integrating Spirituality in Treatment. American Psychological Association Books. pp. 67-84. [download PDF]

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