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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Edmond Bowers

Associate Professor
Youth Development Leadership

Office: 2033 Barre Hall

Phone: 864-656-1983


Educational Background

Ph.D. Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology
Boston College 2009

M.Ed. Middle School Science
University of Notre Dame 2003

B.S. Science-Business and Anthropology
University of Notre Dame 2001

Courses Taught

YDP3050 Theory and Philosophy of Youth Development Work
YDP8000 Foundations of Youth Development: An Applied Perspective
YDP8010 Child and Adolescent Development
YDP8880 Special Topics: Youth and Technology
YDP8900 The Profession of Youth Development Leadership
PADM8410 Public Data Analysis


Dr. Edmond P. Bowers is an associate professor of Youth Development Leadership at Clemson University. Dr. Bowers received both B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College. Prior to arriving at Clemson, he served as a post-doctoral fellow and research assistant professor in the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development (IARYD) at Tufts University. Dr. Bowers also has experience teaching and working with students from the preschool to the graduate level, both in the U.S. and abroad. Framed by the positive youth development (PYD) perspective, Dr. Bowers' primary research interest is on the influence of nonparental social supports (e.g., mentors, youth leaders, coaches, teachers, older peers) in promoting healthy and positive development in young people. Through this research agenda, Dr. Bowers has collaborated with researchers and practitioners to design, implement, and evaluate research-based programs and materials in diverse school- and community-based settings across the country.

Research Interests

My research is framed by the positive youth development (PYD) perspective, a strengths-based approach to development, which views youth as resources to be developed and not as problems to be managed. The PYD perspective sees all youth as having strengths by virtue of their potential for systematic change; in addition, the contexts in which youth are embedded (e.g. families, schools, neighborhoods, or out-of-school time activities) can provide resources for positive development. The PYD perspective suggests that thriving is possible for all youth by aligning their individual strengths with the resources present in their social and physical ecology.

In short, I study what goes right in the lives of children and adolescents. In particular, my primary research interest is on the influence of formal and informal mentors in promoting the Five Cs of PYD. However, my work also considers the larger ecology (e.g., parents, neighborhoods) that may moderate this relation.

Research Publications

Selected peer-reviewed publications
Bowers, E.P., Wang, J., Tirrell, J.M., & Lerner, R.M. (2016). A cross-lagged model of the development of mentor-mentee relationships and intentional self regulation in adolescence. Journal of Community Psychology, 44(1), 118-138.

Bowers, E.P., Hilliard, L.J., Batanova, M., Stacey, D.C., Tirrell, J.M., Wartella, K., & Lerner, R.M. (2015). The Arthur Interactive Media Study: Initial Findings from a Cross-Age Peer Mentoring and Digital Media-Based Character Development Program. Journal of Youth Development, 10(3), 46 - 63.

Geldhof, G. J., Bowers, E.P., Gestsdottir, S., Napolitano, C. M., & Lerner, R.M. (2015). Self-Regulation across Adolescence: Exploring the structure of selection, optimization, and compensation in adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 25(2), 214-228.

Bowers, E.P., Geldhof, G.J., Johnson, S.K., Lerner, J.V., &, Lerner, R.M. (2014). Thriving across the adolescent years: A view of the issues. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(6), 859 - 868.

Bowers, E.P., Johnson, S.K., Buckingham, M.H., Gasca, S., Warren, D.J.A., & Lerner, J.V. (2014). Important non-parental adults and positive youth development across mid- to late-adolescence: The moderating effect of parenting profiles. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(6), 897-918.

Geldhof, G. J., Bowers, E.P., Mueller, M. K., Napolitano, C. M., Callina, K. L., & Lerner, R. M. (2014). The Five Cs Model of Positive Youth Development Short Form: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Confirmatory Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(6), 933-949.

Hilliard, L.J., Bowers, E.P., Greenman, K.N., Hershberg, R.M., Geldhof, G.J., Glickman, S.A., & Lerner, J.V. (2014). Beyond the deficit model: Bullying and trajectories of character virtues in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(6), 991-1003.

Napolitano, C.M., Bowers, E.P., Arbeit, M.R., Chase, P., Geldhof, G.J., Lerner, J.V., Lerner, R.M. (2014). The GPS to Success growth grids: Measurement properties of a tool to promote intentional self regulation in mentoring programs. Applied Developmental Science, 18(1), 46 - 58.

Geldhof, G. J., Bowers, E.P., Boyd, M. J., Mueller, M. K., Napolitano, C. M., Schmid,
K. L., Lerner, J. V., & Lerner, R. M. (2014). The creation and validation of short and very short measures of PYD. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24(1), 163-176.

Bowers, E.P., Napolitano, C.M., Arbeit, M.R., Chase, P., Glickman, S.A., Lerner, J.V., Lerner, R.M. (2013). On a pathway towards thriving: Evaluating the effectiveness of the GPS to Success tools to promote positive development and intentional self regulation in youth. Journal of Youth Development, 8(3) 4 - 31.

Bowers, E.P., & Lerner, R.M. (2013). Familial and non-familial relationships as ecological sources of health and positive development across the lifespan: A view of the issues. Research in Human Development, 10(2), 111-115.

Bowers, E.P., Geldhof, G.J., Schmid, K.L., Napolitano, C.M., Minor, K., & Lerner, J.V. (2012). Relationships with important nonparental adults and positive youth development: An examination of youth self-regulatory strengths as mediators. Research in Human Development, 9(4), 298-316.

Lerner, R.M., Bowers, E.P., Geldhof, G.J., Gestsdottir, S. & DeSouza, L. (2012). Promoting positive youth development in the face of contextual changes and challenges: The roles of individual strengths and ecological assets. New Directions for Youth Development, 135, 119 - 128.

Bowers, E.P., Gestsdottir, S., Geldhof, J., Nikitin, J., von Eye, A., & Lerner, R. M. (2011). Developmental trajectories of intentional self regulation in adolescence: The role of parenting and implications for positive and problematic outcomes among diverse youth. Journal of Adolescence, 34(6), 1193-1206.

Bowers, E.P., von Eye, A., Lerner, J. V., Arbeit, M. R., Weiner, M. B., Chase, P., & Agans, J. P. (2011). The role of ecological assets in positive and problematic developmental trajectories. Journal of Adolescence, 34(6), 1151 - 1165.

Napolitano, C. M., Bowers, E.P., Gestsdottir, S., Depping, M., von Eye, A., Chase, P., & Lerner, J. V. (2011). The role of parenting and goal selection in positive youth development: A person-centered approach. Journal of Adolescence, 34(6), 1137 - 1149.

Mueller, M. K., Phelps, E., Bowers, E.P., Agans, J., Urban, J. B., & Lerner, R. M. (2011). Youth development program participation and intentional self-regulation skills: Contextual and individual bases of pathways to positive youth development. Journal of Adolescence, 34(6), 1115 - 1125.

Lewin-Bizan, S., Bowers, E.P., & Lerner, R.M. (2010). One good thing leads to another: Cascades of positive youth development among American adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 759 - 770.

Bowers, E.P., Li, Y., Kiely, M. K., Brittian, A., Lerner, J. V., & Lerner, R. M. (2010). The Five Cs Model of Positive Youth Development: A longitudinal analysis of confirmatory factor structure and measurement invariance. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(7), 720-735.

Gestsdottir, S., Bowers, E.P., von Eye, A., Napolitano, C., & Lerner, R.M. (2010). Intentional Self Regulation in Middle Adolescence: The Emerging Role of Loss-based Selection in Positive Youth Development. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 764-782.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Bowers' work has been acknowledged through several honors and awards including an Award for Excellence in Research-Emerging Scholar from CBSHS; a Promising Scholar award from the University of Notre Dame; a Rising Star nomination by The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring; and a fellowship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Finally, Dr. Bowers serves as an senior member of the Research Board of the National Mentoring Resource Center, an initiative of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. As part of his work with this board, he is certified as a Program Reviewer.

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