Skip to main content

Gary Bowen

Kenan Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Dean Emeritus (2016–2021)

Dr. Bowen is past president of the National Council on Family Relations. His honors include an Alumni Pacesetter Award in 1998 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Environmental Sciences, “for actively making a difference in the lives of others and the world around them;” a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Health and Human Sciences; and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work.

In 2017, he was selected as an American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare Fellow for his distinguished accomplishment as a scholar and practitioner dedicated to achieving excellence in his work to advance social good. In 2001, Bowen was selected as a National Council on Family Relations Fellow for his enduring contributions to the field of family studies through a career of teaching, scholarship, outreach, professional service and leadership. In 2013, he was selected as an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. In 2019, Bowen was named among the “100 Most Influential Contemporary Social Work Faculty” in a study published in the Journal of Social Service Review. On Sept. 30, 2021, Bowen was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Roy Cooper, which recognizes his exemplary service to the state of North Carolina and his exceptional accomplishments.

Bowen retired from the School of Social Work after a nearly 40 year career on Jan. 1, 2024 and currently serves as Dean Emeritus and Kenan Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Degrees and Licenses

PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BS, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Primary Program

Tenure-Track Faculty Member


ACSW, National Association of Social Work

Research and Professional Interests

Late Life Marriages
Child and Family Well-Being
Military Families
School Success

Principal Investigator

Family Advocacy Prevention: The Way Ahead (Phase III)

Recent Publications

Jensen, T. M., Bowen, G. L., & King, E. L. (2022). Associations between family maltreatment perpetration and latent profiles of personal and family strengths among active-duty Air Force members. Journal of Family Violence, 37, 407-421.

O’Neal, C. W., Mancini, J. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2020). Connecting experiences of community shared responsibility and collective competence to the well-being of adults in military families. Journal of Community Psychology, 48, 1637-1650.

Howard, M. O., Fraser, M. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Doctoral education in social work: The decade ahead. Journal of Social Work Education, 54, 750-761.

Mancini, J. A., O’Neal, C. W., Martin, J. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Community social organization and military families: Theoretical perspectives on transitions, contexts, and resilience. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 10, 550-565.

Bowen, G. L., & Jensen, T. M. (2017). Late-life divorce and postdivorce adult subjective well-being. Journal of Family Issues, 38, 1363-1388. doi:10.1177/0192513X15596197

Bowen, G. L., Jensen, T. M., & Martin, J. A. (2016). Confirmatory factor analysis of a measure of comprehensive airman fitness. Military Behavioral Health, 4, 409-419.


SOWO 842

Families, Theories and Practice