Lab member, Reema, recently presented an article titled “Experiencing Positive Change After a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: A Grounded Theory Analysis” by Olga Horgan, Chris Holcombe, and Peter Salmon. Presenting an article gives lab members the opportunity to improve their research skills while simultaneously exploring their own interests. The purpose of this study was to document and explain positive psychological changes following a diagnosis of breast cancer using a grounded theory approach. The results demonstrated that the participants experienced positive changes as a result of their cancer. Analysis of the participants’ reflections suggested that changed priorities in life and increased empathy for others occurred when reflections focused on the suffering endured through this illness. Additionally, increased self-confidence was found when patients reflected on the management of their illness. These findings are consistent with other trauma-processing theories, while also contributing ideas of reflection in the suffering and management of trauma. Future directions include the design of clinical interventions to assist adjustment to breast cancer diagnosis.
Lab member, Lauren, recently presented her research proposal for her honors independent study project entitled “Survey about Images of Psychosomatic Disorder or Posttraumatic Growth”. The purpose of this study is to examine perceptions of depression and posttraumatic growth, and how these perceptions are influenced by participant personality characteristics. An additional motive of the study is to clarify American perceptions of depressive disorders. An exploratory component of this study aims to understand how participants perceive different types of reported growth after trauma. Many demographics variables are assessed based on other individual interests within the lab, allowing the data to be shared by everyone. The lab recently began collecting data for this new study and will continue to do so throughout the year. We are all eager to see the results!
First semester lab members present an article to enhance their research skills as well as to share their interests with the lab. Recently, Velinka presented an empirical article, “Growing from experience: An exploratory study of posttraumatic growth in adolescent refugees” by Marieke Sleijpen, Joris Haagen, Trudy Mooren, and Rolf J. Kleber. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived posttraumatic growth (PTG) and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), perceived social support, posttramatic stress disorder (PTSD), dispositional optimism, and satisfaction with life in adolescent refugees and asylum seekers. The results showed that dispositional optimism and social support positively predicted PTG, and PTG is positively related with satisfaction with life. There was no relationship between PTG and PTSD, suggesting that they are independent constructs. Future research is needed to determine causality between PTG and other mental health outcome sin adolescent refugees.
Lab member, Shelby, recently presented the progress of her independent research project, Teen Mom Programming. The PTG Lab will be collaborating with a local high school to investigate the effectiveness of educating teen moms on posttraumatic growth and the importance of social support. This project is clinically significant because providing teen parents with resources and support may properly educate them in areas such as wellness, childcare, resume building, etc. Congratulations goes to the PTG lab for receiving the CAS Community Engagement Grant. We are all excited to use this opportunity to develop a new educational intervention program to assist teen parents to foster their social support and personal growth.
Graduate lab member, Whitney recently presented her research regarding the impact of pets and animal assisted therapy on posttraumatic growth. The purpose of her research was to determine if owning pets, animal assisted therapy, social support, and stress impact posttraumatic growth. Her results showed that the amount of time spent with pets predicts posttraumatic growth in high school students. She also found that most of the participants who went through animal assisted therapy demonstrated increases in posttraumatic growth and perceived social support. Whitney will be presenting her research at the Lunch Bunch event which will take place on March 2nd in the Oakland Room of the Oakland Center from 12:00 to 12:50 pm.
Lab member, Jenna, presented an article Reliability and Validity of the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) Spanish Version by Rocío Rodríguez-Rey, Jesús Alonso-Tapia, and Helena Hernansaiz-Garrido. The purpose of this study was to adapt the BRS to the Spanish language and to demonstrate reliability and validity of this scale. The researchers hypothesized that the Spanish version of the BRS would demonstrate good validity and reliability and that participants with higher levels of stress would have lower resilience. Results indicated that the Spanish version of the BRS showed adequate reliability, validity, and sensitivity of its scores. Results also indicated differences in the level of resilience only significant between parents of critically ill children and parents of children with cancer. After discussing the article, Jenna presented her own hypotheses that she can potentially test during her time in the lab.
Lab member, Kyle, presented an empirical article, “Intrinsic religiosity, resilience, quality of life, and suicide risk in depressed inpatients” by Bruno Paz Mosqueiro, Neusa Sica da Rocha, and Marcelo Pio de Almeida Fleck. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how intrinsic religiosity is related to resilience in a population of depressed individuals and to evaluate suicide risk, clinical characteristics, quality of life, and social support. Results indicated that organizational religiosity, non-organizational religiosity, and intrinsic religiosity is associated with resilience. Those with high intrinsic religiosity reported higher social support and lower suicide attempts. Future research is needing to look at the culture context of intrinsic religiosity.
Lab member, Geena has recently been accepted to the University of Michigan!
Geena will being working toward her master’s in social work in the fall 2017. She will be concentrating on children and youth in families and society. Her ultimate goal is to work with youths who have been abused and neglected, as well as their families. She hopes to take what she has learned in the lab about posttraumatic growth to help foster growth in these children and their families through private and group therapy, intervention programs, and more.
Geena has helped with psycho-education at local high schools to educate at risk youth on posttraumatic growth. The lab has helped her to expand her writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and research skills which she plans to utilize going forward. Geena hopes to continue to help with lab projects and community psycho-education in her spare time. Congratulations, Geena!
Lab member, Jenna, presented an article to the lab entitled “Personality, personal values,
and growth in military special unit patrol teams operating in a polar environment” by Anders Kjaergaard, Gloria R. Leon, Noah C. Venables, and Birgit A. Fink. First semester lab members present an article in order to enhance their research skills and to present their interests to the lab. The purpose of this study was to research the adaptiveness of personality traits in relation to work demands, the personal values, and the perceptions of growth amongst members of the Sirius Patrol Group at their first year and their second year in the expedition. Results showed that members of the patrol group hold unique characteristics and adaptive personality traits. Future research is needed in order to identify the optimal combination of values and personality traits of military groups.
The PTG Lab welcomes Velinka, our newest lab member.Velinka is currently a sophomore at Oakland University majoring in psychology. She became interested in joining the lab because she finds the construct of posttraumatic growth encouraging and full of potential. During her time in the lab, she hopes to study a number of different aspects of PTG, namely how PTG relates to demographics and rumination as well as vicarious PTG. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. She plans to use what she learns in the PTG Lab for a future career that may include promoting posttraumatic growth therapeutically. Velinka can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.