The Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) Lab, led by Dr. Kanako Taku, is currently looking for two to three MS or PhD students for the Fall 2014 semester. Our research has centered on the construct of posttraumatic growth – positive psychological changes that may occur as a result of the struggle with major life crises or traumatic events. This research contributes to the fields of clinical, trauma, developmental, personality, social, and cross-cultural psychology.
One of our primary research interests is developing a psycho-educational intervention program that aims to enhance cognitive abilities triggered by posttraumatic growth. Additionally, we are interested in challenging the definitions and conceptualization of posttraumatic growth from cross-cultural, social, and personality perspectives. We are also investigating different growth processes dependent on the nature of triggered experiences such as: experiencing trauma (e.g., earthquake); causing or enabling trauma (e.g., bullying); having non-traumatic but influential life experiences (e.g., having a baby or undertaking spiritual pilgrimages); and working with traumatized people (e.g., vicarious posttraumatic growth).
Possible dissertation or thesis topics while working in this lab could include:
- Developing intervention programs that will help individuals foster or recognize their perceptions of posttraumatic growth.
- Growth resulting from impactful life events (e.g. pregnancy, marriage), not necessarily traumatic life events (e.g. death, accident).
- Posttraumatic growth in an elderly population.
- Expanding cross-cultural research. Past and current research has focused on the comparisons between the United States and Japan. Future research will expand to other cultures (e.g. Hispanic population).
If you are interested in this type of research, please contact Dr. Taku directly for instructions on applying for the lab. Also, please refer to the “Students’ research” tab. Click on “Seeking Graduate Students” for more information about graduate programs here at Oakland University.