Monthly Archives: November 2015

The PTG Lab Welcomes Lauren

IMG_5572Lauren Harrison is the newest member to the PTG team for the Winter 2015 semester. She is currently a Junior at Oakland University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications. Lauren joined the PTG lab because she found that PTG offers an alluring alternative perspective on the effects of trauma. Her main interest in PTG is how a traumatic event could produce positive change in individuals with personality disorders, particularly narcissism. After undergraduate school, Lauren would like to further pursue her studies in psychology by attending graduate school, specializing in Mental Health Counseling. Lauren can be reached at:

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Whitney’s Thesis Presentation

IMG_1707Our first graduate student, Whitney, presented her
research proposal for her Thesis Project. Whitney’s thesis is entitled Animal Assisted Therapy, Perceived Social Support, and Posttraumatic Growth In Traumatized Youth.

Whitney’s main purpose of her research is:

  • To demonstrate that working with animals (animal assisted therapy, AAT) increases posttraumatic growth (PTG)
  • To provide additional support that AAT decreases posttraumatic stress symptoms
  • To illustrate how perceived social support is impacted by AAT, and whether that effect is moderated by pet affinity
  • To help demonstrate the effect of perceived social support on PTG

The lab is very excited about Whitney’s research and is eager for her to begin!

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Psi Chi Presentation



This past week the PTG lab gave a presentation about the exciting research that is taking place in the lab! All of our members attended the presentation including Dr. Kanako Taku, Whitney, Leah, Aundreah, Jessica and Shelby. The lab members briefly introduced themselves and the current research they are interested in. The presentation consisted of a brief over view of what PTG is about, some interesting findings from our last study, and an introduction of the research that is currently taking place! We are looking at whether adolescents can experience growth from victimizing others. The lab almost finished data collection from a local high school, and we are now ready to finish data coding and run some analysis! Some of our interesting findings will be presented at the upcoming conferences.

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Shelby’s Journal Club Presentation

Research member Shelby gave her first Presentation! First and second semester research assistants present an article of their choose to the other lab members. Shelby chose a study on Social Support and PTSD symptomatology in Combat Veterans. This study looked at four different tIMG_6370ypes of social support: family, friends, military peers, and significant others. The study found that the social support from, family, military peers, and significant others were significant to lower levels of PTSD in combat veterans.

Shelby is currently conducting a study of how social support predicts PTG in adolescents, and how different types of social support affects PTG. She submitted her first research abstract to the upcoming Midwestern Psychological Association.

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