Monthly Archives: September 2017

Lauren’s Honors Independent Study

Lauren's PesentationLauren recently presented preliminary findings from her honors independent  project entitled, “Survey about Images of Psychosomatic Disorder or Posttraumatic Growth.” This research was primarily inspired by the work of Sakamoto, Yamakawa, and Muranaka (2016) and was designed to examine the differences in perceptions of authentic and illusory posttraumatic growth, as well as the influences of narcissistic personality characteristics on these perceptions. The PTG lab has been collecting data for this research study with undergraduate students since February and is getting very close to completing this phase of the study. Thus far, the preliminary results have revealed that perceptions of authentic growth are more positive than perceptions of illusory growth. Additionally, some narcissistic personality characteristics may aid in the identification of authentic growth. Lauren hopes to present the findings of this research at the Midwestern Psychological Association and American Psychological Association conferences next year. The PTG lab looks forward to seeing the final results of this study!

The PTG lab would also like to announce that Dr. Taku has been asked to serve as a guest editor for the journal Behavioral Sciences. For more information please click here and consider submitting a paper! Congratulations Dr. Taku!

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Whitney’s Teen Mom Program Presentation in Honor of Shelby Seyburn

Whitney PresentationLab member, Whitney recently presented information about the Teen Mom Program to be conducted at Pontiac High School. This project began as Shelby Seyburn’s independent research project in the lab and has been continued in her honor and memory by Whitney, Dr. Taku, Velinka, Aundreah, and Leah. The purpose of this psychoeducational program is primarily to teach pregnant teenagers, and teenage mothers about posttraumatic growth and the importance of social support when dealing with stress. This program also aims to provide these mothers with resources, and help them to form connections with each other. The program consists of three sessions over the course of four weeks. The lab also plans to use information gathered at these sessions in order to assess the effectiveness of the program. The future goals for this program include continued revision of the program based on feedback from participants as well as current research, and to incorporate nutrition education by partnering with the department of health and human services. We look forward to seeing all of the positive outcomes of Shelby’s program.

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PTG Lab Welcomes New Members

Jess BioThe PTG Lab would like to welcome new graduate lab member, Jess. Jess is a first year masters student with a bachelor’s degree in communications, advertising, and public relations from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is interested in the relationship between trauma and personality and looking at the positive aspects of classically deemed negative personality traits. She became interested in looking at the potential positive outcomes of classically deemed negative trauma through growth, which got her interested in PTG and inspired her to want to work in the PTG lab. She hopes to be able to redefine negative personality traits in an adaptive sense by showing the positive uses and features of them, especially in the aftermath of trauma or high stress situations, and work toward de-pathologizing personality disorders in light of trauma. She plans to continue her education to obtain a PhD in clinical pathology to be able to implement her research findings in clinical settings. Jess can be reached at

Alvin BioThe PTG lab would also like to welcome new graduate lab member Alvin. Alvin graduated with a bachelors degree in psychology from Oakland University this past April. He is interested in research involving achievement, stress, motivation, and resiliency. For his masters thesis he would like to study how motivation can impact stress levels to enhance or promote efforts of success. He would also like to examine if failure to achieve could lead to an increased sense of wisdom or positive perception of gained experience. The work that the PTG lab does got Alvin interested in joining and he is excited to begin contributing. Alvin hopes to use what he learns in the lab to work toward his long-term goal of becoming a clinical psychologist, and working with individuals with psychopathology. Alvin can be reached at

Kayla BioThe PTG lab welcomes Kayla, out newest undergraduate research assistant. Kayla is currently at junior at Oakland University and is majoring in psychology. She became interested in joining the lab because she finds the construct of posttraumatic growth interesting and relevant to many people. During her time in the lab, she hopes to study many different aspects of PTG. More specifically, she is interested in how children of abuse and neglect experience PTG. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus in forensics. Kayla can be reached at


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New Student Convocation in 2017 at OU

New Student Convocation

Lab members Velinka and Lauren presented at the New Student Convocation on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. A convocation is traditionally defined as a formal assembly of new members of a group. The New Student Convocation at Oakland University is a special event that kicks-off each new student’s academic career at OU and serves as an official welcome to the university. Part of this event involves grouping new students and transfer students based on their academic majors for a specific orientation based on their official program.

Dr. Lewis began this orientation by presenting information about the Department of Psychology, advising, as well as tips for what to expect as an undergraduate student. Velinka and Lauren then presented a PowerPoint presentation about the PTG lab, informing these new psychology students about what PTG is, what we do in the lab, why research and participation in research is important, as well as information regarding how to become a research assistant.

The event ended with an official introduction to Psi Chi, and then the students were sent off to the Involvement Fair. The PTG lab is looking forward to seeing all of these new faces and getting to know more of the department’s undergraduate students!

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