Monthly Archives: October 2019

Taylor’s Article + Hypotheses Presentation

Recently, second semester undergraduate lab member, Taylor, gave her article and hypotheses presentation titled Trauma and Negative Underlying Assumptions in Feelings of Shame: An Exploratory Study that was published by Melissa Platt and Jennifer Freyd in 2012. The researchers of this study wanted to examine the association between trauma history and negative cognitive styles such as exhibiting negative underlying assumptions (NUAs). They also wanted to examine the effects of trauma history and NUAs on shame in response to negative feedback. In addition, the researchers wanted to provide further evidence for a recently created shame posture measure (SPM). The results showed that individuals with a trauma history and high NUAs were most likely to experience an increase in shame after receiving negative feedback which suggests that individuals who are high in NUAs and have a trauma history may be more prone to feeling flawed after receiving minor criticism. The results also provided further validation for that the SPM. Based on this study, Taylor expressed that it would be interesting to examine the relationship between moral injury (MI) and NUAs under the assumption that individuals who express high levels of moral injury will also exhibit high levels of NUAs and vice versa. She also thinks it would be interesting to examine the relationships between personality characteristics such as optimism and resiliency in connection to NUAs, under the assumption that optimism and resiliency will be negatively correlated with NUAs. Good job on your presentation, Taylor!

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Melissa’s Master’s Thesis Proposal

First year PhD student, Melissa, recently presented her master’s thesis proposal titled The Relationship Between Perceptions of Moral Injury and Posttraumatic Growth in Veterans. Melissa is interested in examining the relationship between moral injury (MI), posttraumatic growth (PTG), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans. Research has found that traumatic events causing PTSD are also likely to cause MI, meaning they often occur together. Research has also found that PTG and PTSD share a curvilinear relationship. Due to this, she predicts that perceptions of MI are correlated to PTG and likely follow a curvilinear relationship as well. She also predicts that different subtypes of MI will have different impacts on PTG levels. Melissa plans to critically examine the nature of the relationship between MI and PTG in order to push for the development of effective intervention programs for military and veteran populations. She believes that if the findings of MI and PTG are significant, research can begin to propose moral healing and moral repair intervention programs for veterans, and potentially, the general public. We are excited to see what Melissa finds and wish her the best of luck!  

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Kat’s Article Presentation

Recently, first semester undergraduate member, Kat, presented her first article presentation to the lab. The article is titled The Impact of Protective Factors on Posttraumatic Growth for College Student Survivors of Childhood Maltreatment. Authors Danielle Mohr and Lee Rosen aimed to identify if there are any protective factors associated with resiliency that are mediated by childhood trauma and posttraumatic growth (PTG), as well as, if there was a relationship between maltreatment and PTG. Data was collected from University students across the Western United States with a survey compiled of the authors own measure for maltreatment history, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), the Social and Emotional Resources Inventory (SERI), the Brief COPE inventory, and the Life Orientation Test Revised  (LOT-R) and found that out of the 501 participants, 260 reported childhood maltreatment (51.8%) with 91% reporting some level of PTG (based on scores of 1 or higher on the PTGI inventory. They found the presence of prosocial adults moderated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and PTG (prosocial adults accounted for 7.3% of the variance in PTG, R=0.073, p < 0.01). They also found that the number of social emotional resources (based on SERI scores) moderated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and PTG (predictors of this model accounted for 7.9% of the variance in PTG, R= 0.079, p < 0.01). Overall, it was found that childhood maltreatment significantly predicted PTG alongside acceptance, emotional support, and positive reframing, meaning with this sample the more social and emotional support and resources reported the greater the levels of reported PTG. Great work Kat! 

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Colin’s Master’s Thesis Proposal

First year master’s student, Colin, recently presented his master’s thesis proposal titled Non-linear Change in Perceived Risk of Mass Shootings in Response to New Information. Colin is interested in examining the types of changes individuals may undergo when impacted by traumatic events such as mass shootings, in order to better understand how the public feels when these events occur and how anxieties may be affected by them. The types of changes he plans to analyze are known as: linear (alpha) change, non-linear recalibration (beta) change, non-linear reprioritization (beta) change, and non-linear reconceptualization (gamma) change. Colin predicts that when participants are shown statistics, regarding the probability of being involved in a mass shooting, they will adjust their perceived risk ratings but not actually have a change in anxiety. He also predicts that when participants are exposed to news articles about a mass shooting, their anxieties will truly increase. Colin believes that if the findings of alpha/beta/gamma changes are shown to be significant for measuring perceived risks of traumatic events such as mass shootings, it can be applied to psychotherapy related constructs. We are excited to see what Colin finds and wish him the best of luck!

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