Second semester undergraduate lab member, Kat, gave a presentation titled Examining Curvilinear Relationships within PTG. Her presentation addressed the literature that has found quadratic relationships between trauma and PTG. This relationship suggests that moderate amounts of trauma may support greater PTG, while events perceived as less traumatic may not shake one’s core beliefs enough to facilitate PTG, and very severe traumatic events may be too debilitating to experience growth. In contrast, other studies have found only a linear relationship between trauma and PTG, so no consensus has been made when defining the relationship. For her presentation, Kat aimed to test for these relationships using data from one of our lab’s previous studies. Uniquely, the data is from a sample of high school students, and measures for PTG based on multiple events, both of which are less prevalent in the literature. Kat analyzed the data to examine if there is a curvilinear relationship between PTG and different measures of trauma severity, such as the stressfulness or number of traumatic events reported. The results were mixed, which indicates finding curvilinear relationships may be due to statistics or a combination of many different variables, and therefore needs to be further studied. Kat plans to continue working with this dateset and investigating the relationship between trauma and PTG. Nice job on your presentation, Kat!
Monthly Archives: May 2020
First semester undergraduate lab member, Emilee, recently gave her first article presentation titled Is Resilience only skin deep? Rural African Americans’ socioeconomic status – Related Risk and Competence in Preadolescence and Psychological Adjustment and allostatic load at age 19 that was published by Gene H. Brody et al. in 2013. The researchers of this study wanted to analyze the interaction between resilience and negative physical outcomes in a population of disadvantaged African-American preadolescents. They predicted that the preadolescents who exhibited high psychosocial competence despite their lower socioeconomic status would at the same time show signs of stable mental health and increased physical health problems, specifically higher levels of allostatic load (a measure of a person’s stress response). The results showed that higher resilience, or psychosocial competence, in the preadolescents correlated with higher levels of allostatic load and physical health issues at age 19, but these results were found only for the disadvantaged preadolescents. This suggests that resilience is multidimensional, positively affecting mental health while simultaneously negatively affecting aspects of physical health. These results help to facilitate the discussion of the complexity of psychological constructs and the possible “dark side” to ones which are consistently viewed in a positive light. The researchers believe that future directions should seek to explore mediating factors and functions behind the biological and physiological effects of active coping skills. Emilee would like to use this article to build upon her own interests in examining the unexplored sides to common psychological constructs. Great job on your presentation, Emilee!
Members of the lab attended the Graduate Student Research Colloquium on campus in March and presented their posters. We also had the opportunity to listen to presentations and view other OU graduate students’ posters from a variety of subjects, ranging from evolutionary psychology to engineering and biological sciences!
Olivia and CJ presented their poster: The Association Between a Caregiver’s Education and Their Child’s Levels of Openness and Personal Growth. They hypothesized that parents with higher levels of education would have children with higher levels of openness and more personal growth. Their results found that children whose parents had a master’s degree or higher reported both greater levels of personal growth and openness than those with parents who had a bachelor’s degree or less. The higher level of openness in children with highly educated primary caregivers could be due to the fact that the caregivers are often from a higher social class, which may allow parents to provide children with more opportunities for new experiences, therefore increasing their openness, and indirectly encouraging personal growth.
Kara Presented her poster Perfectionism in medical professionals increasing deliberate rumination and PTG. She investigated how perfectionism may increase rumination following a medical mishap, leading to PTG. Perfectionist behaviors have been found to increase rumination, which is known to be positively related to PTG. Her results found that perfectionism, overall, positively correlated with the frequency of thinking about the mishap. In turn, the frequency of thinking about the mishap also positively correlated with PTG. Rumination forces individuals to work through the event that causes psychological struggle, while perfectionism increases the desire to understand why things went awry. Future research may help training medical professionals to ruminate on their mistakes to facilitate growth.
Olivia and Kat presented their poster A Sense of Personal Growth and Creative Behaviors among Children, in which the number of creative behaviors children have engaged in outside of school was positively related to their sense of personal growth. Interestingly, the relationship was consistent when controlling for other variables and demographics, except for gender. They found that the relationship between creativity and personal growth was much stronger in girls than in boys, which reflects gender differences in perceiving or reporting growth.
Dr. Taku had a good time serving as a poster judge with Drs. Jennifer Vonk and Lisa Welling!
Everyone worked hard and did a great job presenting their posters!
We are excited to announce the new name of our research lab, Free Form Posttraumatic Growth (FF-PTG) Lab! Our research aligns with the Social-Personality concentration in the Psychology Department at Oakland University.
Our research concentrates on people’s mind, personality, perceptions, cognition, emotions, attitudes, feelings, behaviors, values, and beliefs (so pretty much everything) while living, which may or may not correspond to the path of posttraumatic growth – positive psychological changes that may occur as a result of the struggle with major life crises or traumatic events.
We are hoping to contribute to the fields of clinical, trauma, developmental, personality, social, and cross-cultural psychology.