Monthly Archives: January 2022

The FF-PTG Lab Welcomes a New Member

The FF-PTG Lab welcomed a new student this Winter 2022 semester!

Danielle McDonald is currently a senior at Oakland University majoring in psychology. She decided to join the lab to gain more research experience, as well as to gain a better understanding of trauma and posttraumatic growth as a whole. Danielle’s personal research interest revolves around childhood trauma, specifically in children with autism. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to pursue a clinical psychology program that specializes in applied behavior analysis research.

Welcome, Danielle! We are looking forward to working with you.

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Taylor Elam: PTG Handbook Chapter Development

Senior researcher, Taylor Elam, obtained the opportunity to write a chapter in a Posttraumatic Growth Handbook with Dr. Kanako Taku. Within her presentation, “Posttraumatic Growth & Resiliency: More Alike or Different?”, she walked the members of the FF-PTG Lab through her progress so far on the material.

Taylor discussed the importance of understanding the overlap and differences of PTG and resiliency to appropriately approach, teach, and implement the concepts in different settings (i.e., clinic).

Taylor also discussed emotions, emotional empathy, Emotion Recognition Ability (ERA), clinical depression (traditional type depression and modern type depression) with expression and perception, and racial and cultural differences. She stated the impact race and culture have on the constructs of PTG, resilience, and ERA should be taken into consideration with individuals’ experiences. These could have a dramatic influence on multiple aspects. Therefore, if race and culture are not taken into consideration, research will be less generalizable and PTG/Resilience programs may be less effective. She proposes using data previously collected in the lab to further explore this idea. Clinical implications include creating programs and therapy practices that educate and promote resilience along with developing interpersonal skills potentially lost or underdeveloped. New programs and practices could also educate individuals on PTG and the new findings on how growth occurs intrapersonally, interpersonally, and, possibly, cognitively through ERA.

We look forward to seeing the end result. Keep up the great work, Taylor!

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Kolton Smith: Master’s Thesis Progress Update

Master’s student, Kolton Smith, presented a progress update on his Master’s thesis, “Victim-Perpetrator Overlap and Posttraumatic Growth”. The Victim-Perpetrator Overlap is when someone who was a victim becomes a perpetrator and vis versa. The study’s purpose is to explore the phenomenon of Victim-Perpetrator Overlap (VPO), Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in relation to VPO, and if perpetrators report PTG concurrently with offending.

Kolton hypothesized that (1) people who experience PTG as a victim will be less likely to become a perpetrator, (2) people who are asked to reflect on their victim experiences first will be less likely to report instances of being a perpetrator than those who are asked to reflect on their perpetration experiences first, and (3) PTG as a victim will be greater than that of PTG as a perpetrator regardless of condition.

The design separated the participants randomly into two groups on which questions will appear first: victim questions or perpetrator questions. The independent variables are the question order condition and victim/perpetrator experiences. The dependent variables are the reported amounts of PTG (victim and perpetrator) and offenses.

Near the end of the Fall 2021 semester, the preliminary data analysis was performed using the valid 209 OU data sets with 106 participants with Perpetrator questions first and 103 participants with Victim questions first. So far, it has been found that PTGI-perpetrator is positively correlated with PTGI-victim, PTGI-perpetrator only slightly correlated with total perpetrator experiences, PTGI-victim significantly correlated with total victim experiences, and PTGI-victim very slightly correlated with total perpetrator experiences.

At this point, data collection is continuing with a community sample and preliminary data analysis is progressing. You are making great progress, Kolton! Keep up the great work.

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