Author Archives: bmadams234

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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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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Shannon’s Article Presentation

Summer undergraduate lab member, Shannon, recently gave her article presentation, reflecting her research interests in Posttraumatic Growth (PTG), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and social support. Shannon chose the article Emotional Regulation’s Effects on Social Support, PTSD, and PTG by Xiao Zhou, Xinchu Wu, and Rui Zhen. This study aimed to explore the relationship between social support and emotional regulation in regard to PTG and PTSD in adolescent survivors following the Ya’an earthquake in China. They hypothesized that emotional regulation would mediate the relationship between social support and PTG and the relationship between social support and PTSD. Results showed that social support was positively correlated with PTG and was a positive predictor of PTG. Results also showed that social support was a negative predictor of PTSD. The researchers concluded that the information found in the results shows how emotional regulation and social support influence adolescents in their potential development of PTG or PTSD. Shannon plans to continue researching social support, PTSD, and PTG as she finishes her senior year at Kalamazoo College and then to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Great job on your article presentation, Shannon, and good luck with future research!

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Nicos’ Article Presentation


Recently, third semester undergraduate member, Nicholas, presented his article presentation and MOM preparation on Physicians’ Experiences with Patient Death by Jared Strote, Erika Schroeder, John Lemos, Ryan Paganelli, Jonathan Solberg, and Range Huston. This study aimed to identify the effects of patient death on emergency physicians (emergency medicine) and the coping mechanisms they us to deal with these events. The researches collected data from participants from four regions- mountain, south, southwest, and northwest-via surveys o measures of physical, emotional, and life encountering death, training experiences, emotional responses and coping strategies of the physicians. Data as looked at through chi-square analysis to evaluate the relationship between responses and the independent variables. Results showed significant results among gender differences, yeas since residency when compared to physical symptoms after patient death. Results also showed significance with years since residency and frequency of witnessing death among sever actions or changes among the physicians. Lastly, they found that participants reported rarely receive debriefing after the deaths, and emergency physicians coping mechanisms in response to patient deaths consisted mostly of talking with colleagues and friends/family. Great wok Nicholas!

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Megan’s Master’s Thesis Proposal Presentation

First year master’s student, Megan, recently presented an overview of her thesis proposal titled  Attitudes, Perceptions About Child Abuse and Neglect: Changes Between Generations. Megan is interested in the perceptions of potentially harmful parenting techniques. She would like to analyze the differences in perceptions on child punishment across four generations—Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial—and if the gender and age of the child has an impact on those perceptions. Megan predicts that people will be more accepting of various forms of punishment if the child is older. She also predicts that punishments will be more acceptable within male children. Finally, Megan believes people will find punishment more accepting if they have experienced various forms of punishment themselves or if they are from the older generations. Megan hopes to gather data that can help clarify acceptable and unacceptable forms of punishment for children in society. This will help the general population better understand when certain forms of punishment are acceptable. We are excited to see what Megan finds and wish her the best of luck!

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Brooklin’s Article Presentation

Second semester undergraduate member, Brooklin, recently gave her second article presentation. She guided the lab through Knowledge of diabetes among personnel in home-based care: how does it relate to medical mishaps? by Synnove Odegard and D.K.G. Andersson, published in 2001. This study aimed to assess the influence of deficiencies in knowledge about diabetes, diabetes care, and patient safety. The researchers administered a questionnaire to nurse’s aides and assistant nurses in both institutional care settings and home-based care settings. Results showed that majority of the participants, who hold responsibilities for giving insulin injections, expressed not having enough knowledge about diabetes. They also found that nurse’s aides were more likely to make errors in the field when treating their diabetic patients, due to a lack of adequate knowledge on the disease and its treatment methods, and the lack of colleague interaction in home based settings. The researchers hope their findings will help increase the requirements of nurse’s aides and assistants who work closely with elderly diabetic patients and help to create programs for those working in the field. Doing so would help decrease potentially serious mishaps in health care systems and increase overall patient care. Brooklin plans to continue working with the topic of medical mishaps throughout the rest of the semester in the lab. Great job on your article presentation, Brooklin, and good luck with future research!

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Qandeel’s Master’s Thesis Proposal Presentation

Recently, first year master’s student Qandeel presented an overview of her master’s thesis proposal, College Cohort of Gender & Sex Roles in Coping Due to Life Adversity: PTG Belief and Optimism. Qandeel is interested in exploring the concepts of sex and gender in relation to optimism, coping mechanisms after trauma, and posttraumatic growth (PTG). She plans to gather data from female college students because of the challenges they often face like sexual harassment, sexism, and major gender differences that can affect their professional and personal lives. Qandeel suggests that many females may identify themselves as different genders or sexual orientations that have not been studied as much as men. With growing attention on feminism, she thinks it is important to look at how this sample perceives various adversity issues involving feminism. She is also interested in how culture may play a role as well. Therefore, she plans to collect data from females in America and Pakistan. She suggests that doing so will help further cultural research of PTG and coping mechanisms to elucidate cultural differences. She hopes her research will draw attention to effects of adversities some females face, involving varying levels of femininity and gender identity. We are excited to hear about her findings. Good luck, Qandeel!

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Alvin’s Master’s Thesis Defense Presentation

Congrats to second-year masters student, Alvin, on his successful defense!

Study one examined the impact of achievement and resiliency on the relationship between failure experiences and positive and negative outcomes. Study two examines the predictability of resilience, amount of failure and achievement experiences, and racial discrimination on various psychological outcomes, such as fear of failure, wisdom, and depression. Overall, the two studies also look at the subjective impact of both failure and achievement experiences on the various psychological outcomes. Alvin found that the impact of any of the experiences examined might influence depression more than the experience itself.  He also found that racial discrimination might be influenced by cultural biases. Lastly, data suggests that the influence of discrimination on cultural biases may elicit a degree of illusory growth instead of authentic posttraumatic growth. He found that resiliency decreased the relationship between failure experiences and psychological outcomes like wisdom were consistent between both studies. Alvin suggests that these findings can encourage those who have experienced many failures by informing them of the positive outcomes that can result from those experiences. He also believes these findings can create a path for therapeutic interventions targeted around resilience, motivation, and racial discrimination. Moving forward, he would like to incorporate how various personality traits (e.g. avoidant and social anxiety) can influence the relationship between life experiences (e.g. failure and achievement) involving the use of technology. Great job Alvin!

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Dr. Kanako Taku’s Videos

To start off the new year, Dr. Taku has started a YouTube page! In her first video post, she defines posttraumatic growth (PTG).

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Moving forward, she plans to elaborate on various topics related to PTG and our research. Some of these topics include: what we have found so far by using the PTGI-X, how PTG may be different from resiliency, how we define PTG and illusory growth in our research, how PTG is related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and much more!

You can access her first video by clicking the picture below or under our new tab titled Video in the Menu bar at the top right corner. You can also stay up-to-date with her videos by subscribing to her YouTube page, under “Kanako Taku”. We hope you enjoy it!

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Alex’s Manuscript Presentation

Second year undergraduate lab member, Alex, recently presented an outline for a manuscript that he, Velinka, and Dr. Taku are writing. This is Alex’s second manuscript. He is principal investigator of an ongoing study titled, Survey About Images of Psychosomatic Disorder or Posttraumatic Growth.He began the presentation by providing  an overview of a previous manuscript that was focused on individual differences in attitudes and perceptions towards posttraumatic growth (PTG) and illusory growth.  Findings from that part of the study showed that, overall, participants can distinguish between the two different growth types: PTG and illusory growth. They also tend to relate more to narratives reflecting PTG rather than illusory growth. The second manuscript addresses how relatability to a trauma narrative may affect PTG. Specifically, it addressed whether being able to relate to the type of trauma would elucidate a stronger relationship between relatability and self-reported PTG. Alex suggests that the results will provide great insight for social support groups and intervention where the focus is on sharing stories and traumatic events with groups to foster personal growth. Moving forward, Alex plans to further decipher which aspects of the stories are most relatable and potentially try to replicate the study using different trauma narratives. Future studies will then clarify whether relatability to different traumatic events brings about different self-reports of PTG. Great job, Alex, and good luck with future research!

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