Lab members Lauren, Jenna, Velinka, Kyle, and Shelby attended the 25th annual session of the Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Research Conference in the Oakland Center at Oakland University on May 12th. This conference gives undergraduate students of all disciplines and majors from Oakland University, the University of Michigan – Dearborn, and the University of Michigan – Flint, the opportunity to share their scholarly and creative works through presentations.
Lauren and Jenna presented their project titled, Does Childhood Trauma Inhibit the Ability to Perceive Growth in Adulthood? The results of this project found no significant differences between adults who experience trauma in childhood and adulthood, and adults who experience trauma only in adulthood. This suggests that, while experiencing childhood trauma may not inhibit growth, it may provide more time to undergo important processes associated with posttraumatic growth.
Shelby and Kyle presented their project titled, Which source of social support is more predictive of growth over time? The results of this project suggest that receiving social support from a special person significantly predicts posttraumatic growth in the relating to other domain in adolescents. This highlights that clinicians should understand the importance of support from a special person for adolescents.
Jenna and Velinka presented their project titled, One Construct, Two Measures: Exploring the Relationship Between the CD-RISC and the BRS. The results of this project suggest a large overlap between two measures of resilience, developed from the same definition of resilience. For more details on these projects, be sure to keep an eye out for the PTG Lab members’ work in the 2017 Meeting of Minds Journal!
Lab members Shelby, Jenna, Lauren, Geena, and Kyle attended the 89th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association from April 20-22 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. The purpose of this program is to share research across all areas of psychology, featuring lectures, poster presentations, discussion groups, and social events where psychologists and students can discuss their research and interests.
The program consisted of almost a thousand research presentations, as well as workshops and programs offered by Psi Chi, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the Society for Community Research and Action. Lauren presented her poster titled, Are Narcissism and Posttraumatic Growth Correlated in College Students? which she worked on with Matt, Shelby, and Dr. Taku.
Geena and Kyle presented their poster titled, Is Religious Value Associated with Resilience in a Sample of Christian Adolescence? which they worked on with Whitney and Dr. Taku. Religion was a popular topic at the conference and many people came to talk to them about their work!
Shelby and Jenna also presented their poster titled, Social Support and Resilience: Predictors of Self Esteem in Adolescents, which they worked on with Geena, and Dr. Taku. The conference was quite successful with over 2,700 people in attendance.
The PTG Lab looks forward to attending the 90th meeting next year!
Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology. In order to become a member, students must have at least a 3.4 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in psychology. This lifetime membership gives students free access to publications, opportunities for awards and grants, as well as leadership experience, mentoring involvement, community service, and much more.
Lab members Lauren, Geena, Velinka, and Jenna were inducted into Psi Chi on April 6th. This ceremony consisted of a brief lecture on the history of Psi Chi, an overview of the accomplishments for the year as well as an overview of forward reaching goals. Lauren served as the treasurer for the Oakland University Psi Chi chapter for the 2016-2017 academic year and Geena served as the secretary. This coming fall, Lauren will continue to serve as the treasurer and Jenna will take on the role of secretary.
Congratulations Lauren, Geena, Velinka, and Jenna! We look forward to seeing what the future has in store of the Oakland University Psi Chi chapter.
Lab member, Reema, recently presented an article titled “Experiencing Positive Change After a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: A Grounded Theory Analysis” by Olga Horgan, Chris Holcombe, and Peter Salmon. Presenting an article gives lab members the opportunity to improve their research skills while simultaneously exploring their own interests. The purpose of this study was to document and explain positive psychological changes following a diagnosis of breast cancer using a grounded theory approach. The results demonstrated that the participants experienced positive changes as a result of their cancer. Analysis of the participants’ reflections suggested that changed priorities in life and increased empathy for others occurred when reflections focused on the suffering endured through this illness. Additionally, increased self-confidence was found when patients reflected on the management of their illness. These findings are consistent with other trauma-processing theories, while also contributing ideas of reflection in the suffering and management of trauma. Future directions include the design of clinical interventions to assist adjustment to breast cancer diagnosis.
Lab member, Lauren, recently presented her research proposal for her honors independent study project entitled “Survey about Images of Psychosomatic Disorder or Posttraumatic Growth”. The purpose of this study is to examine perceptions of depression and posttraumatic growth, and how these perceptions are influenced by participant personality characteristics. An additional motive of the study is to clarify American perceptions of depressive disorders. An exploratory component of this study aims to understand how participants perceive different types of reported growth after trauma. Many demographics variables are assessed based on other individual interests within the lab, allowing the data to be shared by everyone. The lab recently began collecting data for this new study and will continue to do so throughout the year. We are all eager to see the results!
First semester lab members present an article to enhance their research skills as well as to share their interests with the lab. Recently, Velinka presented an empirical article, “Growing from experience: An exploratory study of posttraumatic growth in adolescent refugees” by Marieke Sleijpen, Joris Haagen, Trudy Mooren, and Rolf J. Kleber. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived posttraumatic growth (PTG) and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), perceived social support, posttramatic stress disorder (PTSD), dispositional optimism, and satisfaction with life in adolescent refugees and asylum seekers. The results showed that dispositional optimism and social support positively predicted PTG, and PTG is positively related with satisfaction with life. There was no relationship between PTG and PTSD, suggesting that they are independent constructs. Future research is needed to determine causality between PTG and other mental health outcome sin adolescent refugees.
Graduate lab member, Whitney recently presented her research regarding the impact of pets and animal assisted therapy on posttraumatic growth. The purpose of her research was to determine if owning pets, animal assisted therapy, social support, and stress impact posttraumatic growth. Her results showed that the amount of time spent with pets predicts posttraumatic growth in high school students. She also found that most of the participants who went through animal assisted therapy demonstrated increases in posttraumatic growth and perceived social support. Whitney will be presenting her research at the Lunch Bunch event which will take place on March 2nd in the Oakland Room of the Oakland Center from 12:00 to 12:50 pm.