Author Archives: Kanako Taku
Our lab member, Dr. Whitney Dominick, comments on posttraumatic growth in the context of COVID-19! Click here for the full interview.
A second-year Master’s student, Kara Pado, successfully defended her master’s thesis titled “Perceptions of Tipping Points of Alcohol Abuse Tendencies in Undergraduate Students“.
Kara studied the importance of tipping points, specifically in how our perceptions of tipping points relate to the perceptions of alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use in undergraduate students has become increasingly prevalent, reaching levels greater than those of the general population. Kara hypothesized that (1) individuals would indicate a later tipping point when evaluating the problematic behavior in the self-condition than they will when evaluating a peer, (2) students who reported a higher level of alcohol consumption would indicate a much larger threshold for a tipping point of alcohol abuse disorder in both themselves and a peer, and (3) participants who reported that their parents that were more accepting of alcohol will identify larger tipping points in potential alcohol abuse tendencies.
Kara then collected data from college students and analyzed 354 responses. She found that while students, on average, reported earlier tipping points indicative of problematic drinking behaviors for themselves, rather than their peers, many factors including current quantity of alcohol consumption, current frequency of alcohol consumption, and parental alcohol use all played a role in determining what quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption would constitute problematic behaviors in both themselves and their peers! Very interesting!
It would be beneficial to collect more data on current alcohol consumption, the perceptions of alcohol consumption behaviors, and the individual influences that play a role in making decisions regarding alcohol consumption among undergraduate students. This additional data would allow undergraduate institutions to effectively develop preventative measures and recovery plans for students impacted by dangerous alcohol consumption behaviors.
Excellent job! Congratulations, Kara!! We look forward to your future research in this field!
A second-year Master’s student, Colin O’Brien, successfully defended his master’s thesis titled, Types of Change in Anxiety Regarding Mass Shootings in Response to New Information.
He investigated how different types of information about mass shootings can affect an individual’s state anxiety, while also defining and examining the type of change taking place. CJ also examined the association between trait anxiety and changes in state anxiety. A total of 364 participants recruited from a midwestern university were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, in which they read either emotional information (news media), unemotional information (statistics), or a filler article. Before and after reading these articles, CJ asked participants to respond to questions from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. CJ then analyzed his data by using R and SPSS. He found that participants experienced alpha changes in anxiety after reading either article related to mass shootings, but not after reading the filler article. Also, CJ found that individuals higher in trait anxiety were more likely to experience negative alpha changes after reading the filler article and were more likely to experience beta changes across all three conditions. These results demonstrate that information about mass shootings is likely to elevate anxiety levels regardless of its emotionality, which may be relevant for professionals attempting to educate about mass shootings. CJ’s thesis also illustrates the connection between trait anxiety and changes in state anxiety, and that constructs other than the construct being changed may need to be considered when testing for alpha and beta changes.
Thinking about the way to study karma in the FF-PTG lab.
The current application review cycle has begun and we look forward to meeting you!
We are excited to start the new semester in a month and look forward to initiating new lines of FF-PTG LAB research projects. Here is some ideas.
- Social, political, and psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic, including the distinctions between PTG, resilience, and well-being
- Impact on values and trust in government and statistics that relate to personality, anxiety, coping, and PTG
- Racial disparities, inequality, the mass protests in the U.S.,and justice related to action-focused growth
- PTG as defense mechanism against anxiety under COVID-19
- Tipping point for post-traumatic/daily cognitive, emotional, personality, relational, and physical changes
- Bright, dark, and ugly side of resilience and PTG
- Impact of being hurt and harming others within the same person
- Issues surrounding PTG, authentic growth, and illusory growth
- PTG as a means of revenge, and DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender roles)
- Sustainability of PTG and PTG as a temporal coping/mood
- Values of leisure, outdoor activities, sports and athletes under COVID-19 relate to mental and physical health
- Impact of cyber harassment, rejection, and bullying on well-being
If you would be interested in any of these topics, please let us know so we can collaborate and delve into some big unanswered questions together!
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.
Members and friends of the PTG Lab participated (and ended up soaking wet!) in another Fitness Fundraising Event hosted by the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation on Saturday, September 7th. We enjoyed boxing and supporting our favorite foundation!
The goal of the Foundation is to support Shelby’s passion of research on PTG and resiliency. The Foundation also honors Shelby’s memory by supporting Psychology Students’ research activities by awarding travel grant for professional conferences.
More information can be found at https://shelbystrong.life/news-events/