Author Archives: Kanako Taku

Jenna’s Article Presentation

Lab member, Jenna, presented an article to the lab entitled “Personality, personal values,
and growth in military special unit patrol teams operating in a polar environment” by Anders Kjaergaard, Gloria R. Leon, Noah C. Venables, and Birgit A. Fink. First semester lab members present an article in order to enhance their research skills and to present their interests to the lab. The purpose of this study was to research img_5798the adaptiveness of personality traits in relation to work demands, the personal values, and the perceptions of growth amongst members of the Sirius Patrol Group at their first year and their second year in the expedition. Results showed that members of the patrol group hold unique characteristics and adaptive personality traits. Future research is needed in order to identify the optimal combination of values and personality traits of military groups.

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PTG Lab Welcomes Velinka

img_5123The PTG Lab welcomes Velinka, our newest lab member.Velinka is currently a sophomore at Oakland University majoring in psychology. She became interested in joining the lab because she finds the construct of posttraumatic growth encouraging and full of potential. During her time in the lab, she hopes to study a number of different aspects of PTG, namely how PTG relates to demographics and rumination as well as vicarious PTG.  After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. She plans to use what she learns in the PTG Lab for a future career that may include promoting posttraumatic growth therapeutically. Velinka can be reached at:

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ISTSS 32nd Annual Meeting in Dallas (2016)

The second week of November, the PTG Lab visited Dallas, Texas to present their research at the 32nd Annual Meeting of ISTSS (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies). Whitney Dominck, Leah McDiarmid (Easter Michigan University), Maggie Britton (University of Houston) and Dr. Taku presented their posters and symposium.

In addition, lab members were able to learn new research findings and speak with other PTG researchers.


Dr. Samuel Ho (Hong Kong), Dr. Cengiz Kilic and his friends (Turkey), Leah, Maggie, Whitney,  Ana Orejuela, Dr. Jane Shakespeare-Finch (Australia), Dr. Taku, and Dr. Rich Tedeschi  (from left)

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Kyle’s Article Presentation

Lab member, Kyle, presented an empiimg_5643rical article,“Judeo-Christian clergy and personal crisis: Religion, posttraumatic growth and well being”. Presenting an article to the lab gives first semester lab members a chance to improve their research skills and present their research interests. The purpose of this study was to look at the relationships between religious coping, rumination, social constraint, PTG and well-being in a sample of clergy-persons. Results showed higher levels of PTG in clergy who use religious coping after going through a stressful event. Reporting higher levels of rumination shortly after an event were also positively correlated with higher levels of PTG. Kyle hopes to study the relationships between religion, resiliency, and PTG during his time in the lab.

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Meeting of Minds Journal 2016


Lauren, Geena, Shelby, and Aundreah’s study has been published in the Meeting of Minds Journal of Undergraduate Research!

Harrison, L., Osowski, G., Seyburn, S., & Walenski, A. (2016). Wrongdoers and instigators: Stress and posttraumatic growth in a sample of high school students. Meeting of Minds Journal of Undergraduate Research, 18.

PTG is discussed in the APA (American Psychological Association)’s magazine, Monitor on Psychology. Dr. Taku’s brief comments are also included.

Dr. Taku’s new research examining the effects of mortality salience and personality on PTG has been funded and introduced in OU Research Magazine.

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Matt’s Thesis Presentation

First semester graduate student, Matt, presented his master’s thesis research proposal entitled The Effects of Relational Mobility on the Reporting of Posttraumatic Growth in Japanese and American Samples. The purpose of thisimg_5555 study is (1) to examine whether sociocultural and socioecological differences impact an individual’s reporting of posttrumatic growth, (2) to examine whether individuals in a society low in relational mobility report less illusory PTG, and (3) to examine whether an Amrican sample will report greater relational mobility, self-enhancing tendencies, and illusory PTG than a Japanese sample. The PTG Lab is enthusiastic about Matt’s research and excited for him to begin.

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Shelby’s Research Proposal Presentation

img_5490Lab member, Shelby, presented her research proposal on resilience, social support, and self-esteem at our last lab meeting. The purpose of this study is to examine how social support relates to resilience in adolescents, to examine the predictive ability of social support and self-esteem to resilience, and to indicate if the relationship between resilience and social support is moderated by self-esteem. Shelby plans to present her findings and clinical implications at the 89th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago April 2017.

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PTG Lab Members Present at RA Workshop

Dr. Taku and lab member, Kyle, presented at this year’s Research Assistant Workshop
hosted by Psi Chi. The presentation began with a brief overview of what it is like being a research assistant and what is required of the position. A number of faculty’s research interests were presented and guest speakers img_5477were included as well. These guest speakers were either faculty or students part of a lab and they spoke of what is required of their lab specifically. Finally, Kyle and Dr. Taku explained the process of applying for research assistant positions and tips for being accepted. They encourage anyone interested in getting more experience in the psych department and building positive relationships with faculty to consider contacting professors about research assistant positions.

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Geena’s Article Presentation and Hypotheses

Lab member, Geena preimg_5479sented a study, Associations among religious coping, daily hassles, and resilience by Laura McIntire and Renae Duncan. After presenting the article to the lab, she presented potential hypotheses based on the article’s findings and started a discussion about them. The
main purpose of this study was to to examine the relationships among religious coping styles, the experience of daily hassles, and resiliency. Negative religious coping was found to be positively correlated with psychological distress and resilience was found to be negatively correlated with psychological distress. Researchers also found that individuals who experienced more daily hassles and used positive religious coping had a greater resilience than those who experienced more daily hassles but used negative religious coping. Geena then presented hypotheses based the findings that she plans to further research in the future.

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Lauren’s Article Presentation and Hypotheses

img_5402Lab member, Lauren, presented a study, Stress and affective experiences: The importance of dark personality features, and two hypotheses. Second semester research assistants present an article to other members of the lab and discuss potential hypotheses based on the article’s findings. The main purpose of this study was to determine if the Dark Triad personalities were linked with responses to stress. When comparing individuals high in psychopathy and low in psychopathy, researchers found that those high in psychopathy displayed a higher reaction to stress than individuals low in psychopathy. When comparing individuals high in narcissism and low in narcissism, researchers did not find a significant difference in reaction to stress. There were no significant findings between Machiavellianism and stress. Lauren then presented two possible hypotheses that she hopes to further research in her time in the lab.

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