Lauren recently presented preliminary findings from her honors independent project entitled, “Survey about Images of Psychosomatic Disorder or Posttraumatic Growth.” This research was primarily inspired by the work of Sakamoto, Yamakawa, and Muranaka (2016) and was designed to examine the differences in perceptions of authentic and illusory posttraumatic growth, as well as the influences of narcissistic personality characteristics on these perceptions. The PTG lab has been collecting data for this research study with undergraduate students since February and is getting very close to completing this phase of the study. Thus far, the preliminary results have revealed that perceptions of authentic growth are more positive than perceptions of illusory growth. Additionally, some narcissistic personality characteristics may aid in the identification of authentic growth. Lauren hopes to present the findings of this research at the Midwestern Psychological Association and American Psychological Association conferences next year. The PTG lab looks forward to seeing the final results of this study!
The PTG lab would also like to announce that Dr. Taku has been asked to serve as a guest editor for the journal Behavioral Sciences. For more information please click here and consider submitting a paper! Congratulations Dr. Taku!
Lab member, Whitney recently presented information about the Teen Mom Program to be conducted at Pontiac High School. This project began as Shelby Seyburn’s independent research project in the lab and has been continued in her honor and memory by Whitney, Dr. Taku, Velinka, Aundreah, and Leah. The purpose of this psychoeducational program is primarily to teach pregnant teenagers, and teenage mothers about posttraumatic growth and the importance of social support when dealing with stress. This program also aims to provide these mothers with resources, and help them to form connections with each other. The program consists of three sessions over the course of four weeks. The lab also plans to use information gathered at these sessions in order to assess the effectiveness of the program. The future goals for this program include continued revision of the program based on feedback from participants as well as current research, and to incorporate nutrition education by partnering with the department of health and human services. We look forward to seeing all of the positive outcomes of Shelby’s program.
The PTG Lab would like to welcome new graduate lab member, Jess. Jess is a first year masters student with a bachelor’s degree in communications, advertising, and public relations from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is interested in the relationship between trauma and personality and looking at the positive aspects of classically deemed negative personality traits. She became interested in looking at the potential positive outcomes of classically deemed negative trauma through growth, which got her interested in PTG and inspired her to want to work in the PTG lab. She hopes to be able to redefine negative personality traits in an adaptive sense by showing the positive uses and features of them, especially in the aftermath of trauma or high stress situations, and work toward de-pathologizing personality disorders in light of trauma. She plans to continue her education to obtain a PhD in clinical pathology to be able to implement her research findings in clinical settings. Jess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PTG lab would also like to welcome new graduate lab member Alvin. Alvin graduated with a bachelors degree in psychology from Oakland University this past April. He is interested in research involving achievement, stress, motivation, and resiliency. For his masters thesis he would like to study how motivation can impact stress levels to enhance or promote efforts of success. He would also like to examine if failure to achieve could lead to an increased sense of wisdom or positive perception of gained experience. The work that the PTG lab does got Alvin interested in joining and he is excited to begin contributing. Alvin hopes to use what he learns in the lab to work toward his long-term goal of becoming a clinical psychologist, and working with individuals with psychopathology. Alvin can be reached at email@example.com.
The PTG lab welcomes Kayla, out newest undergraduate research assistant. Kayla is currently at junior at Oakland University and is majoring in psychology. She became interested in joining the lab because she finds the construct of posttraumatic growth interesting and relevant to many people. During her time in the lab, she hopes to study many different aspects of PTG. More specifically, she is interested in how children of abuse and neglect experience PTG. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus in forensics. Kayla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lab members Velinka and Lauren presented at the New Student Convocation on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. A convocation is traditionally defined as a formal assembly of new members of a group. The New Student Convocation at Oakland University is a special event that kicks-off each new student’s academic career at OU and serves as an official welcome to the university. Part of this event involves grouping new students and transfer students based on their academic majors for a specific orientation based on their official program.
Dr. Lewis began this orientation by presenting information about the Department of Psychology, advising, as well as tips for what to expect as an undergraduate student. Velinka and Lauren then presented a PowerPoint presentation about the PTG lab, informing these new psychology students about what PTG is, what we do in the lab, why research and participation in research is important, as well as information regarding how to become a research assistant.
The event ended with an official introduction to Psi Chi, and then the students were sent off to the Involvement Fair. The PTG lab is looking forward to seeing all of these new faces and getting to know more of the department’s undergraduate students!
The PTG Lab recently attended the 125th meeting of the American Psychological Association in Washington D.C. from August 3-6. Together, members of the PTG Lab at Oakland University as well as members of the Posttraumatic Growth lab from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte under Dr. Richard Tedeschi presented recent findings at the symposium on August 5th. This symposium was dedicated to the life and memory of Shelby Jane Seyburn.
Shelby tragically passed on June 3rd of this year. Shelby was a beloved lab manager, colleague, and friend to all of us and has been missed beyond measure. The PTG Lab is determined to keep Shelby’s work and memory going. Dr. Richard Tedeschi began the symposium with a touching dedication to Shelby and her incredible work in the lab. This presentation at APA served as a reminder of the impact Shelby has had, and continues to have on so many people. She will remain as our eternal lab manager.
Kanako Taku, Lawrence Calhoun, Jenna Duronio, Aundreah Walenski, Velinka Marton, Lauren Harrison, Takaharu Nakamura, Leah McDiarmid, Whitney Dominick, Richard Tedeschi, Hitomi-san, Shuhei Iimura, Olivia Riffle, and Cara Blevins (from left to right)
Leah began the session, presenting her research titled “The Role of Family Values: Posttraumatic Growth in Adolescents.” (Presented by Leah McDiarmid). The main finding was that family valued PTG more strongly related to adolescent self-esteem than personally important PTG.
Whitney close the symposium with her presentation titled “Can Pets Help Us Experience Growth After Trauma?”(Presented by Whitney Dominick), which was a project she worked on with Aundreah Walenski and Jenna Duronio. A major finding was that the amount of time spent with pets predicts PTG in the relating to others domain.
Lauren presented her poster titled “A Cross-Cultural Study of Narcissim and Posttraumatic Growth” (Presented by Lauren Harrison) for which she received the “best poster” award for the Division 1, General Psychology. Way to go, Lauren! Lauren and Dr. Taku also presented a poster titled “Cross-Cultural Perceptions of Death in Japanese and American Undergraduates (Presented by Lauren Harrison).
Aundreah Presented her poster titled “The Importance of Attributing Events to Posttraumatic Growth in Adolescents (Presented by Aundreah Walenski).” In addition, Dr. Taku presented four papers with her colleagues in Japan, Atsushi Oshio, Shuhei Iimura, and Takaharu Nakamura.
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!