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.
Lab member, Shelby, recently presented the progress of her independent research project, Teen Mom Programming. The PTG Lab will be collaborating with a local high school to investigate the effectiveness of educating teen moms on posttraumatic growth and the importance of social support. This project is clinically significant because providing teen parents with resources and support may properly educate them in areas such as wellness, childcare, resume building, etc. Congratulations goes to the PTG lab for receiving the CAS Community Engagement Grant. We are all excited to use this opportunity to develop a new educational intervention program to assist teen parents to foster their social support and personal growth.
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.
Lab member, Jenna, presented an article Reliability and Validity of the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) Spanish Version by Rocío Rodríguez-Rey, Jesús Alonso-Tapia, and Helena Hernansaiz-Garrido. The purpose of this study was to adapt the BRS to the Spanish language and to demonstrate reliability and validity of this scale. The researchers hypothesized that the Spanish version of the BRS would demonstrate good validity and reliability and that participants with higher levels of stress would have lower resilience. Results indicated that the Spanish version of the BRS showed adequate reliability, validity, and sensitivity of its scores. Results also indicated differences in the level of resilience only significant between parents of critically ill children and parents of children with cancer. After discussing the article, Jenna presented her own hypotheses that she can potentially test during her time in the lab.
Lab member, Kyle, presented an empirical article, “Intrinsic religiosity, resilience, quality of life, and suicide risk in depressed inpatients” by Bruno Paz Mosqueiro, Neusa Sica da Rocha, and Marcelo Pio de Almeida Fleck. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how intrinsic religiosity is related to resilience in a population of depressed individuals and to evaluate suicide risk, clinical characteristics, quality of life, and social support. Results indicated that organizational religiosity, non-organizational religiosity, and intrinsic religiosity is associated with resilience. Those with high intrinsic religiosity reported higher social support and lower suicide attempts. Future research is needing to look at the culture context of intrinsic religiosity.
Lab member, Geena has recently been accepted to the University of Michigan!
Geena will being working toward her master’s in social work in the fall 2017. She will be concentrating on children and youth in families and society. Her ultimate goal is to work with youths who have been abused and neglected, as well as their families. She hopes to take what she has learned in the lab about posttraumatic growth to help foster growth in these children and their families through private and group therapy, intervention programs, and more.
Geena has helped with psycho-education at local high schools to educate at risk youth on posttraumatic growth. The lab has helped her to expand her writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and research skills which she plans to utilize going forward. Geena hopes to continue to help with lab projects and community psycho-education in her spare time. Congratulations, Geena!
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 the 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.
The 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Lab member, Kyle, presented an empirical 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.