Last year, the PTG lab conducted the High School Intervention project, which assessed posttraumatic growth in high school students from both the U.S. and Japan.
The members went to local high schools to conduct pre and post surveys, along with presentations discussing PTG, PTSD and cross-cultural differences. This year, the lab is hard at work re-vamping this study by adjusting the survey content and preparing new intervention programs. Once the study is approved by the IRB, lab members will begin administering the surveys this coming summer and continue into Fall of next year.
Maggie Britton and Leah LaLonde presented The Combined Role of Religiosity and Gender on the Self-Esteem of American Adolescents at Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. This was the first conference for both Maggie and Leah. They thought it was a great experience and were able to share their research with faculty and students. They feel that this conference has prepared them for what to expect when attending future conferences. Maggie and Leah are shown on the top right picture with their poster, along with their fellow members showing support for their presentation.
- Britton, M., McGuire, K., LaLonde, L., & Taku, K. (2014, February). The combined role of gender and religiosity on the self-esteem of American adolescents. Poster session presented at the 120th Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, & Letters Annual Meetings, Rochester, MI.
Sharell Elam and Kellie McGuire presented their poster Cross-Cultural Comparisons of the Awareness of Posttraumatic Growth on Positive Psychological Change Among American and Japanese Adolescents at Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. Both members had the opportunity to share their current research right here at Oakland University. Conferences are a great opportunity for others in the academic community to see your research and to see others research. Sharell and Kellie can be seen in the top left picture with their poster, along with fellow lab members supporting their presentation.
- Elam, S., McGuire, K., & Taku, K. (2014, February). Cross-cultural comparisons of the awareness of posttraumatic growth on positive psychological change among American and Japanese adolescents. Poster session presented at the 120th Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, & Letters Annual Meetings, Rochester, MI.
Our former PTG lab member, Katherine Lewitzke, visited OU campus and made her research presentation, entitled “Influences of social learning and cognitive development theories in the formulation of a religious self– concept” as a part of Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters conference, February 28th 2014.
Kat graduated OU in 2009 and received her M.A. in clinical psychology at University of Detroit Mercy, with specialization in Child Development and Child Studies in 2012. She is currently in PsyD program at Michigan School of Professional Psychology.
Multiple members of the lab finished working on their submissions to the Michigan Academy Conference, being held at Oakland University on February 28th. The members just received an e-mail early this week stating that their submissions were accepted. Now Kellie, Sharell, Maggie and Leah will be busy putting together their poster presentations to present at the conference next month.
- Sharell Elam and Kellie McGuire are presenting Cross-Cultural Comparisons of the Awareness of Posttraumatic Growth on Positive Psychological Change Among American and Japanese Adolescents. Their research is a cross-cultural investigation of how the awareness of growth can impact the self-report of positive change after traumatic events in American and Japanese adolescents. Results of the study indicate that there is limited awareness of PTG and when highly exposed to positive socio-cultural elements, adolescents reported higher growth in both nations. Why might these findings be important to the field of Psychology? These findings suggest that socio-cultural context is important to experiencing PTG.
- Maggie Britton, Kellie McGuire, and Leah LaLonde are presenting their study, The Combined Role of Religiosity and Gender on the Self-Esteem of American Adolescents. They researched the interaction effect between gender and religiosity on self-esteem in an adolescent population. Although gender and self-esteem have been frequently studied this study indicates that male and female participants were affected differently by level of religiosity.
James is currently in his junior year at Oakland University and is working on a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. His research interests includes assessing the relationship between PTG and job loss. After Oakland, he would like to further his education by attending graduate school to obtain a PhD. James can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie presented at our last lab meeting of the semester on her individual project about self-esteem, and her Michigan Academy The Combined Role of Gender and Religiosity on the Self-Esteem of American Adolescents.
She spent her semester researching how gender and religious strength affect self-esteem, and she plans to continue studying self-esteem more in depth next semester.
In addition to the busy last days of the Fall semester, two lab members received an exciting e-mail stating that both of their Meeting of the Minds studies were published in the 2013 MOM Journal. This journal is specific for undergraduate research. To view the publications by Sharell Elam and Kellie McGuire, click on the following link:
Romantic Relationship Dissolutions: Assessing Posttraumatic Growth Cross-Culturally Between American and Japanese Undergraduate Students
The Influence of Disclosure and Religiosity on the Posttraumatic Growth of Bereaved Adolescents
The Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) Lab, led by Dr. Kanako Taku, is currently looking for two to three MS or PhD students for the Fall 2014 semester. Our research has centered on the construct of posttraumatic growth – positive psychological changes that may occur as a result of the struggle with major life crises or traumatic events. This research contributes to the fields of clinical, trauma, developmental, personality, social, and cross-cultural psychology.
One of our primary research interests is developing a psycho-educational intervention program that aims to enhance cognitive abilities triggered by posttraumatic growth. Additionally, we are interested in challenging the definitions and conceptualization of posttraumatic growth from cross-cultural, social, and personality perspectives. We are also investigating different growth processes dependent on the nature of triggered experiences such as: experiencing trauma (e.g., earthquake); causing or enabling trauma (e.g., bullying); having non-traumatic but influential life experiences (e.g., having a baby or undertaking spiritual pilgrimages); and working with traumatized people (e.g., vicarious posttraumatic growth).
Possible dissertation or thesis topics while working in this lab could include:
- Developing intervention programs that will help individuals foster or recognize their perceptions of posttraumatic growth.
- Growth resulting from impactful life events (e.g. pregnancy, marriage), not necessarily traumatic life events (e.g. death, accident).
- Posttraumatic growth in an elderly population.
- Expanding cross-cultural research. Past and current research has focused on the comparisons between the United States and Japan. Future research will expand to other cultures (e.g. Hispanic population).
If you are interested in this type of research, please contact Dr. Taku directly for instructions on applying for the lab. Also, please refer to the “Students’ research” tab. Click on “Seeking Graduate Students” for more information about graduate programs here at Oakland University.