PTG Lab Welcomes Jessica!

JessicaJessica Genaw has successfully completed the application process and is joining the PTG lab for the Winter 2015 semester.  Jessica is currently a junior at Oakland University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology.  She plans to independently research, complete a literature review,  and prepare a presentation on PTG in women who have been emotionally abused. Jessica is excited for the research experience and plans to continue and pursue a Masters Degree in Psychology after obtaining her Bachelors Degree from Oakland University.

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Coming Soon in the Lab


Fall semester is coming to an end but there is a lot more to come.

  • We have completed a high school intervention at two schools throughout the semester.  Research assistants visited local high schools and presented and discussed PTG to the students. Next semester there are three more schools to visit.  Once data is collected and coded we will be able to analyze the data and present our findings at future events.
  • Two studies are currently under review for poster presentation at the 2015 APA conference that will be held in Toronto next August.
    • Walenski, A., Taku, K., & LaLonde, L. (2015, August planned). Cross-cultural differences in the relationships between hope and posttraumatic growth. Poster session is currently under review for the 123rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), 32 – Humanistic Psychology Division, Washington, DC.
    • LaLonde, L., Taku, K., & Walenski, A. (2015, August planned). Personally important posttraumatic growth as a predictor of self-esteem in adolescents. Poster session is currently under review for the 123rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), 1 – General Psychology Division, Washington, DC.
  • Dr. Taku is also working with Drs. Tedeschi and Shakespeare-Finch to develop a symposium about PTG in healthcare providers.
  • Another member, Sharell Elam, is also working on her independent honors thesis.  She is currently in the process of getting her study approved with the IRB.
  • Reporter Deanna Lites interviewed Dr. Taku about research on PTG.  Here is a clip that was aired on WWJ Newsradio.
    • Listen here for a macbook.
    • Listen here for a PC.
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Dr. Taku Presents at Conference in Japan

In early November Dr. Taku traveled to Japan to present her Symposium Experiences of Personal Growth Resulting from Trauma: Posttraumatic Growth. The Symposium was presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of The Japanese Association of Educational Psychology.


Pictured above from left to right: Drs. Katsuya Yamori, Yuji Sakano, Tatsuo Ujiie, Kanako Taku, and Seiichi Saito

Dr. Taku discussed possible reasons why Japanese consistently  report lower growth on the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) across research. Dr. Taku explained  Japanese participants also report lower scores on the Core-belief inventory (CBI), suggesting that Japanese participants beliefs are not as shaken from trauma, even after the March 11th earthquake, suggesting that those raised in the Japanese culture are more resilient to stress and trauma, leading Japanese to report less growth on the PTGI as Americans. Dr. Taku also brought up that cultural norms may be another reason why Japanese tend to report lower growth.  Japanese culture may be more hesitant to articulate positive changes from trauma in fear of others who may still be struggling with trauma and stress.

So what does all this mean?  It is not that Japanese do not experience the growth or positive psychological changes after trauma but may be more hesitant to report and articulate those changes.  It is necessary to examine the importance of positive psychological changes in differing populations.  Although Americans may be able to express their positive changes more easily because of the acceptance of positive changes in the culture, it does not mean they actually experience more growth than Japanese.  Further research in this area is necessary to understand how to capture posttraumatic growth and develop a culture-sensitive intervention program in different populations and.


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Updates from the PTG Lab

AAF9875-36The Posttraumatic Growth Lab is currently finishing the last round of interviews for applicants interested in the Winter 2015 Research Assistant position.We are currently only accepting students for the Fall 2015 semester.

There is also exciting news about Dr. Taku and here accomplishments at Oakland University!  Dr. Taku has received tenure for her record of research and exemplary teaching and service.  Dr. Taku is pictured with Dr. James Lentini the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (left) and the Oakland University President, George W. Hynd (right).

Dr. Taku was also nominated and recognized with 22 other OU faculty with an Inspiration Award from the Honors College.  Click link to learn more about the award.

Dr. Taku’s nomination for the Inspiration Award

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First Journal Club Presentation of the Semester


Journal Club is a way for first semester research assistants to learn about current research in PTG and to practice presenting research findings. Aundreah presented “The Mediating Roles of Cancer-Related Rumination in the Relationship Between Dispositional Hope and Psychological Outcomes Among Childhood Cancer Survivors.” The article found that positive cancer-related rumination mediated the relationship between hope and Posttraumatic Growth while negative cancer-related rumination mediates the relationship between hope and mood symptoms. Aundreah plans to continue researching hope and Posttraumatic Growth independently in the lab.

To read more about the study, click the link below:
The Mediating Roles of Cancer-Related Rumination in the Relationship Between Dispositional Hope and Psychological Outcomes Among Childhood Cancer Survivors

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APA 2014 in Washington D.C.

APA Poster Awards Collage

Left: Dr. Taku, Kellie McGuire, and Sharell Elam with district 1 members. Right: Dr. Calhoun, Dr. Taku, Leah LaLonde, Dr. Tedeschi

The PTG Lab had a very exciting trip to Washington, D.C. Sharell Elam and Kellie McGuire presented the poster Effects of Priming the Shared Traumatic Experiences on Posttraumatic Growth. The lab members received honorable mention for the Raymond Corsini Student Poster Award. Their presentation was in Division 1 for General Psychology.

Dr. Taku also received an Outstanding Poster Award for  her poster Core Beliefs, Rumination, and Posttraumatic Growth resulting from March 11th Earthquake in Japan in Division 56 for Trauma.

Click on links below to see the posters presented at APA.

Not only did the lab members take home awards from their poster presentations but also Dr. Taku and all three lab members had the chance to network with other professionals with similar interests and attend talks about different subjects of interest.  Dr. Taku’s lab and Dr. Tedeschi’s lab also had a chance to meet up for dinner and share experiences researching PTG.

APA Photo Collage2

Top Left: Dr. Tedeschi presenting. Midde: Kellie McGuire and Dr. Taku. Right: Kellie McGuire and Sharell Elam presenting. Bottom: Group shot after dinner with UNCC.


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Meeting of Minds

Meeting of Minds

The 22nd Annual Meeting of Minds Conference held at Oakland University is completed. Sharell, Kellie, Bekah, and Leah had the chance to share their individual research on PTG. New members of the lab Ryan and Aundreah attended the conference to support their lab members and be immersed in a educational conference setting. Conferences are a great way to show others your educational interests and learn from others interests as well. Winter semester is officially completed and lab members are looking forward to more new and exciting projects this fall!

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Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations Graduates

Kellie McGuire and Maggie Britton graduated from Oakland University with their Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Maggie will be attending University at Buffalo to obtain her Masters degree in Social-Personality psychology. Kellie will continue to research in the PTG lab and apply to graduate schools in the fall.

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Upcoming Meeting of Minds Conference Presentations

It is that time of the year again.  A few of the lab members submitted and were accepted into the Twenty-second Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference that is being held at Oakland University on May 9th.  This  conference is held for undergraduate students to present their accomplishments from the semester, and interact with faculty from participating schools.mom_sidebar

  • Kellie McGuire and Sharell Elam will be giving an oral presentation Heart-breaker vs. Heart-broken: Does it Matter for Posttraumatic Growth?  
  • Rebekah Hendrian and Kellie McGuire will present their poster Posttraumatic Growth in Adolescents after Sports-Related Injuries.
  • Leah LaLonde and Sharell Elam will present their poster Pathways to Posttraumatic Growth: Can the Way We Ruminate About an Event Affect Our Experience of Growth?

The lab members will wrap up the end of a busy semester with their presentations. Read the abstracts for each presentation in the Meeting of the Minds Program.


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Ryan Reblin also joins the PTG lab!

Ryan is currently a junior at Oakland University working towards his Bachelor’s in Psychology.  His research interest includes assessing the relationship between PTG and marriage/family life.  After Oakland, Ryan plans to attend to graduate school to obtain his PhD in Psychology.  Ryan can be reached at:

Ryan (2)

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