Junior member research assistant, Jasmine, gave her first Journal Club Presentation on Bereavement, Religion, and Posttraumatic Growth: A Matched Control Group Investigation. Journal Club allows our research assistants to present a PTG article of their interest to the lab and challenge their research skills. Jasmine’s chosen article found that bereaved individuals had higher religiousness and PTG than those that experienced another type of traumatic event. In fact, those that lost someone violently (ex. car crash, suicide, murder) reported more PTG and distress than those that lost someone to natural causes (ex. old age or sickness).
To read more about this study, click the link below.
Bereavement, Religion, and Posttraumatic Growth : A Matched Control Group Investigation
It is that time of year again, Journal Club Presentations! First and second semester research assistants are asked to present an article of their choice to the lab. This semester, second semester research assistant, Aundreah recently presented a qualitative study on PTG, Exploring self-perceived growth in a clinical sample of severely traumatized youth. This study found that reports of PTG increased and levels of PTSS decreased after therapeutic interventions in severely traumatized Norwegian youth. Aundreah will continue to research PTG qualitatively in traumatized youth throughout the semester.
Jessica also presented for the first time in the month of February about infidelity and PTG, Recovery from Infidelity: Differentiation of Self, Trauma, Forgiveness, and Posttraumatic Growth Among Couples in Continuing Relationships. This study found that forgiveness was a predictor for posttraumatic growth for those who have been cheated on sexually and are continuing their relationship post infidelity.
To read more about these studies, click the links below.
Exploring self-perceived growth in a clinical sample of severely traumatized youth.
Recovery from infidelity: differentiation of self, trauma, forgiveness, and posttraumatic growth among couples in continuing relationships.
We are very excited to announce that Dr. Taku’s and PTG Lab member’s, Leah McDiarmid and Aundreah Walenski’s, abstracts have been accepted to the 123rd Annual American Psychological Convention! The convention will be this upcoming August and held in the great city of Toronto. Dr. Taku, Leah, and Aundreah will be presenting their research posters on, Cross-Cultural Differences in the Relationships between Hope and Posttraumatic Growth and Personally Important Posttraumatic Growth as a Predictor of Self-Esteem in Adolescents. In addition, Dr. Taku will also be presenting her research, Burnout and Psychological Growth Affects Wellness in Physicians.
- Taku, K., Eckleberry-Hunt, J., & Kirkpatrick, H. (2015, August planned). Burnout and psychological growth affects wellness in physicians. Symposium paper will be presented in R. G. Tedeschi (Chair), Health care professionals and patients facing trauma: Optimizing satisfaction and growth, at the 123rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 56 (trauma psychology), Toronto.
- LaLonde, L., Taku, K., & Walenski, A. (2015, August planned). Personally important posttraumatic growth as a predictor of self-esteem in adolescents, poster session at the 123rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 1 (general psychology), Toronto.
- Walenski, A., Taku, K., & LaLonde, L. (2015, August planned). Cross-cultural differences in the relationships between hope and posttraumatic growth, poster session at the 123rd annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 32 (humanistic psychology), Toronto.
To read more about our research, click the abstracts below.
Burnout and Psychological Growth Affects Wellness in Physicians
Personally Important Posttraumatic Growth as a Predictor of Self-Esteem in Adolescents
Cross-Cultural Differences in the Relationships between Hope and Posttraumatic Growth
The PTG Lab welcomes Tomoko Matsui! Tomoko is a Social Worker and Health Psychotherapist specializing in medical psychology and psycho-oncology. She is currently a second year doctoral student at Osaka University in Japan where she is part of the Clinical Thanatology and Geriatric Behavioral Science Laboratory. Her main research interests are in help seeking behaviors, such as counseling and psychotherapy among cancer patients. She hopes to find factors that encourage or interfere with help seeking behavior and develop an intervention program for cancer patients. During her time here in the U.S., Tomoko will be working with Dr. Taku to write a manuscript about help seeking behaviors and PTG.
One of the first PTG Lab research assistants, Dr. Sarah-Rae Andreski, recently spoke at Oakland University on Friday, January 16th to undergraduate and graduate Psychology students about her recent experiences as a graduate student. After graduating from Oakland University in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, English, Spanish Language and Literature, she attended Palo Alto University. Just recently, in 2014, she graduated with her PhD in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Andreski is now a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Long Beach VA Medical Center specializing in Rehabilitation Psychology.
Her shared experiences as a graduate student and now as a post-doctoral fellow,were educational and honest. Her advise to current students looking to apply this upcoming fall is to keep an open mind and to not be afraid to move. Finding the “goodness of fit” or the right program that suits your goals financially and academically is indefinitely ideal. And if you already have a specific branch of Psychology in which you are interested in, she also advises you try to find research opportunities within that field and pertain those interests in other classes as well when you have the freedom. Dr. Andreski’s success story has made the PTG Lab proud and we look forward to hearing about her future endeavors.
Jasmine Cosby is the newest member to the team for the Winter 2015 semester. She is currently a Junior at Oakland University and majoring in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy. She is interested in depression and PTG in adolescents. She plans on doing a literature review and presentation regarding this relationship. She plans to continue her education after obtaining her Bachelors at Oakland University by pursuing her Masters degree and PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Jessica 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.
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.
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.
The 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