123rd Annual American Psychological Association Convention

BeFunky Collage BetterThe first week of August, the PTG Lab ventured to Toronto, Canada to present their research at this years APA convention. Dr. Taku, Leah McDiarmid, and Aundreah Walenski presented their posters Personally Important Posttraumatic Growth as a Predictor of Self-Esteem in Adolescents (Division 1: General Psychology Division) and Cross-Cultural Differences in the Relationship between Hope and Posttraumatic Growth (Division 32: Humanistic Division).

Dr. Taku also presented her research, Burnout and Psychological Growth Affects Wellness in Physicians at a symposium with Dr. Richard Tedeschi and Dr. Jane Shakespeare-Finch. In addition, we were able to visit and speak with other PTG researchers, network with other professionals, further our knowledge of Psychology, and prepare for our upcoming semester of research.

Click the link below to view our posters and abstracts.

Personally Important Posttraumatic Growth as a Predictor of Self-Esteem in Adolescents

Cross-Cultural Differences in the Relationship between Hope and Posttraumatic Growth

Burnout and Psychological Growth Affects Wellness in Physicians

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2015 Meeting of Minds Conference

MOM collage

In May lab members Jessica Genaw, Aundreah Walenski, and Leah McDiarmid presented their research at this years 23rd annual Meeting of Minds conference at University of Michigan-Dearborn. New lab member Shelby was able to attend the conference and support the lab and gain a hands on understanding of the labs ultimate goal to present and share our research.

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PTG Lab Members Graduate from Oakland University


Left to Right: James Casolari, Alexander Boulos, Dr. Taku, and Leah McDiarmid

Saturday, May 2nd was Oakland University’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation ceremony.  Two past PTG lab members including Alexander Boulos (PTG Lab member Winter 2013 semester) and James Casolari (PTG Lab member Winter 2014 Semester) and one current Lab member Leah McDiarmid graduated with their Bachelor of Arts Degree. Congratulations on graduating PTG Lab members!

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PTG Lab Featured on Oakland University’s Home Page

adf 2We made the home page! The PTG Lab, Dr. Taku, and research assistants Leah McDiarmid and Aundreah Walenski, were recently interviewed by Oakland University’s Communication and Marketing. Click the picture above or here to read the article discussing posttraumatic growth, Dr. Taku’s recent research ventures, and the lasting impact she has left on her undergraduate research assistants’ success at Oakland and beyond.

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Upcoming Meeting of Minds Conference

Lab members Leah McDiarmid, Aundreah Walenski, and Jessica Genaw have recently submitted abstracts to the 23rd annual Meeting of Minds Conference on May 15th, hosted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The Meeting of Minds conference is a great way for undergraduate students to present their research and will truly be a meeting of undergraduate minds from Oakland University, University of Michigan-Flint, and University of Michigan-Dearborn.

  • Genaw, J., & McDiarmid, L. (2015, May). High school bullying in Japan
    and America: Impact on self-esteem and personal growth. Poster sessionmom_sidebar
    presented at the 23rd Meeting of Minds.
  • McDiarmid, L., & Walenski, A. (2015, May). Japanese and American
    youth: What does personal growth mean? Poster session presented at the 23rd Meeting of Minds.
  • Walenski, A., & Genaw, J. (2015, May). How does age and adversity
    affect the level of hope? Poster session presented at the 23rd Meeting of Minds.

To read their abstracts, click on the links below. 

Japanese and American Youth: What Does Personal Growth Mean?

How Does Age and Adversity Affect the Level of Hope?

High School Bullying in Japan and America: Impact on Self-Esteem and Personal Growth

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Jasmine’s Journal Club Presentation

Junior member research assistant, Jasmine, gave her first Journal Club Presentation on Bereavement, Religion, and Jasmine JC 2015Posttraumatic 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

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Jessica and Aundreah’s Journal Club Presentations

It is that time of year again, Journal Club Presentations! First and second semester research assistants are asked to Aundreah JC Updatedpresent 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 JC UpdateJessica 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.

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PTG Lab is Toronto Bound for the 123rd Annual APA Convention

downloadWe 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

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The PTG Lab Welcomes Japanese Researcher Tomoko Matsui

tomokoThe 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.

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Former PTG Lab Member, Dr. Sarah-Rae Andreski, Speaks at Oakland

One of the first PTG Lab research assistants, Dr. Sarah-Rae Andreski, recently spoke at Oakland University on Friday, Sarah GradJanuary 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.

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