Multitude of Events Project

Actual WebsiteAre you 18 years of age or older? YOU ARE INVITED to participate in a one session online research study that is being conducted by researchers from Oakland University. This study is being led by Aundreah Walenski and Dr. Kanako Taku (Associate Professor). You will be asked to do the following: 1) provide demographic information such as your age, ethnicity and religious association 2) complete a few questionnaires about how you perceive stress, and 3) asked to recall your past experiences that were stressful life events. All procedures in this survey have been approved by the Oakland University Institutional Review Board. This study will last approximately 45 minutes.

Study Link:

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Lauren’s Journal Club Presentation

IMG_6816Lab member, Lauren Harrison, presented her first Journal Club Presentation at our last meeting. Journal Club Presentations give our research assistants an opportunity to present a PTG article of their interest to the lab and challenge their research skills. Lauren choose an article on Personality, posttraumatic stress and trauma type: factors contributing to posttraumatic growth and its domains in a Turkish community sample. This study found that PTS severity contributed to PTG total and all domains except for appreciation of life. They also found that PTG and its domains were influenced by levels of personality and PTS severity.

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Reflection of the PTG Lab Fall Semester 2015


This semester has been a productive semester for the PTG lab. Currently, three abstracts have been accepted for poster presentations at the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA), three abstracts are to be presented at the American Psychological Association (APA) this August 2016, and two symposiums are invited for International Congress Psychology (ICP). In addition, some of the lab members received awards this past semester.

  • Aundreah Walenski received the Rosen fellowship award and Provost Undergraduate Student Research Award. Her project title is “Personal growth resulting from multiple stressful and challenging events among college and high school students.”
  • Whitney Dominick received the Provost Graduate Student Research Award. Her project title is “Animal assisted therapy, perceived social support, and post traumatic growth in traumatized youth.”
  • Kana Taku received the University Research Committee Faculty Research Fellowship Award. Her project title is “Effects of mortality salience and personality on post traumatic growth and group entitativity.”

Stay tuned for updates on another productive semester in the PTG lab for Winter 2016.

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PTG Lab Welcomes Geena to Join the Team

Geena picture-2Geena Osowski has successfully completed the application process and is joining the PTG lab for the Winter 2015 semester. She is currently a junior at Oakland University majoring in psychology and minoring in women and gender studies. She joined the PTG lab because of her interest in how individuals deal with trauma, especially young children and adolescents. She is interested in how both children living with a terminal illness and their siblings can experience positive change from traumatic experiences. After graduating from Oakland, she would like to obtain a masters degree in child development or counseling specializing in adolescents. Geena can be reached at

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The PTG Lab Welcomes Lauren

IMG_5572Lauren Harrison is the newest member to the PTG team for the Winter 2015 semester. She is currently a Junior at Oakland University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications. Lauren joined the PTG lab because she found that PTG offers an alluring alternative perspective on the effects of trauma. Her main interest in PTG is how a traumatic event could produce positive change in individuals with personality disorders, particularly narcissism. After undergraduate school, Lauren would like to further pursue her studies in psychology by attending graduate school, specializing in Mental Health Counseling. Lauren can be reached at:

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Whitney’s Thesis Presentation

IMG_1707Our first graduate student, Whitney, presented her
research proposal for her Thesis Project. Whitney’s thesis is entitled Animal Assisted Therapy, Perceived Social Support, and Posttraumatic Growth In Traumatized Youth.

Whitney’s main purpose of her research is:

  • To demonstrate that working with animals (animal assisted therapy, AAT) increases posttraumatic growth (PTG)
  • To provide additional support that AAT decreases posttraumatic stress symptoms
  • To illustrate how perceived social support is impacted by AAT, and whether that effect is moderated by pet affinity
  • To help demonstrate the effect of perceived social support on PTG

The lab is very excited about Whitney’s research and is eager for her to begin!

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Psi Chi Presentation



This past week the PTG lab gave a presentation about the exciting research that is taking place in the lab! All of our members attended the presentation including Dr. Kanako Taku, Whitney, Leah, Aundreah, Jessica and Shelby. The lab members briefly introduced themselves and the current research they are interested in. The presentation consisted of a brief over view of what PTG is about, some interesting findings from our last study, and an introduction of the research that is currently taking place! We are looking at whether adolescents can experience growth from victimizing others. The lab almost finished data collection from a local high school, and we are now ready to finish data coding and run some analysis! Some of our interesting findings will be presented at the upcoming conferences.

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Shelby’s Journal Club Presentation

Research member Shelby gave her first Presentation! First and second semester research assistants present an article of their choose to the other lab members. Shelby chose a study on Social Support and PTSD symptomatology in Combat Veterans. This study looked at four different tIMG_6370ypes of social support: family, friends, military peers, and significant others. The study found that the social support from, family, military peers, and significant others were significant to lower levels of PTSD in combat veterans.

Shelby is currently conducting a study of how social support predicts PTG in adolescents, and how different types of social support affects PTG. She submitted her first research abstract to the upcoming Midwestern Psychological Association.

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Update on High School Intervention Study

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The PTG lab is excited to announce that data collection for Fall semester has begun! The lab is continuing their research for the high school intervention study. They have visited a local high school, presented and discussed PTG to the students. They administered the first survey and will go back in a few weeks to administer the second round of surveys. Once data is collected and coded, we will be able to analyze the data and present our findings in future research projects and presentations.

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Jessica’s Journal Club Presentation

Lab member, Jessica presented her Journal Club Presentation on “Post-traumatic growth, stressful life events, and relationships with substance use behaviors among alternative high school students,” at our last lab meeting. IMG_6229Journal club allows lab members to pick an article of their interest regarding PTG and challenge their research skills. Jessica chose a prospective study that looked at older at-risk adolescents who reported higher levels of PTG in the aftermath of a stressful life event also looking at their substance use behaviors at the two-year follow-up.

Click here to read more about this article

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