Stress, Trauma and Resilience
- Stress and trauma affect physical, mental and occupational functioning, and can have adverse effects on health and health-related outcomes. Increasingly, the debilitating effects of stress and trauma are being recognized by the helping professions and drawn to the attention of the public. Given the pervasiveness of stress, trauma and their effects, efforts to understand and manage these experiences should embrace collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches that build on existing strengths and resources.
- The purpose of the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma and Resilience at Georgia State University is to facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to produce compelling models for understanding and coping with stress that can be applied to real-world settings.
Affiliates’ interests and activities aligned with the Center
Shanta R. Dube, Ph.D., MPH, is an associate professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Georgia State University. She specializes in epidemiologic research focused on early life stress and trauma as risk factors for negative health outcomes throughout the life span and also on trauma survivorship, healing and recovery. Before coming to Georgia State in 2014, Dube was lead health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she was one of the original research investigators on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Dube received CDC scientific recognition for her groundbreaking scientific publications from the ACE Study and was awarded the CDC Honor award for Epidemiologic Research, as well as nominated for the prestigious Charles Shepard award for scientific excellence. Dube has published and presented widely on the topic of childhood determinants of health, adolescent health, substance use/abuse and trauma survivorship. She has served on the editorial board for Child Abuse and Neglect since 2003. Her current research interests focus on patterns of self-care for positive well-being through the use of complimentary and integrative health practices and processes used for healing and recovery among adult trauma survivors.
John Christopher, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Brenau University. Trained in industrial-organizational psychology, he has 20 years of experience focused on human resource practices that foster psychologically healthy workplaces. He has served in roles from psychology faculty to principle investigator to consultant and has extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods. He also has direct experience as a consultant and research manager in the energy, telecommunications and public health industries.
Christopher has presented papers at the HR Florida Conference & Expo, International Association of Business Communicators World Conference, Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management and Society for Teaching Psychology’s Annual Conference on Teaching. Christopher teaches research methods, statistics, industrial-organizational psychology, organizational behavior, human resources management and holds a doctorate degree in industrial organizational psychology.
Jeff Luce has spent his clinical career working with children and adolescents in the Medicaid and underserved population space. His area of interest and expertise are adolescent behavioral disorders and behavioral health systems. He currently serves as the clinical director for the Southern Region (Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi) for Cenpatico Behavioral Health, a specialty Medicaid Managed Care Organization.
Ibrahim A. Kira, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Cumulative Trauma Studies, Stone Mountain, GA. His research examines cross-culturally, the new development-based trauma framework (DBTF) that he led in its development, as well as the development of measurement tools for the DBTF. His primary interests include the effects of different trauma types, and profiles of cumulative trauma on refugees, torture survivors. He is past-director of Center for Torture and Trauma Survivors, Decatur, GA, and past-supervisor of Children Mental Health Clinic, ACCESS community Health and Research Center, Dearborn, MI. Kira is the first author of over 45 peer reviewed articles that focus on trauma, torture and coping.
Jacqueline Laures-Gore, Ph.D. is an associate professor with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University. Her primary research interest involves understanding the role stress plays in recovery and performance in adults with aphasia post-stroke. She studies both physiological stress and coping in this population.
Jane Brack, Ph.D.
Jane Brack, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Georgia with a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Indiana University in 1989. Brack has over 50 articles published and nearly 200 presentations in the area of crisis and trauma. In addition, Brack is a certified mediator and teaches classes in mediation. In 1997, Brack was one of the original founders of the Project for the Empowerment of South African Counselors (PESAC), a joint organization between Georgia State and South African counselors to assist the new South Africa to develop its educational and mental health infrastructure. Brack continues as the co-director of that organization. To date, PESAC has provided over 200 hours of in-country training for South African service professionals and established the first degree program for Life Skills Education and distance learning in Sub-Sahara Africa. Brack’s international counseling work continues with future expansion to other areas in Africa and around the world. Currently, Brack is developing postmodern definitions and treatment paradigms for trauma recovery.
Laura Shannonhouse, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Counseling and Psychological Services. Her interests include responding to and learning from people who experience stress and trauma as a result of crisis/disaster. Her work in this area includes (a) being deployed to accident (e.g. motor vehicle) / suicide (active & completed) / crime (e.g. bank robbery), scenes to provide clinical services, (b) conducting illness-related trauma counseling in South Africa/Botswana, (c) responding to post-earthquake Haitian refugees, (d) providing psycho-education to charter school teachers post-Katrina, (e) offering clinical services and psycho-education regarding trauma and acculturative stress with Burmese, Bhutanese and Vietnamese refugees, and (f) providing debriefing services to psychologists working with parents who lost their children in the ABC daycare center fire disaster in Mexico which involved examining levels of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue. These experiences have shaped her research interest in understanding and providing culture centered disaster response, and considering innovative and creative ways that survivors experience support, resilience and post-traumatic growth (for example, training paraprofessionals, fostering communities of support, spiritual first aid and so forth).
Wing Yi Chan’s research investigates the positive development of urban adolescents and young adults who have experienced marginalization and adversity (for example, racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees). Applying an ecological approach and developmental psychopathology framework, her work examines individual and contextual mechanisms that underlie positive youth development and resilience. Her work also addresses the translation of science into practice in the area of prevention science. She has developed and evaluated school-based preventive interventions designed for urban youth and families.
Becky Ellis, Ph.D. is an associate professor of kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. Her research interests include understanding and promoting physical activity to improve quality of life for people who are most at risk for inactive lifestyles by studying theory-based correlates of physical activity. She has examined the psychological correlates of physical activity using the theory of planned behavior, the trans-theoretical model, and an integrative model of the two theories with several at-risk populations including women, adolescents and adults with physical disabilities. Another focus area of her research is the development, testing and validation of outcome measures and interventions to promote physical activity in at-risk populations. Primarily, her focus has been on measures of physical activity, health-related quality of life and falls risk.
In the Spring of 2014, Ellis partnered with the Office of Employee Development and Wellness Services to design and implement Desire2Move (D2M), an annual physical activity program for Georgia State employees. Many departments across the Georgia State campus and over 150 employees participate in D2M now, annually. With funding from the Center and in collaboration with Ken Rice and Greg Brack, they will examine the associations among physical activity motivation and behavior, stress, personality and self-compassion among Georgia State employees.
Date and Place: March 29, 2019, at 12:15pm, CEHD Room 1030
Speaker: Dr. Fernán Arana, School of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Title: “Should We Care About Broken Hearts? A Cross-Cultural View of Romantic Breakups in University Students”
Summary from Dr. Arana: “Romantic dissolutions are considered “normative” events because of their high prevalence, but they can also be painful and stressful experiences. Although most of the emotions elicited by breakups tend to be transient, some complications might arise such as clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicide attempts. That said, to unveil which processes turn a “broken heart” into a serious mental health issue is one of the main reasons for my research program at the University of Buenos Aires. I am particularly interested in the potential interaction of personality and relationship variables in the prediction of breakup distress.
The second reason for my program involves the inclusion of cultural values in romantic breakups. Because culture is often neglected in the literature of the field, we joined with Georgia State in a collaborative effort to disentangle to what extent breakups are affected by cultural values such as individualism and/or collectivism in Argentinean and U.S. students.
To sum up, I expect to give the audience a walk through to the history and recent research developments in the field of romantic breakups and show some fresh results from our own research program and collaboration. Naturally, I hope we can make room at the end of the talk to share some thoughts and discuss clinical implications.”
Date and Place: February 22, 2019, at 12:15pm, CEHD Room 150
Speaker: Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, Wayne State University
More information about Dr. Gómez can be found on her website: http://jmgomez.org/. For more information on cultural betrayal trauma theory, please view this short video:
Title: “Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory: Inequality & Healing”
Summary from Dr. Gómez: “Interpersonal trauma, such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse, is linked with mental health outcomes, with some minority populations at increased risk for victimization. In drawing from the mainstream and minority trauma psychology literatures, I will define cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT; for example, Gómez, 2012), which suggests that interpersonal trauma in conjunction with discrimination affects diverse outcomes of trauma. For example, in CBTT, I propose that if a Black woman is sexually assaulted by a Black man, the outcomes of this trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are impacted by both the victim and perpetrator experiencing discrimination in society.
In addition to detailing the empirical evidence for CBTT, I will detail micro- and macro-level implications of CBTT, including the necessity of grappling with the tension of conducting this work within a society of inequality.”
Special thanks to Dr. Marisa Franco for arranging this visit and presentation!
Resilience and Liberation at the Intersection: Building a Research Agenda with Trans People of Color
Dr. Anneliese Singh
February 12, 2016
Challenges and Resilience Speaker Series
Pictures from the November 2015 Speaker Series on the topic of Challenges and Resilience. Talks within this topic included: Play Therapy with Terminally Ill Children, Pathogenesis to Salutogenesis: Understanding Health, Recovery, & Subjective Well-Being Among Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma, & Stress generating & Stress enhancing Effects of Perfectionism on STEM students.
Positive Psychology Speaker Series
Pictures from the October 2015 Speaker Series on the topic of Positive Psychology. Talks within this topic included: The Heart of Hope Study, The Heart of Forgiveness-Seeking after Humble Repentance, Decisional forgiveness, Virtues and Meaning in Life: How Doing Good Might Contribute to the Good Life, Psychology for Ministry: Clergy Attitudes Toward Mental Health.