Areas of Research

Dr. Cromer’s SPARTA Lab conducts research that addresses the prevention and treatment of psychological trauma that can be experienced in response to adverse life experiences. Dr. Cromer is passionate about social justice and works to build human resilience to adversity in at-risk and disadvantaged populations. Much of Dr. Cromer’s prevention work is focused within systems. She has worked with college athletes, first generation college students, trauma-informed schools, students and student athletes transitioning to college, and with military families preparing for deployment. Her expertise extends to the prevention of the intergenerational transmission of trauma and fostering healing from historical trauma. Dr. Cromer’s work is applied in the sense that she actively works to improve outcomes for the people with whom she works. Dr. Cromer’s prevention work is based in attachment, self-regulation, and empowerment.

Ongoing Studies in the SPARTA Lab

Navigating the Challenging Terrain of Parenting: A Journey Worth Taking – A Parenting Program for Military Families

This study is a mindfulness-based parenting program designed specifically for military families. The program consists of six  90-minutes evidence-based sessions that are conducted with a primary trainer, 1-2 co-facilitators and the participants.  The topics include: mindful parenting strategies, emotional regulation, positive discipline, positive parenting/attachment, and sleep. Participants are also provided with skills to develop strategies for each of the module topics. Each session contains elements of group troubleshooting and practice in-session. Additionally, practice at home is assigned at the end of each training session so that participants can continue to practice and implement these skills and strategies in their homes. Data is collected at pre and post intervention. We are currently recruiting participants. The workshop occurs on a rolling basis. Email us at resilientkidsprogram@gmail.com for more information. You can download our brochure here for additional details.

 

Developing Gold Medal Strategies for Strong Minds and Optimal Performance: A Resilience Program for First-Year College Student-Athletes

Gold Medal Strategies is a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based program aimed at fostering resilience, promoting mental health, and facilitating the development of adaptive coping skills within first-year college student-athletes at The University of Tulsa. This randomized, controlled research study provides student-athletes in the resilience program with psychoedcuation and behavioral and cognitive skills, such as effective goal setting, mindfulness practices, and balanced thinking. Data is being collected at key times in the semester (i.e., beginning, mid-term, and during finals) to best determine the short and long-term effects of participation in this resilience program. Danielle Zanotti’s dissertation project.

Exposure, Relaxation, Rescripting and Therapy for Children (ERRT-C) with Trauma-Related Nightmares

The ERRT-C Project (in collaboration with TITAN) was the first randomized controlled clinical trial of a nightmare treatment for children aged 5-17 who had experienced trauma. This treatment was based on the well-established adult version of the treatment (Davis, 2009). This project was conducted both on-site at The University of Tulsa as well as over Telehealth. We are no longer enrolling participants into the study, however, the treatment is now being implemented at the True Blue Neighbors Behavioral Health Center. If you are interested in participating in this treatment or know someone who may be interested in the treatment please contact them at 918-631-3342.

Student Health, Athletic Performance and Education (SHAPE) Project

In collaboration with TITAN, we have collected data from over 400 NCAA Division I athletes at TU.  We are assessing the overall need for psychological services and examining how the athletes’ current life stressors relate to injury incidence and recovery, and athletic performance.  This is a longitudinal study with annual assessments. SHAPE also conducts psycho-educational interventions this year. We have developed a psycho-educational intervention related to sleep hygiene and also time management to help improve health and reduce stress.

Annual reports for the SHAPE project can be found here: SHAPE Report 2012 SHAPE Report 2013 SHAPE Report 2015


University of Tulsa Pre-Candidacy Projects:
Devin Barlaan (2018): A pilot study: The relationship between adverse childhood experience (ACEs), parenting stress and efficacy among military and veteran parents
Mollie Rischard (2018):The role of executive function in predicting children’s outcomes in a cognitive behavioral therapy for trauma-related nightmares
Kristen Gray (2017):Examining posttraumatic nightmare content in children and its relation to posttraumatic psychopathology
Danielle Zanotti (2014): Family deployment preparedness, reintegration attitudes, and PTSD symptoms in military fathers with young children
Emily Kaier (2013): Adverse childhood experiences: Allostatic load and health among elite athletes
Ashley Louie (2013): Military family stress and resilience
Katherine Cunningham (2012): Human trafficking myth acceptance, sexual trauma history, and attitudes about trafficking victims
University of Tulsa Senior Projects:
Tom Gaus (2014): Correlates of depression in athletes
Brooke Hinch (2014): Examining the relationship of two measures of executive function in young children
Chase Winterberg (2013): Attachment during military reintegration
Mitchell Johnson (2012): Psychological help seeking stigma among NCAA athletes
Kaylene Rojas (2012): A study about the benefits of interacting with a therapy dog following a medical exam