Current Projects

Active Studies

Dismantling Study
Led by Jenny Lee
The purpose of this study is to extend previous findings regarding the impact of Exposure, Relaxation, and Rescripting Therapy (ERRT), a brief cognitive behavioral treatment for chronic nightmares, by examining the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes following different components of the treatment. Nightmares have been related to a variety of factors including stress, medications, trauma, and substance use. Three prior randomized-controlled trials have established the efficacy of the treatment in reducing nightmares and related distress, other sleep impairments, post-traumatic stress symptoms and depressive symptoms. The lab’s next step is to determine which, if any, of the treatment components (e.g., exposure, Psychoeducation, relaxation) are the most effective. This echoes the field with regard to treatment of nightmares and related sleep disturbances, in which people are now looking at the most effective components, effective combinations, and over what length of time.

RCT4 – Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) + ERRT
Led by Jenny Lee
The purpose of this study is to extend previous findings regarding the efficacy of a brief treatment for chronic posttrauma nightmares and sleep problems by integrating this treatment with evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a well-established and efficacious evidence-based psychological treatment for PTSD in both civilian and veteran populations. However, despite such promising evidence, individuals who experience chronic nightmares and sleep problems tend to show smaller gains and persistent nightmares following PTSD treatment. Exposure, relaxation, and rescripting therapy (ERRT) is a promising psychological intervention developed to target trauma-related nightmares and sleep disturbances.  Though further evidence is needed, ERRT has exhibited strong support in reducing the frequency and intensity of nightmares, as well as improving overall sleep quality in both civilian and veteran samples. There is a call to research suggesting the importance of treatment studies which focus on interventions that integrate nightmare and sleep symptom treatment with evidence-based treatment for PTSD. In an effort to respond to this call, we will tailor ERRT for use in conjunction with CPT, and preliminarily test ERRT’s additive effect to CPT in treating PTSD in community outpatients.

Broad Assessment of Differential Adaptation and Symptom Severity
Led by Jim Scholl 
The purpose of this study is to assess a broad range of psychological traits and symptoms as they relate to trauma, resilience, and adaptive/maladaptive behaviors. A broad assessment is necessary under the working hypothesis that an individual’s response to trauma is differentially influenced by many other factors; for example, personality traits, perceived and actual social support, locus of control, and others. This lab project was initiated by Christopher Cranston to introduce a new, undergraduate-driven, long-term lab project that will offer several research questions for posters and precandidacy projects. Additional packets can be added in order to collect longitudinal and additional data on individuals who have participated in the original battery.

Exposure Relaxation and Rescripting Therapy for Bipolar (B-ERRT)
Led by Katherine Miller
The purpose of this study will be to adapt the nightmare treatment (ERRT) for trauma exposed individuals with bipolar disorder.  In the past, our studies have excluded individuals with bipolar due to their inherent problems with sleep and the fact that our current treatment does not necessarily address the specific problems of bipolar.  This study will aid in determining if such a treatment will be helpful in reducing symptoms (e.g., nightmare frequency, intensity, depression/mania symptoms, and PTSD symptoms) in this specialized population.

Time to Report Rape
Led by Rachel Micol
This projects aims to clarify the mean, modal, and range of time frames that sexual assault survivors take to present for a SANE exam and possibly, to report their assault to the police, as well as to identify whether or not certain characteristics are associated with reporting times. We also seek to track arrest and court-related outcomes for sexual assault cases. Through the efforts of this project, we hope to enhance our understanding of reporting decisions, in addition to mitigating the stigma commonly associated with delayed reporting of sexual victimization. This project may be especially relevant in Tulsa, due to the fact that the district attorney’s office consider reports made over six hours after victimization as “delayed.”

The Experience of Dating Violence for Sexual Minority College Students
Led by Chelsea Cogan
The current study proposes to replicate and expound on current research related to dating violence in college student populations by exploring the prevalence and correlates of dating violence perpetration, victimization, and consequences in the context of sexual minority dating partnerships. Determining constructs and correlates that may be relevant and applicable to this minority population may provide crucial insight into ways to strengthen various aspects of academic and programmatic efforts related to dating violence on campuses throughout the country. This includes the potential not only to influence prevention, but also treatment, reporting, policy, and the overall campus climate.

Alcohol and Consent
Led by Chelsea Cogan
The current study was designed to examine beliefs about alcohol, intoxication, and consent in college populations. Students are asked to read a brief vignette and then determine if what they read was a sexual assault or not. Additionally, the study aims to identify other indicators of intoxication that were not assessed in the vignette.

A General Medical Opinion: In Regards to Psychological Treatment, Sleep Disturbances, and Nightmares
Led by Westley Youngren
This study was designed to gain a better understanding of the medical world’s perspective of psychological treatments, especially in regards to sleep disturbances and nightmares. The majority of patients with emotional or psychological problems are treated solely by general practitioners (GPs), without referral to specialist psychiatric, psychological or counselling services (Buka, Viscidi, & Susser, 2014; Goldberg, & Huxley, 1992). Due to a dramatic lack of referral to psychological treatment for sleep issues (such as chronic nightmares), there is believed to be mental health illiteracy in regards to sleep issues. Overall it remains unclear as to why patients are not referred to psychological treatment. The intention of this study is to acquire information that will help us gain a better understanding of why patients are not being referred to psychological treatment and what are the medical world’s views on psychological treatment in special regards to sleep disturbances and nightmares.