Much research has examined the negative consequences of trauma, but a growing body of research has examined posttraumatic growth (PTG), or positive psychological changes, that may occur as a result of trauma. This session will focus on stressors and traumas encountered by marginalized individuals, such as “coming out” and bullying experiences, and how such experiences contribute to PTG. Specifically, research will be presented that examines: 1) the impact of “coming out” as LGBT on PTG; 2) the role of bullying in PTG among LGBT adults and children with visual impairments; and 3) “best practices” to promote growth and foster inclusion.
Jennifer Ratcliff, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at The College at Brockport. She received her PhD in social psychology from Ohio University and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Ratcliff’s research program focuses on understanding the processes by which individuals develop and maintain both positive and negative attitudes toward marginalized groups. This work has been applied to understanding how to bring about positive relations between marginalized and majority groups. In a recent line of research, she has begun to examine the role of bullying in posttraumatic growth.
Ms. Erin E. Bonafede earned her bachelor of arts in psychology at Nazareth College (2009), and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Research Psychology at The College at Brockport. Her research is primarily focused on examining factors related to the experience of “coming out” as LGBT, such as trauma and posttraumatic growth (i.e., positive psychological changes that emerge following traumatic experiences). Ms. Bonafede’s passion for geriatric psychology is evident through her role at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she works with inpatient geriatric patients.
Jamie Tombari ’17 is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology at The College at Brockport. He is involved on campus as a resident assistant for freshman students in the Psychology and Biological Sciences Living Learning Community. He also is a member of Dr. Jennifer Ratcliff’s Positive Intergroup Relationships research lab and Dr. Melissa Brown’s Mindfulness and Meditation research lab. Mr. Tombari’s undergraduate thesis examines the role of bullying on posttraumatic growth in the LGBT community. This research is being funded by a competitive grant awarded by Psi Chi, the National Honor’s Society in Psychology.