Research

Lab Projects

The TVA lab values teamwork and collaboration. While individual lab members pursue research endeavors in their particular area of interest, they also contribute their knowledge and expertise to other lab projects. This allows the TVA lab to explore diverse research areas relating to various aspects of trauma, violence, and abuse. Below is a sample of the research projects currently being conducted by the TVA lab members and faculty collaborators. Dr. DiLillo serves as a supervisor/collaborator on the following ongoing projects (student names and other collaborators listed in parentheses).  

Effects of peritraumatic alcohol intoxication on intrusive memories (Jaffe): This experimental study involves examining the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on intrusive memories following exposure to a stressful film. 

Roles of bystander intoxication and perpetrator status in bystander effectiveness (Steel, Grandgenett): This study examines two factors—bystander alcohol intoxication and perpetrator social status—that may influence the effectiveness of popular bystander intervention programs.

Project CARE (Franz): This goal of this project is to examine the influence of stressful life experiences on parent-child interactions, as well as mothers’ in-the-moment emotional and biological reactivity.

The Wounded Warrior: Resilience Factors Minimizing Suicide Risk in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Hein): This study examines psychological and personality resilience factors that may serve to weaken the known relation between PTSD and suicide in veterans.

Does partner support buffer the effects of PTSD on daily distress and experiential avoidance?: (Franz, DiLillo, Brock): The purpose of the current study is to examine the stress-buffering role of partner support in reducing daily emotional distress and experiential avoidance resulting from elevated PTSD symptoms. We hypothesize that the detrimental impact of PTSD symptoms on daily trajectories of positive emotion, negative emotion, and experiential avoidance (across 14 days) will be weaker to the extent that partner support is of high quality.  This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Brock's lab.

Latent classes of lifetime sexual victimization in young women: The role of difficulties in emotion regulation (Charak, Messman-Moore, Gratz). The aim of the study is to investigate typologies/latent classes of women based on various childhood and adult sexual abuse/assault characteristics, and their potential effects on emotion dysregulation.

Project PEACE: Partner Enrichment to Address Conflict Effectively (Jaffe, Schreier): The purpose of this project is to implement and examine a prevention program for male and female college students who are at risk for perpetration of dating aggression. This four-session program involves skills building in a number of implicated areas, such as mindfulness, acceptance, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and cognitive restructuring.

Longitudinal Assessment of Interpersonal Victimization in Undergraduates (Jaffe, Steel): This longitudinal study is designed to examine the nature of sexual assault and dating violence victimization in college men and women. Risk factors for revictimization and PTSD (e.g., alcohol use, posttraumatic cognitions, social support) will be examined.

Multilevel Meta-Analysis: An Application to PTSD and Substance Use Treatments (Jaffe, Franz, Hoffman): This project involves the development of SAS macros to facilitate meta-analyses conducted in a multilevel framework. To demonstrate the use of these macros, a meta-analysis will be conducted to examine the efficacy of treatments for comorbid PTSD and substance use.

Opportunity for Bystander Intervention (Haikalis, Steel): The purpose of this study is to assess the opportunity for bystanders to intervene in situations where individuals experienced unwanted sexual advances or sexual assault.

Development of a Measure of Self Sexual Objectification (Haikalis, Jaffe, Gervais): The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate a novel measure that captures the phenomenon in which women internalize the sexual objectification that they experience.

Alcohol, Sexual Objectification, and Sexual Aggression Study (Haikalis, Franz, Gervais): This study utilized an experimental approach and eye tracking technology to test the impact of alcohol intoxication on sexual objectification and sexual aggression in a lab-based setting. We are now examining sexual objectification as a mediator between acute intoxication and lab-based sexual aggression. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Gervais' lab.

Childhood abuse and neglect and physical, sexual and psychological partner abuse: A latent class approach: (Messman-Moore, Charak, Cook, Gratz) The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of discrete groups of young women based on exposure to childhood abuse and neglect and intimate partner violence. We further investigate if these groups differ on a number of psychopathological constructs.