Evaluating stress, mental health and performance of athletes

In partnership with local, national and international officials and organizations, TU’s Institute of Trauma, Adversity, and Injustice works to advance knowledge about traumatic stress studies through a dedicated group of students, scholars, policymakers and practitioners

Psychology Professors Lisa Cromer and Joanne Davis and Kathleen Strunk, a clinical professor of nursing, oversee a study evaluating stress, mental health and performance of TU athletes. The Student Health, Athletic Performance and Education (SHAPE) study is an interdisciplinary collaboration with nursing, athletics and psychology. SHAPE’s main goal is to use what the institute knows from its interdisciplinary work to better understand issues of adversity in the lives of athletes and develop strategies to address the interactions among adversity, physical and mental health functioning, and improve academic and athletic performance. Graduate students conduct the assessment and assist in the development and administration of the interventions.

Other students affiliated with the institute have participated in a study-abroad course in Africa developed by two faculty members. This five-week summer course involves two weeks of classes on the TU campus and three weeks of classes, site visits, community service and cultural excursions in Ghana. In 2013, the institute began planning several interdisciplinary initiatives for community-engaged research, education and service learning in Africa, including partnering with engineering students who built a water-pumping carousel to be installed in Ghana in 2015.

Not only are TU students active in numerous research projects and scholarships, they are dedicated to disseminating the findings of their research. They publish articles and book chapters and present at regional, national and international conferences, gaining opportunities to contribute to the advancing knowledge in trauma studies and network with leaders in the field.