Areas of Expertise:

Mental Health & Trauma

We explore a variety of psychological and psychiatric topics, including trauma-related stress and growth.

Mental health is the capacity of an individual's emotional and cognitive functioning. A person's mental health shows itself through their mood and emotions, behavior, and thinking and processing. Poor mental health can be attributed to many factors, including organic (abnormalities in the brain and hormones), genetic, social (such as gender, ethnicity, social class, and trauma), and situational (like stressful situations and substance abuse).

Trauma, in the context of mental health, is the psychological response caused by a distressing event (also known as a traumatic experience). Some survivors of trauma develop Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that can severely impact a person's mental and physical health and limit their ability to function in society. Posttraumatic growth, by contrast, is when trauma survivors make personal improvement in their lives following the traumatic experience.

Kent State nurse researchers are exploring the mental health of patients across the lifespan, posttraumatic stress and growth, and the preparedness of psychiatric/mental health care providers.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Amy Petrinec, Ph.D., RN
    Focus: Family member posttraumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms and coping strategies when making decisions for chronically, critically ill patients.
  • James Tudhope, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
    Focus: Better alignment for early entry APRNs in community mental health with patients who have established complex integrative needs.
  • Andrea Warner Stidham, Ph.D., MSN, RN
    Focus: Psychiatric and/or mental health issues, as well as children, adolescents, and adults with posttraumatic growth; posttraumatic growth in people who have experienced traumatic life events, including sexual violence, spousal deployment, foster care, and HIV.

Recent Publications & Presentations

Warner Stidham, A., & Schoenewald, C. (2019, March). The experiences of posttraumatic growth among foster care alumni. Poster presented at the 43rd Annual Research Conference of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Kansas City, MO.

Petrinec, A., & Chen, K. (2019, March). Post-intensive care syndrome-family: Feasibility of cognitive behavioral therapy app. Poster presented at the 43rd Annual Research Conference of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Kansas City, MO.

Stidham, A. W. (2018, August). Correlates of posttraumatic growth in spouses of U.S. Service members deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Poster presented at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS), Kissimmee, Florida.

Ross, R., Shahrour, G., Warner Stidham, A., & Delahanty, D. L. (2017). The psychometric properties of the WHOQOL-BREF among Thai women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 25(3), 389-399. doi:10.1891/1061-3749.25.3.389

Recent Grants

Investigator(s) Grant Title Funding Agency
Wendy Umberger and Lisa Onesko Expanding the Base of PMH APRNs in Northeast Ohio Peg's Foundation
Amy Petrinec, Yea-Jyh Chen, Joel Hughes (Psychology), and Melissa Zullo (College of Public Health)  Post-intensive Care Syndrome Family: Feasibility of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Delivery Utilizing a Mobile Health App Kent State University Healthy Communities Research Initiative Launch Pad 
Wendy Umberger, Andrea Warner Stidham, Kimberly Williams, and Mark Arredondo (University Health Services) Building Interdisciplinary Teams and Preparing Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH) Nurse Practitioners to Provide PMH Treatment in Integrated Care Settings U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)