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Faculty

Gina Owens

Gina OwensGina Owens
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Kentucky (2004)

Email: gowens4@utk.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Key words: traumatic stress and coping; military veterans; mental health access


Research Interests

Combat trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), meaning-making, and trauma-related cognitions.

Research Statement

My primary research interest is in the area of traumatic stress and coping. Broadly, I am interested in the cognitive appraisal processes that occur after traumatic events and how these impact mental health and coping. I currently focus on the meaning-making process for military veterans after combat exposure and its effect on symptoms such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Recent research with veterans has explored the relationships between guilt, meaning in life, and PTSD severity; mental health needs and barriers to mental health access for female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan; and differences in relationship conflict, attachment, and depression for veterans with PTSD, hazardous substance use, or both. Research with colleagues in VA Medical Centers has centered on treatment outcome, investigating variables such as mindfulness, personality disorder diagnoses, and other variables that may affect outcome.

Current and Future Directions

My current and future work remains focused on meaning-making as well as posttraumatic growth after trauma exposure and characteristics that may encourage or hinder making meaning or reporting growth, such as personality characteristics, emotion regulation skills, relationship attachment style, and current mental health. These types of variables are being examined in two different studies, one with undergraduates and another with military veterans enrolled in VA care.

  • Summer Graduate Research Assistantship (SARIF) for Elizabeth Thomas, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Summer 2016
  • Faculty Graduate Education Award, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, April 2014
  • Participant, Grant Writing Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Summer 2010
  • Summer Graduate Research Assistantship (SARIF) for Catherine Herrera, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Summer 2009
  • Chancellor's Grant for Faculty Research (Course Release), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Spring 2008
  • Fellow, Summer Data Policy Institute, Association for Institutional Research/National Science Foundation/National Center for Education Statistics, June 2006
  • Owens, G. P. (2013). Predictors of Meaning-Making among Combat-Exposed Military Veterans. Chancellor's Professional Development Award, University of Tennessee. ($2500).
  • Owens, G. P. (2009). Veterans' Mental Health. Chancellor's Professional Development Award, University of Tennessee. ($5000).
  • Owens, G. P. (2006). Barriers to Mental Health Access for Female Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. University of Louisville Intramural Research Incentive Grants Research on Women Grant. ($3650). (Funds not accessed due to position change to University of Tennessee.)
* indicates graduate student collaborator

Owens, G. P. (2016). Predictors of posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic stress symptom severity in undergraduates reporting potentially traumatic events. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72, 1064-1076. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22309

Blackburn, L.*, & Owens, G. P. (2016). Rumination, resilience, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 25, 197-209. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2015.1107174

Held, P.*, Owens, G. P., & Anderson, S. E. (2015). The interrelationships among trauma-related guilt and shame, coping, PTSD, and substance use in a sample of treatment-seeking substance users. Traumatology, 21, 285-292. doi: 10.1037/trm0000050

Schumm, J. A., Dickstein, B., Walter, K. H., Owens, G. P., & Chard, K. M. (2015). Changes in posttraumatic cognitions predict changes in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms during cognitive processing therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 1161-1166. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000040

Held, P.*, & Owens, G. P. (2015). Effects of self-compassion workbook training on trauma-related guilt in a sample of homeless veterans: A pilot study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 513-526. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22170

Herrera, C. J.*, & Owens, G. P. (2015). Relationships among multicultural personality, hardiness, cultural stress, and distress in U.S. military personnel. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 323-333. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22138

Blackburn, L.*, & Owens, G. P. (2015). The effect of self-efficacy and meaning in life on posttraumatic stress disorder  and depression severity among veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 219-228. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22133

Steger, M. F., Owens, G. P., & Park, C. L. (2015). Violations of war: Testing the meaning making model among military veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 105-116. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22121

Walter, K. H., Varkovitzky, R. L., Owens, G. P., Lewis, J., & Chard, K. M. (2014). Cognitive processing therapy for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: A cross-sectional and longitudinal comparison between outpatient and residential PTSD treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 551-561. doi: 10.1037/a0037075

Owens, G. P., Held, P.*, Blackburn, L.*, Auerbach, J. S., Clark, A. A.*, Herrera, C. J.*, Cook, J. & Stuart, G. L. (2014). Differences in relationship conflict, attachment, and depression in treatment seeking veterans with substance abuse, PTSD, or PTSD + substance abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29, 1318-1337. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506274.

Held, P.*, & Owens, G. P. (2013). Stigmas and attitudes toward seeking mental health treatment in a sample of veterans and active duty service members. Traumatology, 19, 136-143. doi: 10.1177/1534765612455227

Herrera, C. J.*, Owens, G. P., & Mallinckrodt, B. (2013). Traditional machismo and caballerismo as correlates of PTSD, psychological distress, and relationship satisfaction in Hispanic veterans. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 41, 21-35.

Clark, A. A.*, & Owens, G. P. (2012). Attachment, personality characteristics, and posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25, 1-8. doi: 10.1002/jts.21760

Walter, K. H., Bolte, T. A., Owens, G. P., & Chard, K. M. (2012). The impact of personality disorders on treatment outcome for veterans in a posttraumatic stress disorder residential treatment program. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36, 576-584. doi: 10.1007/s10608-011-9393-8

Whitesell, A. A.*, & Owens, G. P. (2012). The impact of patriotism, morale, and unit cohesion on mental health in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Traumatology, 18, 1-7. doi: 10.1177/1534765610395625

Owens, G. P., Walter, K. H., Chard, K. M., Davis, P. A. (2012). Changes in mindfulness skills and treatment response among veterans in residential PTSD treatment. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4, 221-228. doi: 10.1037/a0024251

Held, P.*, Owens, G. P., Schumm, J. A., Chard, K. M., & Hansel, J. E. (2011). Disengagement coping as a mediator between trauma-related guilt and PTSD severity. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24, 708-715. doi: 10.1002/jts.20689

Owens, G. P., Rogers, S. M.*, & Whitesell, A. A.* (2011). Use of mental health services and barriers to care for individuals on probation or parole. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 50, 37-47. doi: 10.1080/10509674.2011.536721

Chard, K., M., Schumm, J. A., Owens, G. P., & Cottingham, S. M. (2010). A comparison of OEF/OIF and Vietnam veterans receiving cognitive processing therapy. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 25-32. doi: 10.1002/jts.20500

Owens, G. P., Steger, M. F., Whitesell, A. A.*, & Herrera, C. J.* (2009). Posttraumatic stress disorder, guilt, depression, and meaning in life among military veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 654-657. doi: 10.1002/jts.20460

Owens, G. P., Dashevsky, B., Chard, K. M., Mohamed, S., Haji, U., Heppner, P. S., & Baker, D. G. (2009). Therelationship between childhood trauma, combat exposure, and posttraumatic stress disorder in male veterans. Military Psychology, 21, 114-125. doi: 10.1080/08995600802574530

Owens, G. P., Herrera, C. J.*, & Whitesell, A. A.* (2009). A preliminary investigation of mental health needs and barriers to mental health care for female veterans of OIF/OEF. Traumatology, 15, 31-37. doi: 10.1177/1534765609336361

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