Professor and Head
Ph.D., University of Kentucky (2004)
Key words: traumatic stress and coping; military veterans; mental health access
Combat trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), meaning-making, and trauma-related cognitions.
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 currently being examined with military veterans enrolled in VA care. I am interested moral injury among veterans and how this relates to PTSD and other mental health concerns.
- Fellow, American Psychological Association Division 17 (Counseling Psychology), 2019
- 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., & Flores, L. (2017). Diagnostic Assessments for Veterans in Recovery Court. University of Tennessee Community Engagement Incentive Grant. ($2000)
- 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.)
- Keller, E. M. & Owens, G. P. (2019). Understanding Help-seeking in Rural Counties: A Serial Mediation Model of Self-Reliance, Stigma, and Attitudes towards Psychologists. University of Tennessee Graduate School Student-Faculty Research Award. ($2000)
* indicates graduate student collaborator
Owens, G. P., Hamrick, L. A.*, Keller, E. M.*, Perkins, M.*, Collins, S.*, Thomas, E. A.*,
Haag, I., Swan, S., & Pickering, N. (2022). Predictors of posttraumatic stress symptom severity and meaning made in treatment-seeking veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Keller, E. M.*, & Owens, G. P. (2021). Understanding help-seeking in rural counties: A
serial mediation model. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 78(5), 857-876. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23260
Thomas, E. D.*, Owens, G. P., &Keller, E.* (2021). Relationships among non-interpersonal
and interpersonal trauma types, posttraumatic stress, and posttraumatic growth. Journal of Clinical Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23190
Keller, E. M.*, & Owens, G. P. (2020). Traditional rural values and posttraumatic stress
among rural and urban undergraduates. PLOS ONE, 15(8), e0237578. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237578
Hamrick, L. A.*, & Owens, G. P. (2020). Exploring the potential moderating role of self-
compassion on the relationships between event centrality and post-assault psychological outcomes. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/ 10.1002/jclp.23018
Keller, E. M.*, Owens, G. P., Perkins, M.*, & Hamrick, L.* (2020). A qualitative analysis
of meaning-making and mental health among OIF/OEF veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 76, 1851-1868. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22959
Thomas, E. D.*, Hamrick, L.*, Owens, G. P., & Tekie, Y.* (2019). Posttraumatic growth
among undergraduates: Contributions from adaptive cognitive emotion regulation and emotional intelligence. Traumatology.
Hamrick, L. A.*, & Owens, G. P. (2019). Exploring the mediating role of self-blame and
coping in the relationships between self-compassion and distress in females following sexual assault. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75, 766–779. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22730
Held, P.*, Owens, G. P., Thomas, E.*, White, B.*, Anderson, S. E. (2018). A pilot study
of Brief Self-Compassion Training with individuals in substance use disorder treatment. Traumatology, 24, 219-227. doi: 10.1037/trm0000146
Stowell, D. R., Owens, G. P., & Burnett, A. (2018). A pilot horticultural therapy program
serving veterans with mental health issues: Feasibility and outcomes. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 32, 74-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.05.007
Owens, G. P., Held, P. Hamrick, L.*, & Keller, E.* (2018). The indirect effects of
emotion regulation on associations between attachment style, depression, and meaning made among undergraduates who experienced stressful events. Motivation and Emotion, 42, 429-437. doi: 10.1007/s11031-018-9688-0
Held, P., Owens, G. P., Monroe, R., & Chard, K. M. (2017). Increased mindfulness
skills as predictors of decreased trauma-related guilt in treatment-seeking veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 30, 425-431. doi: 10.1002/jts.22209
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: 10.1080/10509674.2011.536721Chard, 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