Crystal L Park

Crystal L Park
University of Connecticut | UConn · Department of Psychology

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405
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Publications

Publications (405)
Article
Full-text available
In two national samples in the United States, we aimed to determine the extent to which GTG is distinct from both general gratitude and general religiousness, using statistical methods to determine (1) if GTG shows patterns of association with other variables distinct from general gratitude and religiousness, and (2) whether GTG predicts wellbeing...
Article
Current measures of religious coping are generally etic in nature, measuring constructs across religions. Emic variables (i.e., those specific to particular religions) are often left out, which limits our ability to assess religious/spiritual coping during times of stress and adversity. Here we provide findings from three studies we conducted to de...
Article
The present study builds on prior research by examining the moderating relationships between different types of capital on physical functioning, emotional functioning, and depressive symptoms using a 2.5‐year longitudinal design with a national sample of African–American adults. Results indicated a significant T1 social capital × T1 religious capit...
Article
Rumination, self-focused thinking about events and emotions negatively and repeatedly, is a common cognitive process that leads to maladaptive health behaviors. Because mindfulness has been shown to reduce the negative psychological effects of rumination in other studies, we posited that it may buffer the association between rumination and maladapt...
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As scholars who have been engaged in interdisciplinary emic measure development, we provide our reflections on the prospects and perils of this kind of engagement. We contrast the approach we have in mind with other interdisciplinary activities; we commend engaging social scientists, philosophers, and theologians in collaboration across all of the...
Article
Research on post-traumatic growth (PTG) has burgeoned in recent years. Nearly all of the research on PTG, however, has relied on retrospective assessments of perceived growth. These reports are minimally related to prospectively assessed positive change after trauma, and what they may reflect remains unknown. In this paper, we: (1) examine the evid...
Article
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Objectives: Although robust associations between aspects of religiousness/spirituality (R/S) and physical health have been established, little systematic information is available about federal funding support for this area of research. To address this question, we conducted a comprehensive systematic review and analysis. Study Design: Systematic re...
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Introduction Yoga has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in populations with chronic low back pain (cLBP), yet the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of a yoga research protocol, including recruitment, retention, and data collection, and investigated the preliminary effe...
Article
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Objective Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are associated with high blood pressure (BP) and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and in response to acute stress. Unique contributions of PTSD symptom clusters to cardiovascular responses to stress are rarely investigated. This study tested whether PTSD-related arousal/reactivit...
Preprint
Current measures of religious coping are generally etic in nature, measuring constructs across religions. Emic variables (i.e., those specific to particular religions) are often left out, which limits our ability to assess religious/spiritual coping during times of stress and adversity. Here we provide findings from three studies we conducted to de...
Article
Full-text available
Background Chronic low back pain (cLBP) and chronic neck pain (cNP) are highly prevalent conditions and common reasons for disability among military personnel. Yoga and other mind-body interventions have been shown to safely decrease pain and disability in persons with cLBP and/or cNP but have not been adequately studied in active duty military per...
Preprint
Suffering is part of the human condition, and people often turn to their faith to make sense of this experience. Active religious coping has been related to positive psychological outcomes in individuals facing adversity. However, not all sources of suffering can be resolved. Spiritual surrender is one form of religious coping relevant in these unr...
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Research demonstrates that people often draw on their religions in coping with difficult life circumstances and that more religious people tend to cope better than less religious people. Lament is a form of religious coping with roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Recognizing the importance of cultural and religious resources to people’s well-b...
Article
Social media use increased early in the Covid-19 pandemic, but little information is available about its impact. The present study examined associations of frequency of use of different social media and the motives for use with subsequent social well-being and mental health. Data were gathered on a nationwide sample of 843 Americans during the firs...
Preprint
From a Christian theological perspective, intimacy with God is an important element of the Christian life. However, while other aspects of relationship with God have been examined in the psychology of religion, intimacy with God has not been the focus of study. In this project, we offer a conceptualization of intimacy with God as a construct, which...
Preprint
As scholars who have been engaged in interdisciplinary emic measure development, we provide our reflections on the prospects and perils of this kind of engagement. We contrast the approach we have in mind with other interdisciplinary activities; we commend engaging social scientists, philosophers, and theologians in collaboration across all of the...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges and demands for parents or caregivers of children who experienced disruptions in social support and feelings of isolation. Mindful emotion regulation may be a resilient factor for parents’ psychosocial outcomes. Mindful emotion regulation refers to individuals’ inherent capacities to reg...
Preprint
Objectives: Research has established religion and spirituality as important resources for Black people in the US coping with adversity. Most research has been from an etic perspective, examining religious variables that are valid across multiple religions. In the present study, we asked what emic aspects of the Black church’s practices and theologi...
Article
Little is known about factors that contribute to mental health help-seeking during disasters beyond attitudes toward counseling. The COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) global pandemic dramatically impacted individuals, families, and communities worldwide. The pandemic led to significant disruptions to family routines, and evidence suggests an increase in instan...
Article
Refugees are disproportionately affected by extreme traumatic events that can violate core beliefs and life goals (i.e., global meaning) and cause significant distress. This mixed‐methods study used an exploratory sequential design to assess meaning violations in a sample of Syrian refugees living in Portugal. For this purpose, we cross‐culturally...
Article
Background: Coyne and Tennen [(2010). Positive psychology in cancer care: Bad science, exaggerated claims, and unproven medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 39(1), 16-26. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-009-9154-z] argue that completing self-reports of posttraumatic growth (PTG) requires four complicated cognitive steps. Design: We conducted...
Article
The present study examined revictimization, defined as sexual or physical assault in adulthood that followed a history of childhood maltreatment. We aimed to identify factors associated with revictimization over time in a group of U.S. military veterans deployed following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (9/11). As revictimization is assoc...
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Social support is closely linked to health, but little is known about United States (U.S.) veterans' social support over time and factors that may influence their support trajectories. This study investigates social support over time for U.S. men and women Post-9/11 veterans in relation to trauma history and gender. A secondary analysis of longitud...
Article
Despite the life‐threatening nature of many cardiac conditions, patients often report perceived posttraumatic growth (PPTG) in their recovery. To date, this research remains scattered across the literature, and no systematic review across cardiac patient populations is available. To understand the state of the literature on PPTG in cardiac patients...
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Background: Population-based research and community-based interventions are integral to occupational therapy’s scope of practice, yet they are underdeveloped in actual implementation. Therefore, this paper focuses on some health challenges facing the African American population, guided by the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance Model. Method...
Chapter
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Taking a positive psychology perspective on cancer survivorship, this chapter focuses on three interrelated topics: meaning, spirituality, and perceived growth. The meaning-making model (Park, Psychological Bulletin 136:257–301, 2010a; Park, Stress, coping, and meaning. In: Folkman S (ed.), Oxford handbook of stress, health, and coping (pp. 227–41)...
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Introduction Pressure to meet U.S. military weight requirements during service may predispose some service members to develop psychiatric disorders such as eating disorders or unhealthy eating behaviors, which may persist after military discharge. Specifically, research examining U.S. military veterans has found that in weight management programs,...
Article
Perceiving that one has grown in positive ways following highly stressful experiences (perceived posttraumatic growth; PPTG) is common and sometimes--but not always--related to psychological wellbeing. However, PPTG is typically studied cross-sectionally and well after the stressful experience has passed; how PPTG might relate to wellbeing over tim...
Article
Research consistently links U.S. military veterans’ meaning in life to better mental health and well-being. Yet, because meaning in life is usually studied as a precursor of other aspects of wellbeing, much remains to be learned about veterans’ meaning in life itself. Two key questions are (1) how well do veterans maintain a sense of meaning in lif...
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Purpose Internalized weight stigma (IWS) is common in the United States of America across body weight categories, and is implicated in the development of distress and unhealthy eating behaviors (e.g. overeating, disordered eating) that can foster poor cardiometabolic health. While emerging intervention research shows early promise in reducing IWS,...
Article
Internalized weight stigma (IWS) is independently associated with less intuitive eating (i.e., eating based on endogenous hunger/satiety cues) and higher Body Mass Index (BMI), and intuitive eating training is commonly conceptualized as protective against the effects of IWS on poor behavioral health. The 3-way relationship between IWS, intuitive ea...
Article
Objective: This mixed methods study aimed to understand ways of viewing and experiencing religious attachment among Christians in spiritually integrated psychotherapies. Method: In total, 190 Christian-affiliated clients completed narrative responses about religious and parental attachment along with validated measures of spiritual and psycholog...
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Research on the relationship between belief in God and mental health is scarce and often limited to comparing group differences in mental health across various self-reported religious identities (e.g., atheists, agnostics, believers). To advance this work, we focused on how the extent of belief in God related to three indices of psychological distr...
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Background/Objective Cancer can be extremely disruptive, triggering high levels of distress, and at the same time transformative, promoting perceptions of positive life changes and growth. This study aims to analyze the psychometric proprieties of the Stress-Related Growth Scale Short-Form (SRGS-SF) in cancer patients. Method 209 Cancer patients h...
Article
The transition to college is a critical developmental window during which eating behaviors are susceptible to dysregulation. Changes in exposure to discrimination contribute to alterations in eating behaviors, which may be exacerbated or attenuated by coping styles. The present longitudinal study examines whether increases in perceived discriminati...
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The present study investigates whether social support mediates the relationship between personality traits and physical functioning among African Americans over 2.5 years. Data were collected from a national probability sample of African American adults (analytic sample N = 312). Telephone surveys included measures of the five-factor model personal...
Article
Objective: Research from the early months of the SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) pandemic identifies many COVID-related stressors, including fears of infection, disruptions to work/learning and daily self-care routines, and lack of access to reliable information and resources. Measuring the complex, ongoing nature of the stressors related to COVID-19 is of...
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The centrality of the collective to Syrian identity and the ability of war to disrupt community ties have led to significant violations of Syrians’ pre-war assumptions about themselves, the world, and their place in the world. Guided by the integrated meaning-making model, this qualitative cross-sectional study assessed Syrian refugees’ meaning tra...
Chapter
Positive reappraisal is a key method for managing distressing emotions and reframing troubling circumstances into a challenge that is more easily handled or resolved. One of the main ways that people positively reframe their stressful experiences is by perceiving that they have grown or benefitted from them. This chapter provides a historical persp...
Article
Background and Purpose: Stress contributes to dietary patterns that impede health. Yoga is an integrative stress management approach associated with improved dietary patterns in burgeoning research. Yet, no research has examined change in dietary patterns, body mass index (BMI), and stress during a yoga intervention among stressed adults with poor...
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Intrinsic and extrinsic (I/E) religious motives remain a perennial topic of interest within the psychology of religion. Yet, the status of this construct remains unclear despite many decades of research. The present overview describes conceptual and methodological concerns regarding I/E, including issues of definition, measurement, and cultural con...
Article
Resilience is highly relevant in the context of cancer, and understanding how survivors adapt and potentially thrive following their diagnosis and treatment may provide insights into better supports and interventions to promote healthier survivorship. In this paper, we characterize two different ways to conceptualize and study resilience in cancer...
Article
Objective: Research has established religion and spirituality as important resources for Black people in the U.S. coping with adversity. Most research has been from an etic perspective, examining religious variables that are valid across multiple religions. In the present study, we asked what emic aspects of the Black church's practices and theolo...
Preprint
Parents have been vulnerable to psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the disruptions in social support including restricted connections to support networks and loss of access to healthcare, schools and day care centers, and community services. Based on the literature associating mindful emotion regulation with loneliness and p...
Article
Background: Suicide rates are higher among veterans than non-veterans; this difference is particularly salient for females. Knowledge is sparse regarding correlates of suicidal ideation (SI) among female veterans, particularly in non-VHA samples. As such, and given that SI confers a strong risk for subsequent suicidal behavior, this study aimed to...
Article
Background: The negative mental health impact of coronavirus disease 2019-related stressors may be heightened for those caring for children, who bear responsibity for their welfare during disasters. Aim: Based on the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, we inquired whether caregivers' emotion regulation and coping behavior were associated w...
Article
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Objective: This mixed-methods study assessed the prevalence of pre- and post-migration trauma and stressors as determinants of refugee mental health in resettlement. Method: Forty-four war-affected Syrian civilians arriving in Portugal through four streams – UNHCR resettlement, EU relocation, spontaneous asylum, and higher education programs for re...
Article
Spreading rapidly across the United States beginning in the spring of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic radically disrupted Americans' lives. Previous studies of community-wide disasters suggested people are fairly resilient and identified resources and strategies that promote that resilience. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic is in s...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to pervasive social and economic disruptions. This cross-sectional investigation aimed to evaluate associations between religious/spiritual factors and mental health symptoms among community residents in a southern US state. In particular, we focused on perceptions of God's distance, a salient aspect of re...
Article
Objective: Post-9/11 military deployment is commonly reported as stressful and is often followed by psychological distress after returning home. Yet veterans also frequently report experiencing meaningful military engagement (MME) that may buffer detrimental effects of military stressors. Focusing on the under-investigated topic of association of...
Article
Objectives We compared the health benefits of two different Tai Chi interventions tailored for improving blood pressure (BP) (PRESSURE) or balance (BALANCE). Design randomized controlled trial. Setting Community dwelling older adults (≥60yr) practiced Tai Chi at the fitness center of a continuous care community. Interventions We tailored PRESSUR...
Article
Objectives US military veterans face many challenges in transitioning to civilian life; little information is available regarding veterans' reintegration experiences over time. The current study characterized veterans' postdeployment stressful life events and concurrent psychosocial wellbeing over one year and determined how stressors and wellbeing...
Article
Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) have been shown to coexist following exposure to a traumatic event, but consensus about what accounts for this association is lacking. Network analysis is a novel analytic method that can explain this linkage. In a sample of 1,809 Chinese college students (66.1% female, age range:...
Preprint
Objectives: Research has established religion and spirituality as important resources for Black people in the US coping with adversity. Most research has been from an etic perspective, examining religious variables that are valid across multiple religions. In the present study, we asked what emic aspects of the Black church’s practices and theologi...
Article
Background: We sought to understand the association between heavy alcohol and frequent drug use and non-adherence to recommended social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 early in the US pandemic. Methods: A survey was offered on the crowdsourcing platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) during April 20...
Article
Background High blood pressure is the most common chronic condition among US veterans. Blood pressure control is essential to preventing and managing cardiovascular diseases. While depressive symptoms are a known risk factor for uncontrolled blood pressure and veterans experience high rates of depressive symptoms, no research has examined the relat...
Article
Background Religiousness/spirituality (R/S) has been associated with greater mental wellbeing in US military veterans, but this work has been conducted primarily with older veterans, cross-sectionally, using a constrained set of R/S and mental health constructs, and lacking consideration of the influence of sex and race/ethnicity. Further, few stud...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: This mixed-methods study assessed the prevalence of pre- and post-migration trauma and stressors as determinants of refugee mental health in resettlement. Method: Forty-four war-affected Syrian civilians arriving in Portugal through four streams - UNHCR resettlement, EU relocation, spontaneous asylum, and higher education programs for re...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The rapid emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States has dramatically altered daily life and taken a toll on Americans' physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. Based on previous widespread disasters, future high prevalence of short- and long-term adverse mental health consequences are...
Article
Religious beliefs are generally linked with less distress and higher psychological well-being, but few studies have been conducted with non-Christian samples or outside the United States. We examined how religious beliefs relate to distress and psychological well-being in a sample of Hindu students in India. 178 students (36% women, 64% men, mean a...
Chapter
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A sense of meaning is widely considered to be a central human concern, and it is closely intertwined with religion and spirituality. Meaning in life is a highly desirable quality in and of itself, and it is also associated with many aspects of physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. In this chapter, we introduce the Multidimensional Existential...
Article
Scales assessing stressor exposure often fail to demonstrate adequate psychometric qualities, demonstrating low interitem reliability or complex factor structures, as would be expected, given that the majority of stressors are independent events. However, in large-scale mass crisis events, the stressors may be highly interrelated, indicating shared...
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Few studies have specifically focused on meaning in life in African Americans and many important questions remain, including whether effects of meaning in life are direct or moderated by levels of stress. In a national sample of 909 African Americans, we tested meaning in life as a prospective predictor of changes in depressive symptoms and positiv...
Article
Background: Chronic symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) vary greatly and are difficult to treat; we investigate the impact of meditation, yoga, and mindfulness-based interventions on this treatment group. Method: Search included four databases, allowing studies of any design containing pre/post outcomes for meditation, yoga, or mindfu...
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Full-text available
The present study investigates whether social support mediates the relationship between personality traits and health among African Americans over a 5-year period, filling a gap in the literature on longitudinal tests of the personality-health association. Data were collected from a national probability sample of African American adults ( N = 200)....
Article
Full-text available
Theoretical and treatment approaches posit that violations of beliefs and goals by stressful experiences drive distress and meaning making. However, empirical work examining this notion is limited. Accordingly, we tested violations’ role in driving distress and meaning-making using repeated assessments among 180 undergraduates coping with a recent...
Article
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Background Meaning making is thought to be key to adjustment following major life stressors, but there is a dearth of research on the topic. We examined how three types of meaning-making related to distress and violations across time. Further, we examined whether meaning-making’s association with distress was contingent on whether meaning was made....
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Introduction Emotion regulation is thought to develop substantially from late adolescence into early adulthood; further, the rate of development purportedly varies based on personal and contextual characteristics. However, little research has explicitly documented this maturation in young adulthood or identified its determinants. We aimed to (1) ch...
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Objective Spiritual well‐being (SpWb) is an important dimension of health‐related quality of life for many cancer patients. Accordingly, an increasing number of psychosocial intervention studies have included SpWb as a study endpoint, and may improve SpWb even if not designed explicitly to do so. This meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials (...