CHADRON – Dr. Laura Gaudet, Chadron State College counseling and psychology professor and department chair, recently returned from China where she presented at a third conference in two years.
The conference, “Neurotalk-2016: Innovations of Neuroscience,” was in Beijing May 20-22.
Gaudet’s presentation, “The Effectiveness of a Brief Educational Intervention on the Perceptions of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury,” explained differences of psychology students’ perceptions between individuals with and without a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
“Recent interest in the United States for persons with Traumatic Brain Injury is the result of two phenomena: soldiers returning from war zones with PTSD and TBI and TBI and concussion resulting from football and other contact sports injuries,” Gaudet said.
She expressed her gratitude to administrators who provided support for her travel to present.
“I appreciate academic deans Dr. Jim Powell and Dr. Jim Margetts, who assisted with my travels to these three international conferences. I have a very strong interest in China because the international conferences were well orchestrated and the professional programming was of the highest caliber. Also, the Asian people are extremely kind and welcoming,” Gaudet said.
Gaudet conducted the research at CSC with the assistance of her colleagues Dr. Mary Jo Carnot and Jen Taylor.
During the fall 2015 semester, they administered six psychosocial instruments – measuring emotions, memory, problem-solving, social competence, temperament and other traits using several behavioral and psychosocial checklists – to undergraduate students in Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 131) and Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 430).
They compared pre-test results to a post-test taken after students completed a treatment or educational lesson about TBI.
Before the study, CSC professor Dr. William Roweton pre-tested the instruments with students in Social Psychology (PSYC 331) to assess the readability level.
In all, 76 students in the freshmen level PSYC 131 course sections and 48 students in the senior level PSYC 430 course sections consented to participate in the study. In general, the researchers found significant differences in the students’ perceptions of self vs. persons with TBI for all psychosocial instruments.
Gaudet has researched the psychosocial concerns of individuals with TBI from the perspective of the person, family member and healthcare provider since 1987. Her 1995 dissertation was on the social, emotional and sexual concerns of persons with TBI. She has presented on the topic in Amsterdam, Puerto Rico, Russia, Austria and China.
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