Professor wins award for study of trauma, stress

Steve Bushong

Psychology professor Stevan Hobfoll won recognition for himself and Kent State last week when he was awarded for his contribution to the study of traumatic stress.

The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, a multi-disciplinary, professional organization, awarded Hobfoll the Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement.

Hobfoll won specifically for his research and development of the Conservation of Resources Theory.

The theory explains the interaction between stress and the loss of valuable resources, such as friends or money, according to an article published in the Journal of Community Psychology.

“(Winning the award) shows the kind of excellent research going on at Kent State and the quality of the psychology department,” Hobfoll said.

In addition to his teaching and research capacities, Hobfoll is the director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress.

The center is a partnership between Kent State and Summa Health System of Akron.

Hobfoll works closely with Dr. Joseph Varley, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Summa, and Kent State associate professor Doug Delahanty, in studying traumatic stress and treating patients with the disorder.

Research into the detection, treatment and prevention of traumatic stress is urgently needed to care for trauma victims, Delahanty wrote in an e-mail.

Traumatic events include war, disaster and terrorism, said Hobfoll.

Traumatic stress, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a serious problem affecting more than 13 million Americans, according to the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Alliance Web site.

Hobfoll is also conducting research into the lifetime effect of sexual abuse on women at a young age, and how to more effectively fight the spreading of AIDS among inner-city women, according to a Kent State Web site.

Hobfoll has received more than $9 million in grants to research health and stress.

Contact general assignment reporter Steve Bushong at [email protected].