Hulac, David

Committee Member

Anderson, Jacqueline R.

Committee Member

Peterson, Eric

Committee Member

Rings, Jeffery A.


College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Department of School Psychology


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



195 pages

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Born digital


Childhood Trauma is a pervasive problem in the United States, and research suggests it serves as a strong contributor and. Predictor for a multitude of negative mental and physical health disorders (Vrijsen et al., 2018). Negative memory bias, a neuropsychological precursor to later onset of adult mental health disorders, has been scientifically related to childhood trauma (Pollak et al., 1998). Despite numerous findings supporting the relationship between negative memory bias, childhood trauma, and mental health, little is known regarding the age of onset of negative memory bias (Brainerd & Reyna, 2012; Kujawa et al., 2011). Given the research supporting the use of early intervention as best practice for preventing and mitigating mental illness, improved understanding regarding onset of negative memory bias is an important gap in literature in the field (Vrijsen, et al., 2015). This study looked at 31 parent-child dyads utilizing a adapted negative memory bias task for preschoolers and an online survey for parents to assess whether negative memory bias was measurable in preschool-aged children with a history of childhood trauma and intergenerational trauma. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to analyze results, and data were found non-significant. Results and interpretation are discussed. Future research is recommended. Additional recommendations are discussed, including suggestions for random sampling, further exploration of protective factors for negative memory bias, and increased precision in measurement.

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