Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 1

C. Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Nicolette Rickert


This study sought to examine the relation between puberty and trauma symptomatology in young adults. More specifically, does it matter what developmental period one is in when trauma occurs? Additionally, geographical region was examined as it relates to receiving and reporting mental health services and later trauma symptoms. Using data from 362 students at Georgia Southern University, multiple analyses were conducted. A Moderation Analysis where adverse events served as the predictor, trauma symptomatology as the outcome variable, and the developmental period in which the trauma occurred as the moderator was conducted. The interactions for this hypothesis were not significant. However, the main effects for the multiplicity score, severity score, and grouping were significant. Additionally, a Chi-Square test for Variance was analyzed to assess whether one’s geographical region related to rates of receiving and reporting mental health care. Receiving mental health services was found to be independent of childhood geographic region. Similarly, reporting mental health services was also found to be independent of childhood geographic region. Finally, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to assess how childhood geographic regions and receiving mental health treatment related to trauma symptoms in young adults. The interaction effect as well as the main effect for rurality were not statistically significant. However, the main effect for mental health services was significant. Overall, participants who reported experiencing traumatic experiences throughout their childhood and adolescence also reported having trauma symptoms as young adults. Interestingly, the findings of this study suggest that there may be a threshold of symptom severity that is associated with seeking mental health treatment regardless of geographic region.

Research Data and Supplementary Material