Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Linda Dove

Second Advisor

Julie Furlan


infant brain development, neurodevelopment, brain maturation, trauma, complex trauma, attachment, Family Life Educators, Social Workers


This thesis explains how trauma, which can be defined for this study as traumatic experiences, affects brain development in infants. For the purpose of this report, infants are defined as being fifteen months or younger. As gathered from the book and articles researched, typical infant brain development, including the eight processes of neurodevelopment and the four main parts of the brain, will be explained in this report, along with how the brain grows and matures. This thesis shows how maturation of the brain in infancy is dependent upon the bonds and connections infants form with others and explains how trauma can impact attachment. The different types of trauma such as: war and military trauma, child maltreatment (abuse, neglect, substance abuse, domestic violence) and complex trauma will be discussed. What happens to the infant’s brain when trauma is experienced and how the brain development of infants is impacted by trauma, including what happens when each type of trauma occurs, will be examined as well. When trauma is experienced, there are other developmental concerns that arise due to the trauma and will be addressed. Ways to support infants who have experienced trauma will be discussed, along with what Family Life Educators or Social Workers can do to provide guidance to the families of these infants who experience trauma resulting in neurodevelopmental issues.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

LHC Thesis-S.Kellogg PPT.pdf (1111 kB)
Powerpoint Presentation