Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Whitney DeCamp

Second Advisor

Angela Moe


Childhood trauma (CT) has been associated with early adult behavioral deviance (BD), as maintained by previous research. The current study examined experiential avoidance (EA) and impulsivity (IMP) as mechanisms through which childhood trauma and resulting behavioral deviance are related. Participants for the study included 588 students of Western Michigan University, comprised of both males and females. The participants ranged between the ages of 18 and 35. For data collection, participants completed an online survey through an online platform. Participants were directed to select responses in accordance with the variables of interest. For the purpose of identity preservation, the survey responses remained anonymous. The results of the study were indicative of a spurious relationship between the variables of interest. Correlation analyses supported a positively significant relationship between experiential avoidance, impulsivity, childhood trauma, and behavioral deviance. A multiple regression analysis determined that impulsivity and childhood trauma experience were predictors of behavioral deviance, whereas childhood trauma severity and experiential avoidance were not reliable predictors of behavioral deviance. A second regression analysis determined that childhood trauma severity and impulsivity were predictors of experiential avoidance, and that childhood trauma experience negatively predicted experiential avoidance. When these two effects are combined, it suggests that childhood trauma overall increases experiential avoidance, but that the effect is smaller when there is low perceived severity of the trauma. To minimize engagement in deviant behaviors, college students that experienced childhood trauma may benefit from intervening practices geared toward decreasing impulsivity and experiential avoidance.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Appendix A - Questionnaire.pdf (782 kB)
Appendix A - Questionnaire

Appendix B - Resources.pdf (277 kB)
Appendix B - Resources

Thesis Powerpoint.pdf (244 kB)
Defenses Presentation