Exploring Relations Between Memory and Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors in Childhood
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There is a growing field of research which suggests internalizing and externalizing disorders cause disruptions in cognitive functioning, including memory. This association has primarily been explored in adults. This honors thesis explores the potential connection between mnemonic discrimination as a measure of episodic memory and internalizing and externalizing behaviors in young children. Researchers collected data on memory using a Mnemonic Similarity Task (MST) in children between 3 and 5 years of age and related their performance to ratings of their internalizing and externalizing behavior from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) completed by a parent or guardian. Results did not support the hypothesis that internalizing and externalizing behaviors were related to poor episodic memory, as has been shown in adult populations. Future research with older children should be conducted in order to understand when during development that internalizing and externalizing behaviors begin to inhibit episodic memory.