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Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


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Internalizing behaviors, or behaviors related to behavioral inhibition and the tendency to withdraw from novelty or uncertainty, are stable over time. There is substantial evidence indicating the association between greater resting right lateralized frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and negative affect as well as internalizing behaviors (Coan & Allen, 2003; Henderson, Fox, & Rubin, 2001; Fox, 1991). Further, right frontal asymmetry has been shown to be a stable marker of the presence of psychosocial risk (e.g. child maltreatment; see Peltola, Bakermans-Kranenburg, Alink, Huffmeijer, Biro, & van IJzendoorn, 2014 for meta-analyses). However, little is known about the influences of the home and family environment on the link between EEG asymmetry and behavior. The current study examines the associations between resting frontal EEG asymmetry, temperament, and internalizing behaviors in the context of household chaos, as well as additional models. Participants included 247 6-year-old children recruited as part of a larger study on emotion regulation. Results suggest that while household chaos is marginally associated with concurrent internalizing behaviors, the association does not differ depending on patterns of hemispheric asymmetry. Methodological considerations and future directions are discussed. By understanding the physiological mechanisms underlying risk for internalizing problems as well as potential moderators of this link we can better inform the development and timing of effective prevention strategies.


First Advisor

Kirby Deater-Deckard, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer M. McDermott, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Adam S. Grabell, Ph.D.