Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Ellen Leen-Feldner

Committee Member

Matthew Feldner

Second Committee Member

Doug Behrend


Adolescence, Disgust, Physiological Reactivity, Trauma


The majority of youth will report traumatic event exposure by the time they reach adulthood. Research suggests exposure to such events is linked to myriad negative outcomes. Not all traumatic events are alike, however; evidence suggests that, compared to non-interpersonal events, interpersonal events in which another person intentionally perpetrates harm are linked to elevations in the likelihood of negative outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One reason for this discrepancy is that interpersonal traumatic events may elicit greater levels of disgust. However, this is a very under-developed research base, no study has examined this question among youth. The current study aimed to address this gap in the literature by comparing adolescents with differing types of traumatic event exposure (i.e., interpersonal vs. non-interpersonal) in terms of self-reported, behavioral, and physiological indicators of disgust elicited by trauma reminders presented during a script-driven imagery procedure. In contrast to hypotheses, adolescents exposed to reminders of their interpersonal traumatic event did not report greater self-reported, behavioral, or physiological disgust compared to those exposed to reminders of their non-interpersonal traumatic event. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and methodological implications for future work in the area.