Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Impulsivity is a multi-faceted construct that underlies many forms of maladaptive behavior. There are multiple influences that precede impulsive behavior, and one of these may include the feelings of childhood invalidation and negative peer interactions, specifically being ostracized. However, these relationships have not been heavily examined. This study therefore integrates a multidisciplinary approach in order to better understand impulsivity, parent and peer relationship influences, and the neural activity related to this behavior as measured by electroencephalogram (EEG). Using EEG, the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) component was measured as an index of brain activity related to selective motor activation. Impulsivity measurements included both behavioral and survey data. An experimental design was implemented to test the effects of ostracism on impulsivity and the LRP waveform, and a correlational design was used to examine the relationship with childhood emotional invalidation with these variables. Thirty-four undergraduate students from the University of South Carolina-Aiken participated in the study. Several notable findings were found in this study: (1) individuals that experienced ostracism had decreased performance on the Flanker Task and some patterns of the LRP waveform that are indicative of impulsivity, (2) perceived childhood emotional invalidation was related to facets of impulsivity, and (3) self-reported impulsivity trait scores were not related to Flanker Task performance or LRP waveform data. These findings highlight the impact of social interactions on impulsivity levels in its different forms. Further understanding of this relationship through future studies may provide interventions that could decrease the likelihood of maladaptive impulsivity levels. Lastly, the third finding of this study emphasizes the multifaceted nature of impulsivity and the need for future clarification of what aspects of impulsivity are measured by different modalities.