Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Mental Health Counseling



First Advisor

Charles Stone

Second Reader

Edward Kagen

Third Advisor

Shuki Cohen


Psychologists have only recently begun to examine the extent to which personal memories transmit across generations. When they have, they typically focus on family stories (see Merrill & Fivush, 2016) or memories of historical events (Svob & Brown, 2012). The present study extends this line of research to flashbulb memories, or memories of an individual’s circumstances when first learning about a consequential, historical event (Brown & Kulik, 1977). To this end, the present study examines the extent to which flashbulb memories surrounding the events of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 transmit to the next generation. The results suggest that flashbulb memories do transmit, this transmission is driven by the child’s conversations with the parent and these transmitted memories are associated with the child’s social identification as an American. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of understanding how and when personal memories transmit across generations and their role in shaping the next generation’s social identity.



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