Predicting Trait Anxiety and Depression Symptomatology in Young Adults: The Role of Positive Early Childhood Memories


The role of negative early memories has been shown to be linked with various adult psychopathologies. Some however claim positive early memories to be a better predictor of psychopathology. The aim of this study was to test this assumption for trait anxiety and depressive symptoms in a Turkish sample. First, the Early Memories of Warmth and Safeness Scale-EMWSS was adapted into Turkish using a sample of 200 high-school and 213 university students. Findings from Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses confirmed the original single-factor structure, while tests of reliability revealed excellent results. Secondly, EMWSS-Turkish Version (EMWSS-T), Trait Anxiety Scale (TAS) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered to an independent sample of 121 university students to test the predictive power of EMWSS-T on trait anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results showed that EMWSS-T significantly explained 20% and 11% of the variance in TAS and BDI, respectively and discriminated normal and above-normal BDI scorers. In conclusion, the study was able to confirm the role of positive early memories in trait anxiety and depressive symptomatology. In addition, a new supplementary measure for detecting psychopathological symptoms were introduced to clinical and post-secondary educational settings.