Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Nursing Science

Ph.D. University of California, Davis
(949) 824-7693
4328 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway



memory development, children's involvement in the legal system

Curriculum Vitae: 


Memory development in early childhood, effects of stress and trauma on children's development, and children's involvement in the legal system. Specific interests include strategies to improve children's narrative productivity and accuracy; the effects of stress on children's memory; emotional regulation and physiological reactivity as predictors of children's coping with and memory for stressful events; jurors' perceptions of child witnesses; and consequences of legal involvement on child witnesses and victims.


1. What are the links between maltreatment exposure and children's emotional competence, especially their ability to regulate their emotions and understand emotions in others, and how do these links change with development?

     Collaborators include Helen Milojevich, Kelli Dickerson, and Amy Castro (current doctoral students) and Elizabeth Cathart (Post-Baccalaureate Student)

2. How do specific interviewing instructions and techniques affect the accuracy and completeness of children's disclosures of transgressions; what are the consequences of these accuracy and completeness?

     Collaborators include Kyndra Cleveland (current doctoral student), and Drs. Thomas Lyon, J. Zoe Klemfuss, Elizabeth Rush, Lindsay Wandrey, and Lindsay Malloy (faculty collaborators)

3. How do stress, emotion, and development, independently and jointly,  affect the type of information children remember about a prior  potentially stressful experience?

     Collaborators include Amy Castro (current doctoral student), and J. Zoe Klemfuss, Thomas Smeets, Henry Otgaar (faculty collaborators)

4. What are the consequences on children's emotional development, particularly their empathetic and prosocial tendencies, of growing up in an uncertain, potentially violent post-war context?

     Collaborators include Kelli Dickerson and Connor Harron (current doctoral students), and Richard Matthew and Brian Hall (faculty collaborators)


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SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (*denotes former student or postdoctoral fellow)

Stress and Physiological Reactivity in Children

*Klemfuss, J.Z., *Milojevich, H., *Rush, E., Yim, I., & Quas, J. A. (2013). Stress at encoding, context at retrieval and children’s narrative content. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Quas, Yim, I. S., Oberlander, T., Nordstokke, D., Essex, M., Armstrong, J., Bush, N., Obradovic, J., & Boyce, W. T.  (in press). The symphonic structure of childhood stress reactivity: Patterns of sympathetic, parparasympathetic, and adrenocortical responses to psychological challenge. Development and Psychopathology.

Quas, J. A., Yim, I. F., *Rush, E., & *Sumaroka, M. (2012). Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and sympathetic activation: Joint predictors of memory in children, adolescents, and adults. Biological Psychology, 89, 335-341. 

Children's Testimonial Abilities and Abuse Disclosure

Lyon, T. D., *Wandrey, L., Ahern, E., Licht, R., Sim, M., & Quas, J. A. (in press). Eliciting maltreated and non- maltreated children’s transgression disclosures: Narrative practice, rapport building, and a putative confession. Child Development.

Goodman, G. S., Quas, J. A., & Ogle, C. (2010). Child maltreatment and memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 325-354.

*Wandrey, L., Lyon, T. D., Quas, J. A., & Friedman, W. (2011). Maltreated children’s ability to estimate temporal location and numerosity of placement changes and court visits. Psychology, Public, Policy, and Law, 18, 79-104.

Children's Involvement in the Legal System

Hobbs, S., Goodman, G. S., Oran, D., Block, S. D., Quas, J. A., Park, A., Widaman, K. F., & Baumrind, N.. (in press). Child maltreatment victims' attitudes about appearing in dependency and criminal courts. Children and Youth Services Review.

Quas, J.A., & Goodman, G. S. (2011). Consequences of criminal court involvement for child victims. Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 18, 392-414.

Quas, J. A., *Wallin, A. R., *Horwitz, B., *Davis, E., & Lyon, T. (2009). Maltreated children’s knowledge of and emotional reactions to dependency court involvement. Behavioral and the Law, 27, 97-117.

Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 8:58am