Paulich KN, Ross JM, Lessem JM, Hewitt JK. Screen time and early adolescent mental health, academic, and social outcomes in 9- and 10- year old children: Utilizing the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ℠ (ABCD) Study. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 8;16(9):e0256591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256591. PMID: 34496002.
In a technology-driven society, screens are being used more than ever. The high rate of electronic media use among children and adolescents begs the question: is screen time harming our youth? The current study draws from a nationwide sample of 11,875 participants in the United States, aged 9 to 10 years, from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study®). We investigate relationships between screen time and mental health, behavioral problems, academic performance, sleep habits, and peer relationships by conducting a series of correlation and regression analyses, controlling for SES and race/ethnicity. We find that more screen time is moderately associated with worse mental health, increased behavioral problems, decreased academic performance, and poorer sleep, but heightened quality of peer relationships. However, effect sizes associated with screen time and the various outcomes were modest; SES was more strongly associated with each outcome measure. Our analyses do not establish causality and the small effect sizes observed suggest that increased screen time is unlikely to be directly harmful to 9-and-10-year-old children.
Rakesh D, Seguin C, Zalesky A, Cropley V, Whittle S. Associations between neighborhood disadvantage, resting-state functional connectivity, and behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) StudyⓇ: Moderating role of positive family and school environments. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, Volume 6, Issue 9, September 2021, Pages 877-886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.008
Neighborhood disadvantage has consistently been associated with mental health and cognitive function, in addition to alterations in brain function and connectivity. However, positive environmental influences may buffer these effects. The aim of this study was to examine the association between neighborhood disadvantage and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC), the moderating role of positive parenting and school environment, and relationships between disadvantage-associated rsFC patterns and mental health and cognition.
In this preregistered study, we tested this hypothesis in a large sample of 7618 children (aged 9–10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Specifically, we analyzed the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and system-level FC. We also tested whether positive family and school environmental factors and sex moderated effects. Finally, we investigated multivariate relationships between disadvantage-associated rsFC patterns and cognition and mental health.
Disadvantage was associated with widespread alterations in FC across both higher-order (e.g., default mode network and dorsal attention network) and sensorimotor functional systems, some of which were moderated by positive environments. Implicated connections showed multivariate associations with behavior, whereby disadvantage-associated rsFC was generally associated with worse cognition and mental health. Disadvantage-associated connections also predicted variation in cognitive scores using machine learning models.
Our findings shed light on potential mechanisms (i.e., alteration of neural circuitry) through which neighborhood disadvantage may affect youth cognition and mental well-being. This work highlights the importance of positive family and school environments in mitigating some of these effects.
Vaughn KA, Nguyen MVH, Ronderos J, Hernandez AE. Cortical Thickness in bilingual and monolingual children: Relationships to language use and language skill. Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 7;243:118560. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118560. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34506917.
There is a growing body of evidence based on adult neuroimaging that suggests that the brain adapts to bilingual experiences to support language proficiency. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is a useful source of data for evaluating this claim during childhood, as it involves data from a large sample of American children. Using the baseline ABCD Study data collected at ages nine and ten, the goal of this study was to identify differences in cortical thickness between bilinguals and monolinguals and to evaluate how variability in English vocabulary and English use within bilinguals might explain these group differences. We identified bilingual participants as children who spoke a non-English language and were exposed to the non-English language at home. We then identified a matched sample of English monolingual participants based on age, sex, pubertal status, parent education, household income, non-verbal IQ, and handedness. Bilinguals had thinner cortex than monolinguals in widespread cortical regions. Within bilinguals, more English use was associated with greater frontal and parietal cortical thickness; greater English vocabulary was associated with greater frontal and temporal cortical thickness. These findings replicate and extend previous research with bilingual children and highlight unexplained cortical thickness differences between bilinguals and monolinguals.
Ross JM, Rieselbach MM, Hewitt JK, Banich MT, Rhee SH. Children’s Knowledge of Cannabis and Other Substances in States with Different Cannabis Use Regulations. Subst Use Misuse. 2021 Sep 5:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2021.1972316. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34486481.
Public acceptance of cannabis continues to increase across the US, yet there has been little research on how cannabis legalization affects young children. The present study compared knowledge of cannabis and other substances among children living in states with different cannabis laws and examined whether the association between such substance knowledge and externalizing behavior varies by state cannabis regulations. Methods: Participants were from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®) at the baseline assessment (N = 11,875, ages 9-11, collected from 2016 to 2018). Chi-square difference tests were used to compare nested models testing group differences in knowledge of substances and the association between externalizing disorder/behavior and substance knowledge as a function of state legality of cannabis use (recreational, medical, low THC/CBD, none). Results: Children living in states with more permissive cannabis laws had a greater knowledge of cannabis and reported more alcohol experimentation. In contrast, knowledge regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs was not greater in children from states with more permissive cannabis laws. Externalizing disorder/behavior was not significantly associated with cannabis knowledge in any group and not significantly different across groups. The association between externalizing disorder/behavior and illicit drug knowledge was significant only in states with the recreational and medical use laws but did not differ significantly across groups. Conclusion: Children living in environments with more permissive cannabis regulations have greater knowledge of cannabis, but not other substances, and report more experimentation with alcohol.
Pat N, Riglin L, Anney R, Wang Y, Barch DM, Thapar A, Stringaris A. Motivation and Cognitive Abilities as Mediators Between Polygenic Scores and Psychopathology in Children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 3:S0890-8567(21)01363-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34506929.
Objective: Fundamental questions in biological psychiatry concern the mechanisms that mediate between genetic liability and psychiatric symptoms. Genetic liability for many common psychiatric disorders often confers transdiagnostic risk to develop a wide variety of psychopathological symptoms through yet unknown pathways. We examine the psychological and cognitive pathways that might mediate the relationship between genetic liability (indexed by polygenic scores; PS) and broad psychopathology (indexed by p factor and its underlying dimensions).
Method: We first identified which of the common psychiatric PSs (major depressive disorder [MDD], attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism) were associated with p factor. We then focused on three pathways: punishment sensitivity (reflected by behavioral inhibition system; BIS), reward sensitivity (reflected by behavioral activation system; BAS) and cognitive abilities (reflected by g factor based on 10 neurocognitive tasks). We applied structural equation modeling on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset (n=4,814; 2,263 female children; 9-10 years old).
Results: MDD and ADHD PSs were associated with p factor. The association between MDD PS and psychopathology was partially mediated by punishment sensitivity and cognitive abilities: proportion mediated= 22.35%. Conversely, the influence of ADHD PS on psychopathology was partially mediated by reward sensitivity and cognitive abilities: proportion mediated=30.04%. The mediating role of punishment sensitivity was specific to the emotional/internalizing. This mediating role of both reward sensitivity and cognitive abilities was focusing on the behavioral/externalizing and neurodevelopmental dimensions of psychopathology.
Conclusion: We provide a better understanding of how genetic risks for MDD and ADHD confer risks for psychopathology and suggest potential prevention/intervention targets for children at-risk.
Hall PA, Best J, Beaton EA, Sakib MN, Danckert J. Morphology of the Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Body Composition in Early Adolescence: Cognitive Mediators and Environmental Moderators in the ABCD Study. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2021 Sep 2:nsab104. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsab104. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34471927.
Morphological features of the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in late childhood and early adolescence may provide important clues as to the developmental etiology of clinical conditions such as obesity. Body composition measurements and structural brain imaging were performed on 11,226 youth at baseline (age 9 or 10) and follow-up (age 11 or 12). Baseline morphological features of the lateral PFC were examined as predictors of body composition. Findings revealed reliable associations between mid-frontal gyrus volume, thickness and surface area and multiple indices of body composition. These findings were consistent across both time points, and remained significant after covariate adjustment. Cortical thickness of the inferior frontal gyrus and lateral orbitofrontal cortex were also reliable predictors. Morphology effects on body composition were mediated by performance on a non-verbal reasoning task. Modest but reliable moderation effects were observed with respect to environmental self-regulatory demand after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, income and methodological variables. Overall findings suggest that prefrontal cortex morphology is a reliable predictor of body composition in early adolescence, as mediated through select cognitive functions and partially moderated by environmental characteristics.
Nagata JM, Ganson KT, Iyer P, Chu J, Baker FC, Gabriel KP, Garber AK, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K. Sociodemographic Correlates of Contemporary Screen Time Use among 9-10-Year-Old Children. J Pediatr. 2021 Sep 2:S0022-3476(21)00862-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.08.077. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34481807.
Objective: To determine sociodemographic correlates of contemporary screen time use among a diverse population-based sample of 9-10-year-old children.
Study design: In 2021, we analyzed cross-sectional baseline (2016-2018) data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N=10,755). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (sex, race/ethnicity, country of birth, household income, parental education) and six contemporary forms of screen time (television, videos [eg, YouTube], video games, social networking, texting, and video chat).
Results: On average, children reported 3.99 hours of screen time per day across six modalities, with the most time spent watching/streaming television shows/movies (1.31 hours), playing video games (1.06 hours), and watching/streaming videos (1.05 hours). On average, Black children reported 1.58 more hours of screen time per day and Asian children reported 0.35 less hours of screen time per day compared with White children (mean 3.46 hours per day), and these trends persisted across most modalities. Boys reported higher overall screen time (0.75 hours more) than girls, which was primarily attributed to video games and videos. Girls reported more time texting, social networking, and video chatting than boys. Higher income was associated with lower screen time usage across all modalities except video chat. However, in high-income households, Latinx children reported 0.65 more hours of screen time per day than White children.
Conclusions: Given the sociodemographic differences in child screen use, guideline implementation strategies can focus on key populations, encourage targeted counseling by pediatricians, and adapt Family Media Use Plans for diverse backgrounds.
Mewton L, Lees B, Squeglia LM, Forbes MK, Sunderland M, Krueger R, Koch FC, Baillie A, Slade T, Hoy N, Teesson M. The relationship between brain structure and general psychopathology in preadolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 1. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13513. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34468031.
Byrd AL, Hawes SW, Waller R, Delgado MR, Sutherland MT, Dick AS, Trucco EM, Riedel MC, Pacheco-Colón I, Laird AR, Gonzalez R. Neural response to monetary loss among youth with disruptive behavior disorders and callous-unemotional traits in the ABCD study. Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Sep 1;32:102810. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102810. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34530359.
Etiological models highlight reduced punishment sensitivity as a core risk factor for disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. The current study examined neural sensitivity to the anticipation and receipt of loss, one key aspect of punishment sensitivity, among youth with DBD, comparing those with and without CU traits. Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM Study (N = 11,874; Mage = 9.51; 48% female). Loss-related fMRI activity during the monetary incentive delay task was examined across 16 empirically-derived a priori brain regions (e.g., striatum, amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex) and compared across the following groups: (1) typically developing (n = 693); (2) DBD (n = 995), subdivided into those (3) with CU traits (DBD + CU, n = 198), and (4) without CU traits (DBD-only, n = 276). Latent variable modeling was also employed to examine network-level activity. There were no significant between-group differences in brain activity to loss anticipation or receipt. Null findings were confirmed with and without covariates, using alternative grouping approaches, and in dimensional models. Network-level analyses also demonstrated comparable activity across groups during loss anticipation and receipt. Findings suggest that differences in punishment sensitivity among youth with DBD are unrelated to loss anticipation or receipt. More precise characterizations of other aspects punishment sensitivity are needed to understand risk for DBD and CU traits.
Rakesh D, Zalesky A, Sarah Whittle S (2021). Similar but distinct – Effects of different socioeconomic indicators on resting state functional connectivity: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 51, October 2021, 101005, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101005.
Early socioeconomic status (SES) has consistently been associated with child health and cognitive outcomes, in addition to alterations in brain function and connectivity. The goal of the present study was to probe the effects of different facets of SES (parent education, income, and neighborhood disadvantage), that likely represent varying aspects of the environment, on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). We investigated this question in a large sample of 9475 children (aged 9-10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Specifically, we analyzed the association between household SES (parent education, income-to-needs ratio) and neighborhood disadvantage, and system-level rsFC using within-sample split-half replication. We then tested whether the associations were unique to each SES measure, and whether household SES and neighborhood disadvantage had interactive effects on rsFC. SES measures had both common and distinct effects on rsFC, with sensory-motor systems (e.g., sensorimotor network) and cognitive networks (e.g., front-parietal network) particularly implicated. The association between neighborhood disadvantage and sensorimotor network connectivity was less pronounced in the presence of high income-to-needs. Findings demonstrate that different facets of SES have distinct and interacting effects on rsFC, highlighting the importance of considering different indicators when studying the effects of SES on the brain.
Balachandrasekaran A, Cohen AL, Afacan O, Warfield SK, Gholipour A. Reducing the effects of motion artifacts in fMRI: A structured matrix completion approach. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2021 Aug 25;PP. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2021.3107829. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34432631.
Functional MRI (fMRI) is widely used to study the functional organization of normal and pathological brains. However, the fMRI signal may be contaminated by subject motion artifacts that are only partially mitigated by motion correction strategies. These artifacts lead to distance-dependent biases in the inferred signal correlations. To mitigate these spurious effects, motion-corrupted volumes are censored from fMRI time series. Censoring can result in discontinuities in the fMRI signal, which may lead to substantial alterations in functional connectivity analysis. We propose a new approach to recover the missing entries from censoring based on structured low rank matrix completion. We formulated the artifact-reduction problem as the recovery of a super-resolved matrix from unprocessed fMRI measurements. We enforced a low rank prior on a large structured matrix, formed from the samples of the time series, to recover the missing entries. The recovered time series, in addition to being motion compensated, are also slice-time corrected at a fine temporal resolution. To achieve a fast and memory-efficient solution for our proposed optimization problem, we employed a variable splitting strategy. We validated the algorithm with simulations, data acquired under different motion conditions, and datasets from the ABCD study. Functional connectivity analysis showed that the proposed reconstruction resulted in connectivity matrices with lower errors in pair-wise correlation than non-censored and censored time series based on a standard processing pipeline. In addition, seed-based correlation analyses showed improved delineation of the default mode network. These demonstrate that the method can effectively reduce the adverse effects of motion in fMRI analysis.
Pelham III WE, Tapert S, Robledo Gonzalez M, McCabe CJ, Lisdahl KM, Alzueta E, Baker FC, Breslin FJ, Dick AS, Dowling GJ, Guillaume M, Hoffman EA, Marshall AT, McCandliss BD, Sheth CS, Sowell ER, Thompson WK, Van Rinsveld AM, Wade NE, Brown SA. Early Adolescent Substance Use Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Survey in the ABCD Study Cohort. Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 69, Issue 3, P390-397, September 01, 2021. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.06.015.
Evaluate changes in early adolescent substance use during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using a prospective, longitudinal, nationwide cohort.
Participants were enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. A total of 7,842 youth (mean age = 12.4 years, range = 10.5–14.6) at 21 study sites across the U.S. completed a three-wave assessment of substance use between May and August 2020. Youth reported whether they had used alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, or other substances in the past 30 days. Data were linked to prepandemic surveys that the same youth had completed in the years 2018–2020, before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Past-30-day substance use remained stable in the 6 months since stay-at-home orders were first issued in U.S. states/counties; was primarily episodic (1–2 days in the past month); and was typically limited to a single substance. Using pretest/posttest and age-period designs, we found that compared to before the pandemic, fewer youth were using alcohol and more youth were using nicotine or misusing prescription drugs. During the pandemic, youth were more likely to use substances when they were more stressed by pandemic-related uncertainty; their family experienced material hardship; their parents used alcohol or drugs; or they experienced greater depression or anxiety. Neither engagement in social distancing nor worry about COVID-19 infection was associated with substance use. Several risk factors were stronger among older (vs. younger) adolescents.
Among youth in early adolescence, advent of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with decreased use of alcohol and increased use of nicotine and misuse of prescription drugs.
Argabright ST, Visoki E, Moore TM, Ryan DT, DiDomenico GE, Njoroge WFM, Taylor JH, Guloksuz S, Gur RC, Gur RE, Benton TD, Barzilay R. Association Between Discrimination Stress and Suicidality in Preadolescent Children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 20:S0890-8567(21)01355-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34425231.
Objective: US youth suicide rates are increasing in recent years, especially in Black Americans, the reasons for which are unclear. Environmental adversity is key in youth suicidality, hence there is a need to study stressors that disproportionately impact Black youths. We aimed to disentangle the unique contribution of racial/ethnic discrimination from other adversities associated with childhood suicidal ideation and attempts (suicidality).
Method: We analyzed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® that included a large, diverse sample of US children (N=11,235, mean age 10.9 years, 20.2% Black) assessed for multiple environmental adversities including discrimination. Multivariate regression models tested the association of self-reported racial/ethnic discrimination with suicidality, covarying for multiple confounders including other discrimination types (towards non-US-born individuals; sexual orientation-based; weight-based). Matched analyses contrasted effects of racial/ethnic discrimination and racial identity on suicidality.
Results: Black youths reported more discrimination and higher suicidality rates than non-Black youths. High racial/ethnic discrimination was positively and significantly associated with suicidality, adjusting for other discrimination types (odds ratio [OR]=2.6, 95%CI=2.1-3.2). Findings remained significant after adjusting for multiple suicidality risk factors. Once experienced, racial/ethnic discrimination was similarly associated with suicidality in White, Black, and Hispanic youths. Matched analyses revealed that racial/ethnic discrimination was associated with suicidality (relative risk [RR]=2.7, 95%CI=2-3.5), while Black race was not (RR=0.9, 95%CI=0.7-1.2).
Conclusion: Racial/ethnic discrimination is disproportionately experienced by Black children, and is associated with preadolescent suicidality, over and above other adversities. Findings highlight the need to address discrimination as part of suicide prevention strategies. Cross-sectional design hampers causal inferences.
Rabinowitz JA, Campos AI, Ong JS, García-Marín LM, Alcauter S, Mitchell BL, Grasby KL, Cuéllar-Partida G, Gillespie NA, Huhn AS, Martin NG, Thompson PM, Medland SE, Maher BS, Rentería ME. Shared Genetic Etiology between Cortical Brain Morphology and Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis Use. Cereb Cortex. 2021 Aug 11:bhab243. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab243. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34379727.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic variants associated with brain morphology and substance use behaviors (SUB). However, the genetic overlap between brain structure and SUB has not been well characterized. We leveraged GWAS summary data of 71 brain imaging measures and alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use to investigate their genetic overlap using linkage disequilibrium score regression. We used genomic structural equation modeling to model a «common SUB genetic factor» and investigated its genetic overlap with brain structure. Furthermore, we estimated SUB polygenic risk scores (PRS) and examined whether they predicted brain imaging traits using the Adolescent Behavior and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We identified 8 significant negative genetic correlations, including between (1) alcoholic drinks per week and average cortical thickness, and (2) intracranial volume with age of smoking initiation. We observed 5 positive genetic correlations, including those between (1) insula surface area and lifetime cannabis use, and (2) the common SUB genetic factor and pericalcarine surface area. SUB PRS were associated with brain structure variation in ABCD. Our findings highlight a shared genetic etiology between cortical brain morphology and SUB and suggest that genetic variants associated with SUB may be causally related to brain structure differences.
Susmita Saha, Alex Pagnozzi, Dana Bradford, Jurgen Fripp, Predicting fluid intelligence in adolescence from structural MRI with deep learning methods, Intelligence, Volume 88, Sept-Oct 2021, 101568, ISSN 0160-2896, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2021.101568.
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of unsegmented structural T1w MR images of adolescent brain for predicting uncorrected/actual fluid intelligence scores without any predefined feature extraction. We also examined whether prediction of uncorrected scores is simply a harder problem from both biological and technical point of view, than prediction of residualised scores.
ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) study data was used from 7709 children aged 9–10, including T1-weighted MRIs and fluid intelligence scores, with data split into training (n = 3739), validation (n = 415) and test (n = 3555) subsets. We developed several deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN) models for both actual and residualised fluid intelligence score prediction from the MR images. State of the art, conventional or reverse 2D/3D CNN architectures were developed to perform the regression task and optimised based on Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r. The models were then compared with published results on the same dataset.
Our proposed model achieved prediction accuracies of r = 0.18 (p < 0.001) for the validation and r = 0.1 (p < 0.05) for the test, for actual IQ prediction. Our results showed that, although we achieved ~10 times higher correlation for the residualised score prediction than the correlations reported by previous CNN studies, using the same unsegmented MR images, it could not exceed the actual IQ prediction performance. This suggests that the image features associated with covariates aided up in the uncorrected score prediction rather than making the task harder.
Our deep learning CNN was able to establish a weak but stable correlation between structural brain features and raw fluid intelligence. To improve neuroimaging-based fluid intelligence prediction performance, future studies will be required to explore ensembled regression strategies with multiple machine learning algorithms on multimodal MRIs.
Stine K. Krogsrud, Athanasia M. Mowinckel, Donatas Sederevicius, Didac Vidal-Piñeiro, Inge K. Amlien, Yunpeng Wang, Øystein Sørensen, Kristine B. Walhovd, Anders M. Fjell (2021). Relationships between apparent cortical thickness and working memory across the lifespan – effects of genetics and socioeconomic status, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 51, October 2021, 100997, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100997.
Fadus MC, Valadez EA, Bryant BE, Garcia AM, Neelon B, Tomko RL, Squeglia LM. Racial Disparities in Elementary School Disciplinary Actions: Findings From the ABCD Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol 60, Issue 8, P998-1009, AUGUST 01, 2021.
Detentions and suspensions are common practices of school discipline, despite evidence that they are largely ineffective and disproportionately affect children from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly Black children, and children of lower socioeconomic status. However, few studies have examined suspension and detention rates among race, ethnicity, and family structure (single parent versus secondary caregiver) when controlling for typical behaviors associated with detention and suspension such as externalizing symptoms, age, sex, family income, family education, family conflict, and special education needs.
Caregivers of 11,875 children between ages 9 and 10 years from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study completed a questionnaire assessing their child’s demographics, family information, emotions and behaviors, and past-year school discipline history. Data were analyzed with logistic regression, implemented with a generalized estimating equations model.
5.4% of children received a detention or suspension. Controlling for typical predictors of behaviors, Black and multiracial Black children had up to 3.5 times greater odds of receiving a detention or suspension than White children; there were no disciplinary differences for Hispanic or Asian children compared to White children. Children from single-parent households had 1.4 times the odds of receiving detentions or suspensions than children in homes with a secondary caregiver.
Disciplinary actions that can impair typical childhood development, lead to academic failure and dropout, and cause significant emotional and psychological distress disproportionately affect Black children, multiracial Black children, and children from single-parent homes. Racism in elementary school discipline can perpetuate disparities in today’s educational system.
Krista M. Lisdahl, Susan Tapert, Kenneth J. Sher, Raul Gonzalez, Sara Jo Nixon, Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Kevin P. Conway, Alex Wallace, Ryan Sullivan, Kelah Hatcher, Christine Kaiver, Wes Thompson, Chase Reuter, Hauke Bartsch, Natasha E. Wade, Joanna Jacobus, M.D. Albaugh, N. Allgaier, A.P. Anokhin, K. Bagot, F.C. Baker, M.T. Banich, D.M. Barch, A. Baskin-Sommers, F.J. Breslin, S.A. Brown, V. Calhoun, B.J. Casey, B. Chaarani, L. Chang, D.B. Clark, C. Cloak, R.T. Constable, L.B. Cottler, R. Dagher, M. Dapretto, A. Dick, E.K. Do, N.U.F. Dosenbach, G.J. Dowling, D.A. Fair, P. Florsheim, J.J. Foxe, E.G. Freedman, N. Friedman, H.P. Garavan, D.G. Gee, M.D. Glantz, P. Glaser, M.R. Gonzalez, K.M. Gray, S. Grant, F. Haist, S. Hawes, S.G. Heeringa, R. Hermosillo, M.M. Herting, J.M. Hettema, J.K. Hewitt, C. Heyser, E.A. Hoffman, K.D. Howlett, R.S. Huber, M.A. Huestis, L.W. Hyde, W.G. Iacono, A. Isaiah, M.Y. Ivanova, R.S. James, T.L. Jernigan, N.R. Karcher, J.M. Kuperman, A.R. Laird, C.L. Larson, K.H. LeBlanc, M.F. Lopez, M. Luciana, B. Luna, H.H. Maes, A.T. Marshall, M.J. Mason, E. McGlade, A.S. Morris, C. Mulford, B.J. Nagel, G. Neigh, C.E. Palmer, M.P. Paulus, D. Pecheva, D. Prouty, A. Potter, L.I. Puttler, N. Rajapakse, J.M Ross, M. Sanchez, C. Schirda, J. Schulenberg, C. Sheth, P.D. Shilling, E.R. Sowell, N. Speer, L. Squeglia, C. Sripada, J. Steinberg, M.T. Sutherland, R. Tomko, K. Uban, S. Vrieze, S.R.B. Weiss, D. Wing, D.A. Yurgelun-Todd, R.A. Zucker, Mary M. Heitzeg (2021). Substance use patterns in 9-10 year olds: Baseline findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 227, 1 October 2021, 108946, ISSN 0376-8716, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108946.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ™ Study (ABCD StudyⓇ) is an open-science, multi-site, prospective, longitudinal study following over 11,800 9- and 10-year-old youth into early adulthood. The ABCD Study aims to prospectively examine the impact of substance use (SU) on neurocognitive and health outcomes. Although SU initiation typically occurs during teen years, relatively little is known about patterns of SU in children younger than 12.
This study aims to report the detailed ABCD StudyⓇ SU patterns at baseline (n = 11,875) in order to inform the greater scientific community about cohort’s early SU. Along with a detailed description of SU, we ran mixed effects regression models to examine the association between early caffeine and alcohol sipping with demographic factors, externalizing symptoms and parental history of alcohol and substance use disorders (AUD/SUD).
At baseline, the majority of youth had used caffeine (67.6 %) and 22.5 % reported sipping alcohol (22.5 %). There was little to no reported use of other drug categories (0.2 % full alcohol drink, 0.7 % used nicotine, 0.1 % used cannabis, <0.02 % used any other drug of abuse). Analyses revealed that total caffeine use and early alcohol sipping were associated with demographic variables (p’s<.05), externalizing symptoms (caffeine p = 0002; sipping p = .0003), and parental history of AUD (sipping p = .03).
ABCD Study participants aged 9–10 years old reported caffeine use and alcohol sipping experimentation, but very rare other SU. Variables linked with early childhood alcohol sipping and caffeine use should be examined as contributing factors in future longitudinal analyses examining escalating trajectories of SU in the ABCD Study cohort.
Vargas TG, Mittal VA. Testing whether implicit emotion regulation mediates the association between discrimination and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood: An RDoC perspective. Dev Psychopathol. 2021 Jul 29:1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0954579421000638. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34323206.
Discrimination has been associated with adverse mental health outcomes, though it is unclear how early in life this association becomes apparent. Implicit emotion regulation, developing during childhood, is a foundational skill tied to a range of outcomes. Implicit emotion regulation has yet to be tested as an associated process for mental illness symptoms that can often emerge during this sensitive developmental period. Youth aged 9-11 were recruited for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Associations between psychotic-like experiences, depressive symptoms, and total discrimination (due to race, ethnicity, nationality, weight, or sexual minority status) were tested, as well as associations with implicit emotion regulation measures (emotional updating working memory and inhibitory control). Analyses examined whether associations with symptoms were mediated by implicit emotion regulation. Discrimination related to decreased implicit emotion regulation performance, and increased endorsement of depressive symptoms and psychotic-like experiences. Emotional updating working memory performance partially mediated the association between discrimination and psychotic-like experiences, while emotional inhibitory control did not. Discrimination and implicit emotion regulation could serve as putative transdiagnostic markers of vulnerability. Results support the utility of using multiple units of analysis to improve understanding of complex emerging neurocognitive functions and developmentally sensitive periods.
Zhang R, Manza P, Volkow ND. Prenatal caffeine exposure: association with neurodevelopmental outcomes in 9- to 11-year-old children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 27. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13495. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34318489.
Background: Despite the widespread use of caffeine including consumption during pregnancy, the effect of prenatal caffeine exposure on child brain development and behavior is unclear.
Methods: To address this, we used data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study (n = 11,875 children aged 9-11 years from 22 sites across the United States). We explored the associations between prenatal caffeine exposure and various developmental outcomes including birth outcomes, physical health, behavior problems, cognition, substance use and brain structure in children, and evaluated dose effects.
Results: Among 9,978 children (4,745 females) who had valid data for prenatal caffeine exposure and whose mothers did not use drugs of abuse after knowing of pregnancy, 4,170 (41.79%) had no prenatal caffeine exposure, 2,292 (22.97%) had daily, 1,933 (19.37%) had weekly, and 1,583 (15.86%) had less than weekly exposures. Prenatal caffeine exposure including the widely recommended ‘safe’ dose was associated with greater externalizing problems, whereas greater BMI and soda consumption were only observed in children with high dose exposures (3+ per day). Notably, the effect size for association of externalizing problems with prenatal caffeine exposure was comparable with that reported for prenatal alcohol (The American Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 2020 and 1060) and prenatal cannabis (JAMA Psychiatry, 78, 2020 and 64) exposures from previous ABCD publications. Additionally, prenatal caffeine exposure was associated with brain structural changes that included greater posterior and lower frontal cortical thickness and altered parietooccipital sulcal depth.
Conclusions: The recommended ‘safe’ dose of caffeine during pregnancy should be carefully studied to assess whether the behavioral and brain correlates observed here are clinically relevant and determine whether it needs adjustment. Because of the high prevalence of caffeine use in the general population, studies on prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse should include prenatal caffeine use as a covariate.
Romer AL, Pizzagalli DA. Is executive dysfunction a risk marker or consequence of psychopathology? A test of executive function as a prospective predictor and outcome of general psychopathology in the adolescent brain cognitive development study®. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Jul 22;51:100994. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100994. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34332330.
A general psychopathology (‘p’) factor captures shared variation across mental disorders. One hypothesis is that poor executive function (EF) contributes to p. Although EF is related to p concurrently, it is unclear whether EF predicts or is a consequence of p. For the first time, we examined prospective relations between EF and p in 9845 preadolescents (aged 9-12) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® longitudinally over two years. We identified higher-order factor models of psychopathology at baseline and one- and two-year follow-up waves. Consistent with previous research, a cross-sectional inverse relationship between EF and p emerged. Using residualized-change models, baseline EF prospectively predicted p factor scores two years later, controlling for prior p, sex, age, race/ethnicity, parental education, and family income. Baseline p factor scores also prospectively predicted change in EF two years later. Tests of specificity revealed that bi-directional prospective relations between EF and p were largely generalizable across externalizing, internalizing, neurodevelopmental, somatization, and detachment symptoms. EF consistently predicted change in externalizing and neurodevelopmental symptoms. These novel results suggest that executive dysfunction is both a risk marker and consequence of general psychopathology. EF may be a promising transdiagnostic intervention target to prevent the onset and maintenance of psychopathology.
Freis SM, Morrison CL, Lessem JM, Hewitt JK, Friedman NP (2021). Genetic and environmental influences on executive functions and intelligence in middle childhood. Dev Sci. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1111/desc.13150. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34288270.
Executive functions (EFs) and intelligence (IQ) are phenotypically correlated. In twin studies, latent variables for EFs and IQ display moderate to high heritability estimates; however, they show variable genetic correlations in twin studies spanning childhood to middle age. We analyzed data from over 11,000 children (9-10-year-olds, including 749 twin pairs) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to examine the phenotypic and genetic relations between EFs and IQ in childhood. We identified two EF factors — Common EF and Updating-Specific — which were both related to IQ (rs = .64-.81). Common EF and IQ were heritable (53-67%), and their genetic correlation (rG = .86) was not significantly different than 1. These results suggest that EFs and IQ are phenotypically but not genetically separable in middle childhood, meaning that this phenotypic separability may be influenced by environmental factors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Brislin SJ, Martz ME, Cope LM, Hardee JE, Weigard A, Heitzeg MM. Heterogeneity Within Youth With Childhood-Onset Conduct Disorder in the ABCD Study. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 16;12:701199. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.701199. PMID: 34335337; PMCID: PMC8322519.
The purpose of this study was to examine if personality traits can be used to characterize subgroups of youth diagnosed with childhood-onset conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 11,552 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Data used in this report came from doi: 10.15154/1504041 (M age 9.92; 45.3% female, 49.6% white, 19.0% Hispanic). A subset of this sample (n = 365) met criteria for CD. Latent profile analyses (LPA) were performed on this subgroup (n = 365) to define profiles of individuals with CD based on self-report measures of impulsivity, punishment sensitivity, reward response, and callous-unemotional traits. Follow up analyses determined if these groups differed on clinically relevant variables including psychopathology, environmental risk factors, social risk factors, and neurocognitive functioning. Participants with a CD diagnosis scored significantly higher on psychological, environmental, social, and neurocognitive risk factors. The LPA revealed three unique profiles, which differed significantly on liability for broad psychopathology and domain-specific liability for externalizing psychopathology but were largely matched on environmental and social risk factors. These unique configurations provide a useful way to further parse clinically relevant subgroups within youth who meet criteria for childhood-onset CD, setting the stage for prospective longitudinal research using these latent profiles to better understand the development of youth with childhood-onset CD.
Karcher NR, Paul SE, Johnson EC, Hatoum AS, Baranger DA, Agrawal A, Thompson WK, Barch DM, Bogdan R (2021). Psychotic-like experiences and polygenic liability in the ABCD Study®. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021 Jul 13:S2451-9022(21)00191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.06.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34271214.
Background: Childhood psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) often precede the development of later severe psychopathology. The current study examined whether childhood PLEs are associated with several psychopathology-related polygenic scores (PGS), and additionally examined possible neural and behavioral mechanisms.
Methods: Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ Study baseline data from children with European ancestry (n=4,650; ages 9-10; 46.8% female) were used to estimate associations between PLEs (i.e., both total and presence of significantly distressing) and PGS for psychopathology (i.e., schizophrenia, psychiatric cross-disorder risk, PLEs) and related phenotypes (i.e., educational attainment [EDU]), birth-weight, inflammation). We also assessed whether variability in brain structure indices (i.e., volume, cortical thickness, surface area), as well as behaviors proximal to PGS (e.g., cognition for EDU), indirectly linked PGS to PLEs using mediational models.
Results: Total and significantly distressing PLEs were associated with EDU and cross-disorder PGS (all %ΔR2s=0.202-0.660%; pFDRs<0.006). Significantly distressing PLEs were also associated with higher schizophrenia and PLEs PGS (both %ΔR2=0.120-0.171%; pFDRs<0.03). There was evidence global brain volume metrics and cognitive performance indirectly linked EDU PGS to PLEs (estimated proportion mediated: 3.33-32.22%).
Conclusions: Total and significantly distressing PLEs were associated with genomic risk indices of broad-spectrum psychopathology risk (i.e., EDU and cross-disorder PGS). Significantly distressing PLEs were also associated with genomic risk for psychosis (i.e., schizophrenia, PLEs). Global brain volume metrics and PGS-proximal behaviors represent promising putative intermediary phenotypes that may indirectly link genomic risk to psychopathology. Broadly, polygenic scores derived from genome-wide association studies of adult samples generalize to indices of psychopathology risk among children.
Lewis-de Los Angeles WW, Liu RT (2021). History of depression, elevated BMI, and waist-to-height ratio in pre-adolescent children. Psychosom Med. 2021 Jul 13. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000982. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34267084.
Objective: To evaluate whether a history of depression or self-injurious thoughts and behaviors predict elevated BMI and elevated waist-to-height ratio in pre-adolescents.
Methods: Baseline data were evaluated from a large, nationally representative cohort study of 9- and 10-year-old children (unweighted n = 11,875), the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.
Results: In the weighted sample, 10.6 % of children had a history of depression, 7.0% had engaged in non-suicidal self-injury, 13.1% had experienced suicidal ideation in their lifetime, and 1.1% had a history of attempted suicide. 34.1% of children had an elevated BMI in the overweight or obese range and 31.9% of children had a waist-to-height ratio > 0.5. In multivariate analyses, history of depression was associated with elevated BMI and waist-to-height ratio. Furthermore, interactions with sex were found; girls with a history of depression were more likely to have an elevated BMI (OR 1.47, 95% CI: 1.24-1.74) and elevated waist-to-height ratio (OR 1.48, 95% CI: 1.18-1.86) than girls without a history of depression, but no differences were observed between boys with and without a history of depression. Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors were not associated with elevated BMI or elevated waist-to-height.
Conclusions: In this study, nine- and ten-year-old girls with a history of depression were more likely to have an elevated BMI and elevated waist-to-height ratio than girls with no history of depression. These results provide important clinical context in caring for pre-adolescents with a history of depression.
Assari S (2021). Parental Education and Children’s Sleep Disturbance: Minorities’ Diminished Returns. Int J Epidemiol Res. 2021 Winter;8(1):31-39. PMID: 34263059; PMCID: PMC8277116.
Background and aims: While increased parental education reduces children’s sleep problems, less is known about racial variation in such protection. According to Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) theory, economic resources such as parental education show weaker health effects for minority groups such as Blacks and Latinos than non-Latino Whites, which is due to racism and social stratification. In this study, we investigated the association between parental education and children’s sleep problems, as a proxy of sleep problems, by race.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 11718 American children aged 9-10. All participants were recruited to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parental education, a five-level nominal variable. The dependent variable – sleep problems, was a continuous variable. Race/ethnicity was the effect modifier. Age, sex, and marital status were the covariates. Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis.
Results: Parental education was associated with children’s sleep problems. However, there was a weaker inverse association seen in non-Latino Black and Latino families compared to non-Latino White families. This was documented by a significant statistical interaction between race and ethnicity and parental education on children’s sleep problems.
Conclusion: Diminished protective effect of parental education on children’s sleep problems for non- Latino Black and Latino families compared to non-Latino White families is similar to the MDRs in other domains. Worse than expected sleep may contribute to higher-than-expected health risks of middle-class Black and Latino children.
Nwotchouang BST, Ibrahimy A, Loth DM, Labuda E, Labuda N, Eppleheimer M, Labuda R, Bapuraj JR, Allen PA, Klinge P, Loth F. Imaging and health metrics in incidental cerebellar tonsillar ectopia: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD). Neuroradiology. 2021 Jul 11. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02759-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34247260.
Purpose: Incidental cerebellar tonsillar ectopia (ICTE) that meets the radiographic criterion for Chiari malformation type I (CMI) is an increasingly common finding in the clinical setting, but its significance is unclear. The present study examined posterior cranial fossa (PCF) morphometrics and a broad range of health instruments of pediatric ICTE cases and matched controls extracted from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset.
Methods: One-hundred-six subjects with ICTE and 106 matched controls without ICTE were identified from 11,411 anatomical MRI of healthy screened pediatric subjects from the ABCD project. Subjects were matched by sex, age, body mass index, race, and ethnicity. Twenty-two brain morphometrics and 22 health instruments were compared between the two groups to identify unrecognized CMI symptoms and assess the general health impact of ICTE.
Results: Twelve and 15 measures were significantly different between the ICTE and control groups for females and males, respectively. Notably, for females, the anterior CSF space was significantly smaller (p = 0.00005) for the ICTE group than controls. For males, the clivus bone length was significantly shorter (p = 0.0002) for the ICTE group compared to controls. No significant differences were found among the 22 health instruments between the two groups.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that pediatric ICTE subjects have similar PCF morphometrics to adult CMI. ICTE alone did not appear to cause any unrecognized CMI symptoms and had no impact on the subjects’ current mental, physical, or behavioral health. Still, given their cranial and brain morphology, these cases may be at risk for adult-onset symptomatic CMI.
Kwarteng AE, Rahman MM, Gee DG, Infante MA, Tapert SF, Curtis BL (2021). Child reward neurocircuitry and parental substance use history: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study, Addictive Behaviors, Volume 122, 2021, 107034, ISSN 0306-4603, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107034.
Substance use research has focused on family history of alcohol use disorders but less on other addictions in biological family members. We examined how parental substance use history relates to reward system functioning, specifically nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and putamen activation at age 9-10 in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. This research hopes to address limitations in prior literature by focusing analyses on a large, substance-naïve sample.
We included ABCD participants with valid Monetary Incentive Delay task fMRI Baseline data and parent substance use history at project baseline from Data Release 2.0 (N =10,622). Parent-history-positive (PH+) participants had one or both biological parents with a history of two+ problems with alcohol (n = 741; PH+A) and/or other drugs (n =638; Ph+D). Of participants who were parent-history-negative (PH-) for alcohol and/or drugs, a stratified random sample based on six sociodemographic variables was created and matched to the PH+ group (PH-A n = 699; PH-D n = 615). The contrast of interest was anticipation of a large reward vs. neutral response.
PH+A youth had more activation in the right NAcc during large reward anticipation than PH-A. PH+D youth showed enhanced left putamen activation during large reward anticipation than PH-D youth. Bayesian hypothesis testing showed moderate evidence (BF > 3) in favor of the null hypothesis.
These findings suggest that pre-adolescents whose biological parents had a history of substance-related problems show small differences in reward processing compared to their PH- peers.
Convertino AD, Blashill AJ. Psychiatric comorbidity of eating disorders in children between the ages of 9 and 10. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13484. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34225382.
Background: Eating disorders exhibit high comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders, most notably mood, substance use, and anxiety disorders. However, most studies examining psychiatric comorbidity are conducted in adolescents and adults. Therefore, the comorbidity among children living with eating disorders is unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize co-occurring psychiatric disorders with eating disorders in a US sample of children aged 9-10 years old utilizing the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study.
Methods: The analytic sample included 11,718 children aged 9-10 years. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding and eating disorder subtype diagnoses were examined. Statistical analyses were conducted using complex sampling. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated comparing the likelihood of being diagnosed for a psychiatric disorder when having an eating disorder, as compared to children without an eating disorder, children diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and children diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder using binary logistic regression.
Results: Co-occurring psychiatric disorders were substantially higher in children with eating disorders as compared to children without eating disorders, but not as compared to children diagnosed with major depressive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. The most common comorbidities for the eating disorder group were anxiety disorders (71.4%), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (47.9%), disruptive/impulse control disorders (45.0%), mood disorders (29.6%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (28.8%), largely in line with previous research.
Conclusions: This study extends prior research finding high rates of comorbidity in eating disorders, specifically with anxiety, mood, and disruptive/impulse control disorders. Clinicians assessing for psychiatric disorders should be aware that eating disorders can occur in children 9 and 10 years old and are associated with severe comorbidity. Referrals for specialty mental health care should be considered.
Peter A Hall, John Best, James Danckert, Elliott A Beaton, Jessica Lee (2021). Morphometry of the Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex is Associated With Eating Dispositions in Early Adolescence: Findings From a Large Population-Based Study, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2021, nsab084, https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsab084
Early adolescence is a critical period for eating behavior as children gain autonomy around food choice and peer influences increase in potency. From a neurodevelopmental perspective, significant structural changes take place in the prefrontal cortex during this time, including the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which is involved in socially contextualized decision making. We examined morphological features of the OFC in relation to food choice in a sample of 10,309 early adolescent children from the ABCD study. Structural parameters of the OFC and insula were examined for relationships with two important aspects of food choice: limiting consumption of fast/fried food and maximizing consumption of nutritious foods. Raw, partially and fully adjusted models were evaluated. Findings revealed that larger surface area of the lateral OFC was associated with higher odds of limiting fast/fried food consumption in raw (OR=1.07, CI:1.02,1.12, p=.002, pFDR=.012), partially adjusted (OR=1.11, CI:1.03,1.19, p=.004, pFDR=.024), and fully adjusted models (OR=1.11, CI:1.03,1.19, p=.006, pFDR=.036). In contrast, larger insula volume was associated with lower odds of maximizing healthy foods in raw (OR=0.94, CI:.91,0.97, p <.001, pFDR=.003) and partially adjusted (OR=0.93, CI: 0.88-0.98, p=.008, pFDR=.048) models. These findings refine understanding of the OFC as a network node implicated in socially mediated eating behavior.
Wu X, Yu G, Zhang K, Feng J, Zhang J, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW. Symptom-Based Profiling and Multimodal Neuroimaging of a Large Preteenage Population Identifies Distinct Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-like Subtypes With Neurocognitive Differences. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021 Jul 2:S2451-9022(21)00175-0. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.06.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34224907.
Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by both internalizing (anxiety) and externalizing (compulsivity) symptoms. Currently, little is known about their interrelationships and their relative contributions to disease heterogeneity. Our goal is to resolve affective and cognitive symptom heterogeneity related to internalized and externalized symptom dimensions by determining subtypes of children with OCD symptoms, and to identify any corresponding neural differences.
Methods: A total of 1269 children with OCD symptoms screened using the Child Behavior Checklist Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom scale and 3987 matched control subjects were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Consensus hierarchical clustering was used to cluster children with OCD symptoms into distinct subtypes. Ten neurocognitive task scores and 20 Child Behavior Checklist syndrome scales were used to characterize cognitive/behavioral differences. Gray matter volume, fractional anisotropy of major white matter fiber tracts, and functional connectivity among networks were used in case-control studies.
Results: We identified two subgroups with contrasting patterns in internalized and externalized dimensions. Group 1 showed compulsive thoughts and repeated acts but relatively low anxiety symptoms, whereas group 2 exhibited higher anxiety and perfectionism and relatively low repetitive behavior. Only group 1 had significant cognitive impairments and gray matter volume reductions in the bilateral inferior parietal lobe, precentral gyrus, and precuneus gyrus, and had white matter tract fractional anisotropy reductions in the corticostriatal fasciculus.
Conclusions: Children with OCD symptoms are heterogeneous at the level of symptom clustering and its underlying neural basis. Two subgroups represent distinct patterns of externalizing and internalizing symptoms, suggesting that anxiety is not its major predisposing factor. These results may have implications for the nosology and treatment of preteenage OCD.
Kaplan CM, Schrepf A, Mawla I, Ichesco E, Boehnke KF, Beltz A, Foxen-Craft E, Puglia M, Tsodikov A, Williams DA, Hassett AL, Clauw DJ, Harte SE, Harris RE. (2021). Neurobiological antecedents of multisite pain in children. PAIN: July 02, 2021 – doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002431
Altered brain structure and function is evident in adults with multisite chronic pain. Although many such adults trace their pain back to childhood, it has been difficult to disentangle whether central nervous system alterations precede or are consequences of chronic pain. If the former is true, aberrant brain activity may identify children vulnerable to developing chronic pain later in life. We examined structural and functional brain magnetic resonance imaging metrics in a subset of children from the first two assessments of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Children (ages 9-10) who were pain-free at baseline and then developed multisite pain one year later (n=115) were matched to control children who were pain-free at both timepoints (n=230). We analyzed brain structure (cortical thickness and gray matter volume) and function (spontaneous neural activity and functional connectivity). Results were deemed significant at the cluster level p < 0.05 false discovery rate corrected for multiple comparisons. At baseline, children who subsequently developed multisite pain had increased neural activity in superior parietal/primary somatosensory and motor cortices and decreased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. They also exhibited stronger functional connectivity between the salience network, somatosensory and default mode network regions. No significant differences in brain structure were observed. Increased neural activity and functional connectivity between brain regions, consistent to that seen in adults with chronic pain, exist in children prior to developing multisite pain. These findings may represent a neural vulnerability to developing future chronic pain.
Nelson BW, Flannery JE, Flournoy J, Duell N, Prinstein MJ, Telzer E. Concurrent and prospective associations between fitbit wearable-derived RDoC arousal and regulatory constructs and adolescent internalizing symptoms. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 29. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13471. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34184767.
Background: Adolescence is characterized by alterations in biobehavioral functioning, during which individuals are at heightened risk for onset of psychopathology, particularly internalizing disorders. Researchers have proposed using digital technologies to index daily biobehavioral functioning, yet there is a dearth of research examining how wearable metrics are associated with mental health.
Methods: We preregistered analyses using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study dataset using wearable data collection in 5,686 adolescents (123,862 person-days or 2,972,688 person-hours) to determine whether wearable indices of resting heart rate (RHR), step count, and sleep duration and variability in these measures were cross-sectionally associated with internalizing symptomatology. All models were also run controlling for age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and race. We then performed prospective analyses on a subset of this sample (n = 143) across 25 months that had Fitbit data available at baseline and follow-up in order to explore directionality of effects.
Results: Cross-sectional analyses revealed a small, yet significant, effect size (R2 = .053) that higher RHR, lower step count and step count variability, and greater variability in sleep duration were associated with greater internalizing symptoms. Cross-lagged panel model analysis revealed that there were no prospective associations between wearable variables and internalizing symptoms (partial R2 = .026), but greater internalizing symptoms and higher RHR predicted lower step count 25 months later (partial R2 = .010), while higher RHR also predicted lower step count variability 25 months later (partial R2 = .008).
Conclusions: Findings indicate that wearable indices concurrently associate with internalizing symptoms during early adolescence, while a larger sample size is likely required to accurately assess prospective or directional effects between wearable indices and mental health. Future research should capitalize on the temporal resolution provided by wearable devices to determine the intensive longitudinal relations between biobehavioral risk factors and acute changes in mental health.
Nagata JM, Iyer P, Chu J, Baker FC, Gabriel KP, Garber AK, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Ganson KT (2021). Contemporary screen time usage among children 9-10-years-old is associated with higher body mass index percentile at 1-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study. Pediatr Obes. 2021 Jun 28:e12827. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12827. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34180585.
Objective: There is a paucity of prospective research exploring the relationship among contemporary screen time modalities (e.g., video streaming, video chatting, texting and social networking) and body mass index (BMI) percentile. The objective of this study was to determine the prospective associations between screen time behaviours in a large and demographically diverse population-based cohort of 9-10-year-old children and BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up.
Methods: We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11 066). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between baseline screen time behaviours (exposure) and BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, depression, binge-eating disorder and baseline BMI percentile.
Results: Each additional hour of total screen time per week was prospectively associated with a 0.22 higher BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up (95% CI 0.10-0.34) after adjusting for covariates. When examining specific screen time behaviours, each additional hour of texting (B = 0.92, 95% CI 0.29-1.55), video chat (B = 0.72, 95% CI 0.09-1.36) and video games (B = 0.42, 95% CI 0.06-0.78) was significantly prospectively associated with higher BMI percentile.
Conclusions: Screen time is prospectively associated with a higher BMI percentile 1 year later among children 9-10 years old.
Gong, W., Rolls, E.T., Du, J. et al. (2021). Brain structure is linked to the association between family environment and behavioral problems in children in the ABCD study. Nat Commun 12, 3769 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23994-0
Children’s behavioral problems have been associated with their family environments. Here, we investigate whether specific features of brain structures could relate to this link. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging of 8756 children aged 9-11 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Developmental study, we show that high family conflict and low parental monitoring scores are associated with children’s behavioral problems, as well as with smaller cortical areas of the orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and middle temporal gyrus. A longitudinal analysis indicates that psychiatric problems scores are associated with increased family conflict and decreased parental monitoring 1 year later, and mediate associations between the reduced cortical areas and family conflict, and parental monitoring scores. These results emphasize the relationships between the brain structure of children, their family environments, and their behavioral problems.
Dick AS, Lopez DA, Watts AL, Heeringa S, Reuter C, Bartsch H, Fan CC, Kennedy DN, Palmer C, Marshall A, Haist F, Hawes S, Nichols TE, Barch DM, Jernigan TL, Garavan H, Grant S, Pariyadath V, Hoffman E, Neale M, Stuart EA, Paulus MP, Sher KJ, Thompson WK. Meaningful Associations in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Neuroimage. 2021 Jun 17:118262. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118262. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34147629.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is the largest single-cohort prospective longitudinal study of neurodevelopment and children’s health in the United States. A cohort of n= 11,880 children aged 9-10 years (and their parents/guardians) were recruited across 22 sites and are being followed with in-person visits on an annual basis for at least 10 years. The study approximates the US population on several key sociodemographic variables, including sex, race, ethnicity, household income, and parental education. Data collected include assessments of health, mental health, substance use, culture and environment and neurocognition, as well as geocoded exposures, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and whole-genome genotyping. Here, we describe the ABCD Study aims and design, as well as issues surrounding estimation of meaningful associations using its data, including population inferences, hypothesis testing, power and precision, control of covariates, interpretation of associations, and recommended best practices for reproducible research, analytical procedures and reporting of results.
Chaarani, B., Hahn, S., Allgaier, N. et al. Baseline brain function in the preadolescents of the ABCD Study. Nat Neurosci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-021-00867-9
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® is a 10-year longitudinal study of children recruited at ages 9 and 10. A battery of neuroimaging tasks are administered biennially to track neurodevelopment and identify individual differences in brain function. This study reports activation patterns from functional MRI (fMRI) tasks completed at baseline, which were designed to measure cognitive impulse control with a stop signal task (SST; N = 5,547), reward anticipation and receipt with a monetary incentive delay (MID) task (N = 6,657) and working memory and emotion reactivity with an emotional N-back (EN-back) task (N = 6,009). Further, we report the spatial reproducibility of activation patterns by assessing between-group vertex/voxelwise correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation. Analyses reveal robust brain activations that are consistent with the published literature, vary across fMRI tasks/contrasts and slightly correlate with individual behavioral performance on the tasks. These results establish the preadolescent brain function baseline, guide interpretation of cross-sectional analyses and will enable the investigation of longitudinal changes during adolescent development.
Hatoum AS, Johnson EC, Baranger DAA, Paul SE, Agrawal A, Bogdan R (2021). Polygenic Risk Scores for Alcohol Involvement Relate to Brain Structure in Substance-Naïve Children: Results from the ABCD Study. Genes Brain Behav. 2021 Jun 6;e12756. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12756. Online ahead of print.
Background and aims: Brain imaging-derived structural correlates of alcohol involvement have largely been speculated to arise as a consequence of alcohol exposure. However, they may also reflect predispositional risk.
Methods: In substance naïve children of European ancestry who completed the baseline session of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (n=3,013), mixed-effects models estimated whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for Problematic Alcohol Use (PAU-PRS) and Drinks Per Week (DPW-PRS) are associated with magnetic resonance imaging-derived brain structure phenotypes (i.e., total and regional: cortical thickness, surface area and volume; subcortical volume; white matter volume, fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity). Follow-up analyses evaluated whether any identified regions were also associated with polygenic risk among substance naïve children of African ancestry (n=898).
Results: After adjustment for multiple testing correction, polygenic risk for problematic alcohol use was associated with lower volume of the left frontal pole and greater cortical thickness of the right supramarginal gyrus (|βs|>0.009; ps<0.001; psfdr <0.046; r2 s < 0.004). PAU PRS and DPW PRS showed nominally significant associations with a host of other regional brain structure phenotypes (e.g., insula surface area and volume). None of these regions showed any, even nominal association among children of African ancestry.
Conclusions: Genomic liability to alcohol involvement may manifest as variability in brain structure during middle childhood prior to alcohol use initiation. Broadly, alcohol-related variability in brain morphometry may partially reflect predisposing genomic influence. Larger discovery GWASs and target samples of diverse ancestries are needed to determine whether observed associations may generalize across ancestral origins.
Shoval G, Visoki E, Moore TM, DiDomenico GE, Argabright ST, Huffnagle NJ, Alexander-Bloch AF, Waller R, Keele L, Benton TD, Gur RE, Barzilay R (2021). Evaluation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications, Externalizing Symptoms, and Suicidality in Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2111342. June 4, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.11342
Childhood suicidality (ie, suicidal ideation or attempts) rates are increasing, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and externalizing symptoms are common risk factors associated with suicidality. More data are needed to describe associations of ADHD pharmacotherapy with childhood suicidality.
To investigate the associations of ADHD pharmacotherapy with externalizing symptoms and childhood suicidality.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In this cohort study, cross-sectional and 1-year-longitudinal associations were examined using data (collected during 2016-2019) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a large, diverse US sample of children aged 9 to 11 years. Data analysis was performed from November to December 2020.
Main and interaction associations of externalizing symptoms (hyperactivity ADHD symptoms, oppositional defiant, and conduct disorder symptoms) and ADHD medication treatment (methylphenidate and amphetamine derivatives, α-2-agonists, and atomoxetine) at baseline assessment.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Child-reported suicidality (past and present at baseline; current at longitudinal assessment). Covariates were age, sex, race/ethnicity, parents’ education, marital status, and concomitant child psychiatric pharmacotherapy (antidepressants and antipsychotics).
Among 11 878 children at baseline assessment (mean [SD] age, 9.9 [0.6] years; 6196 boys [52.2%]; 8805 White [74.1%]), 1006 (8.5%) were treated with ADHD medication and 1040 (8.8%) reported past or current suicidality. Externalizing symptoms (median [range], 1 [0-29] symptom count) were associated with suicidality (for a change of 1 SD in symptoms, odds ratio [OR], 1.34; 95% CI, 1.26-1.42; P < .001), as was ADHD medication treatment (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.06-1.64; P = .01). ADHD medication use was associated with less suicidality in children with more externalizing symptoms (significant symptom-by-medication interaction, B = −0.250; SE = 0.086; P = .004), such that for children who were not receiving ADHD medications, there was an association between more externalizing symptoms and suicidality (for a change of 1 SD in symptoms, OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.33-1.52; P < .001); however, for children who were receiving ADHD medication, there was no such association (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.97-1.35; P = .10). The association with medication remained even when covarying for multiple confounders, including risk and protective factors for suicidality in ABCD, and was replicated in 1-year longitudinal follow-up. Sensitivity analyses matching participants with high numbers of externalizing symptoms taking and not taking ADHD medication treatment confirmed its association with less suicidality.
Conclusions and Relevance
These findings suggest that ADHD medication treatment is associated with less suicidality in children with substantial externalizing symptoms and may be used to inform childhood suicide prevention strategies.
Assari S, Boyce S, Mistry R, Thomas A, Nicholson Jr HL, Cobb RJ, Cuevas AG, Lee DB, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH, Curry TJ, Zimmerman MA (2021). Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children’s Cognitive Performance: Complexities by Race, Ethnicity, and Cognitive Domain. Urban Science, 5(2), doi: 10.3390/urbansci5020046
Background: Aim: To examine racial/ethnic variations in the effect of parents’ subjective neighborhood safety on children’s cognitive performance. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10,027 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The exposure variable was parents’ subjective neighborhood safety. The outcomes were three domains of children’s cognitive performance: general cognitive performance, executive functioning, and learning/memory. We used mixed-effects regression models for data analysis. Results: Overall, parents’ subjective neighborhood safety was positively associated with children’s executive functioning, but not general cognitive performance or learning/memory. Higher parents’ subjective neighborhood safety had a more positive influence on the executive functioning of non-Hispanic White than Asian American children. Higher parents’ subjective neighborhood safety was associated with higher general cognitive performance and learning/memory for non-White children relative to non-Hispanic White children. Conclusion: The race/ethnicity of children moderates the association between neighborhood safety and cognitive performance. This becomes more complicated, as the patterns seem to differ across ethnicity and cognitive domains. It is unknown whether the observed racial/ethnic variations in the effect of neighborhood safety on cognitive performance are neighborhood characteristics such as residential segregation. Addressing neighborhood inequalities is needed if we wish to reduce racial/ethnic inequities in the cognitive development of children.
Assari S, Boyce S (2021). Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Cerebellum Cortex Fractional Anisotropy in Pre-Adolescents. Adolescents. 2021 Jun;1(2):70-94. doi: 10.3390/adolescents1020007. Epub 2021 Mar 31.
Introduction: Cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy is a proxy of the integrity of the cerebellum cortex. However, less is known about how it is shaped by race and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators such as parental education and household income.
Purpose: In a national sample of American pre-adolescents, this study had two aims: to test the effects of two SES indicators, namely parental education and household income, on cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy, and to explore racial differences in these effects.
Methods: Using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we analyzed the diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) data of 9565, 9-10-year-old pre-adolescents. The main outcomes were cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy separately calculated for right and left hemispheres using dMRI. The independent variables were parental education and household income; both treated as categorical variables. Age, sex, ethnicity, and family marital status were the covariates. Race was the moderator. To analyze the data, we used mixed-effects regression models without and with interaction terms. We controlled for propensity score and MRI device.
Results: High parental education and household income were associated with lower right and left cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy. In the pooled sample, we found significant interactions between race and parental education and household income, suggesting that the effects of parental education and household income on the right and left cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy are all significantly larger for White than for Black pre-adolescents.
Conclusions: The effects of SES indicators, namely parental education and household income, on pre-adolescents’ cerebellum cortex microstructure and integrity are weaker in Black than in White families. This finding is in line with the Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs), defined as weaker effects of SES indicators for Blacks and other racial and minority groups than for Whites.
Simmons C, Conley MI, Gee DG, Baskin-Sommers A, Barch DM, Hoffman EA, Huber RS, Iacono WG, Nagel BJ, Palmer CE, Sheth CS, Sowell ER, Thompson WK, Casey BJ (2021). Responsible Use of Open-Access Developmental Data: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Psychol Sci. 2021 May 27;9567976211003564. doi: 10.1177/09567976211003564. Online ahead of print.
Assari S (2021). Household Income and Children’s Depressive Symptoms: Immigrants’ Diminished Returns. Int J Travel Med Glob Health. Fall 2020;8(4):157-164. doi: 10.34172/IJTMGH.2020.27.
Introduction: Relative to socially privileged groups, socially marginalized people experience weaker health effects of household income and other economic resources, a pattern known as Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs). These MDRs are frequently seen in racial and ethnic minorities, but less is known about the relevance of such MDRs in immigrant families. To investigate the MDRs of household income on children’s depression as a function of immigration, we compared non-immigrant and immigrant children for the effect of household income on children’s depressive symptoms.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted across multiple cities in the United States. Baseline data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study collected in 2018 was used. A total of 6,412 children between the ages of 9-10-year-old were included. The predictor variable was household income. The primary outcome was children’s depression measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Race, ethnicity, age, sex, parental marital status, parental employment, and financial difficulties were the covariates. Immigration status was the effect modifier.
Results: Overall, high household income was associated with lower children’s depressive symptoms. Immigration status showed a statistically significant interaction with household income on children’s depression. This interaction term suggested that high household income has a smaller protective effect against depression for immigrant children than non-immigrant children.
Conclusion: The protective effect of household income against children’s depression is diminished for immigrant than non-immigrant children.
Harman G, Kliamovich D, Morales AM, Gilbert S, Barch DM, Mooney MA, Feldstein Ewing SW, Fair DA, Nagel BJ (2021). Prediction of suicidal ideation and attempt in 9 and 10 year-old children using transdiagnostic risk features. PLoS One. 2021 May 25;16(5):e0252114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252114. eCollection 2021.
The objective of the current study was to build predictive models for suicidal ideation in a sample of children aged 9-10 using features previously implicated in risk among older adolescent and adult populations. This case-control analysis utilized baseline data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, collected from 21 research sites across the United States (N = 11,369). Several regression and ensemble learning models were compared on their ability to classify individuals with suicidal ideation and/or attempt from healthy controls, as assessed by the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Present and Lifetime Version. When comparing control participants (mean age: 9.92±0.62 years; 4944 girls [49%]) to participants with suicidal ideation (mean age: 9.89±0.63 years; 451 girls [40%]), both logistic regression with feature selection and elastic net without feature selection predicted suicidal ideation with an AUC of 0.70 (CI 95%: 0.70-0.71). The random forest with feature selection trained to predict suicidal ideation predicted a holdout set of children with a history of suicidal ideation and attempt (mean age: 9.96±0.62 years; 79 girls [41%]) from controls with an AUC of 0.77 (CI 95%: 0.76-0.77). Important features from these models included feelings of loneliness and worthlessness, impulsivity, prodromal psychosis symptoms, and behavioral problems. This investigation provided an unprecedented opportunity to identify suicide risk in youth. The use of machine learning to examine a large number of predictors spanning a variety of domains provides novel insight into transdiagnostic factors important for risk classification.
Loso HM, Dube SL, Chaarani B, Garavan H, Albaugh M, Ivanova M, Potter A (2021). Sex Differences in Psychopathology in a Large Cohort of Nine and Ten-Year-Olds. Psychiatry Res. 2021 May 24;302:114026. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114026. Online ahead of print.
The current study quantified sex differences in psychopathology among 9 and 10-year-olds, examined sex differences among those with clinically elevated symptoms and investigated if puberty moderates the relationship between sex and psychopathology. Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD)® Study’s NDA data release 2.0. Results suggest that males have higher scores and greater frequency of clinically meaningful levels of psychopathology across several domains. Puberty did not interact with sex to affect psychopathology. However, as puberty advanced, the percentage of males and females with elevated scores increased.
Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M (2021). Feasibility of Race by Sex Intersectionality Research on Suicidality in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Children 2021, 8(6), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8060437
Intersectional research on childhood suicidality requires studies with a reliable and valid measure of suicidality, as well as a large sample size that shows some variability of suicidality across sex by race intersectional groups. Objectives: We aimed to investigate the feasibility of intersectionality research on childhood suicidality in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We specifically explored the reliability and validity of the measure, sample size, and variability of suicidality across sex by race intersectional groups. Methods: We used cross-sectional data (wave 1) from the ABCD study, which sampled 9013 non-Hispanic white (NHW) or non-Hispanic black (NHB) children between the ages of 9 and 10 between years 2016 and 2018. Four intersectional groups were built based on race and sex: NHW males (n = 3554), NHW females (n = 3158), NHB males (n = 1164), and NHB females (n = 1137). Outcome measure was the count of suicidality symptoms, reflecting all positive history and symptoms of suicidal ideas, plans, and attempts. To validate our measure, we tested the correlation between our suicidality measure and depression and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) sub-scores. Cronbach alpha was calculated for reliability across each intersectional group. We also compared groups for suicidality. Results: We observed some suicidality history in observed 3.2% (n = 101) of NHW females, 4.9% (n = 175) of NHW males, 5.4% (n = 61) of NHB females, and 5.8% (n = 68) of NHB males. Our measure’s reliability was acceptable in all race by sex groups (Cronbach alpha higher than 0.70+ in all intersectional groups). Our measure was valid in all intersectional groups, documented by a positive correlation with depression and CBCL sub-scores. We could successfully model suicidality across sex by race groups, using multivariable models. Conclusion: Given the high sample size, reliability, and validity of the suicidality measure, variability of suicidality, it is feasible to investigate correlates of suicidality across race by sex intersections in the ABCD study. We also found evidence of higher suicidality in NHB than NHW children in the ABCD study. The ABCD rich data in domains of social context, self-report, schools, parenting, psychopathology, personality, and brain imaging provides a unique opportunity to study intersectional differences in neural circuits associated with youth suicidality.
Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M, Thomas A, Cobb RJ, Hudson D, Curry TJ, Nicholson, Jr. HL, Cuevas AG, Mistry R, Chavous TM, Caldwell CH, Zimmerman MA (2021). Parental Educational Attainment, the Superior Temporal Cortical Surface Area, and Reading Ability among American Children: A Test of Marginalization-Related Diminished Returns. Children 2021, 8(5), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8050412
Background: Recent studies have shown that parental educational attainment is associated with a larger superior temporal cortical surface area associated with higher reading ability in children. Simultaneously, the marginalization-related diminished returns (MDRs) framework suggests that, due to structural racism and social stratification, returns of parental education are smaller for black and other racial/ethnic minority children compared to their white counterparts. Purpose: This study used a large national sample of 9–10-year-old American children to investigate associations between parental educational attainment, the right and left superior temporal cortical surface area, and reading ability across diverse racial/ethnic groups. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis that included 10,817 9–10-year-old children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Parental educational attainment was treated as a five-level categorical variable. Children’s right and left superior temporal cortical surface area and reading ability were continuous variables. Race/ethnicity was the moderator. To adjust for the nested nature of the ABCD data, mixed-effects regression models were used to test the associations between parental education, superior temporal cortical surface area, and reading ability overall and by race/ethnicity. Results: Overall, high parental educational attainment was associated with greater superior temporal cortical surface area and reading ability in children. In the pooled sample, we found statistically significant interactions between race/ethnicity and parental educational attainment on children’s right and left superior temporal cortical surface area, suggesting that high parental educational attainment has a smaller boosting effect on children’s superior temporal cortical surface area for black than white children. We also found a significant interaction between race and the left superior temporal surface area on reading ability, indicating weaker associations for Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AIAN/NHPI) than white children. We also found interactions between race and parental educational attainment on reading ability, indicating more potent effects for black children than white children. Conclusion: While parental educational attainment may improve children’s superior temporal cortical surface area, promoting reading ability, this effect may be unequal across racial/ethnic groups. To minimize the racial/ethnic gap in children’s brain development and school achievement, we need to address societal barriers that diminish parental educational attainment’s marginal returns for middle-class minority families. Social and public policies need to go beyond equal access and address structural and societal barriers that hinder middle-class families of color and their children. Future research should test how racism, social stratification, segregation, and discrimination, which shape the daily lives of non-white individuals, take a toll on children’s brains and academic development.
Assari S, Boyce S, Jovanovic T (2021). Association between Hippocampal Volume and Working Memory in 10,000+ 9–10-Year-Old Children: Sex Differences. Children 2021, 8(5), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8050411
Aim: This study tested sex differences in the association between hippocampal volume and working memory of a national sample of 9–10-year-old children in the US. As the hippocampus is functionally lateralized (especially in task-related activities), we explored the results for the right and the left hippocampus. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study data. This analysis included baseline ABCD data (n = 10,093) of children between ages 9 and 10 years. The predictor variable was right and left hippocampal volume measured by structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI). The primary outcome, list sorting working memory, was measured using the NIH toolbox measure. Sex was the moderator. Age, race, ethnicity, household income, parental education, and family structure were the covariates. Results: In the overall sample, larger right (b = 0.0013; p < 0.001) and left (b = 0.0013; p < 0.001) hippocampal volumes were associated with higher children’s working memory. Sex had statistically significant interactions with the right (b = −0.0018; p = 0.001) and left (b = −0.0012; p = 0.022) hippocampal volumes on children’s working memory. These interactions indicated stronger positive associations between right and left hippocampal volume and working memory for females compared to males. Conclusion: While right and left hippocampal volumes are determinants of children’s list sorting working memory, these effects seem to be more salient for female than male children. Research is needed on the role of socialization, sex hormones, and brain functional connectivity as potential mechanisms that may explain the observed sex differences in the role of hippocampal volume as a correlate of working memory.
Nagata JM, Ganson KT, Sajjad OM, Benabou SE, Bibbins-Domingo K (2021). Prevalence of Perceived Racism and Discrimination Among US Children Aged 10 and 11 Years: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Research Letter, JAMA Pediatr. 2021 May 17. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1022. Online ahead of print.
Research has consistently shown that racism is detrimental to the health of children, adolescents, and their families.1 These consequences range from higher infant mortality to poorer mental health and juvenile justice involvement.1 Despite the plethora of known adverse outcomes associated with racism among young people, little is known regarding the number of children who report that they experience racism and discrimination directly. Identifying the prevalence of racism and discrimination among a crucial developmental age group is imperative to curtail poor outcomes, adjust public health measures, and improve medical and mental health assessments and treatments. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the national prevalence of perceived racism and discrimination among 10- and 11-year-old children.
Tomasi D, Volkow ND (2021). Associations of family income with cognition and brain structure in USA children: prevention implications. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 May 14. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01130-0. Online ahead of print.
Poverty, as assessed by several socioeconomic (SES) factors, has been linked to worse cognitive performance and reduced cortical brain volumes in children. However, the relative contributions of the various SES factors on brain development and the mediating effects between cognition and brain morphometry have not been investigated. Here we used cross-sectional data from the ABCD Study to evaluate associations among various SES and demographic factors, brain morphometrics, and cognition and their reproducibility in two independent subsamples of 3892 children. Among the SES factors, family income (FI) best explained individual differences in cognitive test scores (stronger for crystallized than for fluid cognition), cortical volume (CV), and thickness (CT). Other SES factors that showed significant associations with cognition and brain morphometrics included parental education and neighborhood deprivation, but when controlling for FI, their effect sizes were negligible and their regional brain patterns were not reproducible. Mediation analyses showed that cognitive scores, which we used as surrogate markers of the children’s level of cognitive stimulation, partially mediated the association of FI and CT, whereas the mediations of brain morphometrics on the association of FI and cognition were not significant. These results suggest that lack of supportive/educational stimulation in children from low-income families might drive the reduced CV and CT. Thus, strategies to enhance parental supportive stimulation and the quality of education for children in low-income families could help counteract the negative effects of poverty on children’s brain development.
Brooks SJ, Parks SM, Stamoulis C (2021). Widespread Positive Direct and Indirect Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Developing Functional Connectome in Early Adolescence, Cerebral Cortex, 2021;, bhab126, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab126
Adolescence is a period of profound but incompletely understood changes in the brain’s neural circuitry (the connectome), which is vulnerable to risk factors such as unhealthy weight, but may be protected by positive factors such as regular physical activity. In 5955 children (median age = 120 months; 50.86% females) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) cohort, we investigated direct and indirect (through impact on body mass index [BMI]) effects of physical activity on resting-state networks, the backbone of the functional connectome that ubiquitously affects cognitive function. We estimated significant positive effects of regular physical activity on network connectivity, efficiency, robustness and stability (P ≤ 0.01), and on local topologies of attention, somatomotor, frontoparietal, limbic, and default-mode networks (P < 0.05), which support extensive processes, from memory and executive control to emotional processing. In contrast, we estimated widespread negative BMI effects in the same network properties and brain regions (P < 0.05). Additional mediation analyses suggested that physical activity could also modulate network topologies leading to better control of food intake, appetite and satiety, and ultimately lower BMI. Thus, regular physical activity may have extensive positive effects on the development of the functional connectome, and may be critical for improving the detrimental effects of unhealthy weight on cognitive health.
Goldstone A, Javitz HS, Claudatos SA, Buysse DJ, Hasler BP, Zambotti M, Clark DB, Franzen PL, Prouty DE, Colrain IM, Baker FC (2021). Sleep Disturbance Predicts Depression Symptoms in Early Adolescence: Initial Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Journal of Adolescent Health. Volume 66, Issue 5, May 2020, Pages 567-574. doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.12.005
The aim of the study was to investigate associations between sleep disturbances and mental health in adolescents.
Data are from a national sample of 11,670 U.S. participants (5,594 females, aged 9–10 years, 63.5% white) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Initial longitudinal analyses were conducted for a subset of the sample (n = 4,951). Measures of youth sleep disturbance (disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep, sleep–wake transition disorders, and disorders of excessive somnolence) and “typical” total sleep time (number of hours slept on most nights in the past 6 months) were obtained from the parent-report Sleep Disturbance Scale (Data Release 2.0). Parent-report measures of youth mental health (depression, internalizing, and externalizing behaviors) from the Child Behavior Checklist and typical screen time were included.
At baseline, greater sleep disturbance and shorter total sleep time were associated with greater internalizing, externalizing, and depression scores. After controlling for baseline mental health symptoms, baseline sleep disturbance significantly predicted depression and internalizing and externalizing scores at 1-year follow-up. A significant interaction with sex indicated that the association between disorders of excessive somnolence and depression 1 year later was steeper for girls, compared with boys (p < .001; 95% confidence interval 1.04–3.45).
Sleep disturbances predicted future mental health, particularly depression in this young sample, highlighting the potential to harness sleep as a tool to mitigate the persistence of depression across early adolescence and potentially prevent an adolescent onset of major depressive disorder.
Liu S, Oshri A, Kogan SM, Wickrama KAS, Sweet L (2021). Amygdalar Activation as a Neurobiological Marker of Differential Sensitivity in the Effects of Family Rearing Experiences on Socioemotional Adjustment in Youths. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021 May 5;S2451-9022(21)00124-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.04.017. Online ahead of print.
Background: Substantial heterogeneity exists in how rearing environments influence youths’ socio-emotional outcomes. This heterogeneity, as suggested by the biological sensitivity to context (BSCT) and the differential susceptibility (DST) theories, is associated with emotional reactivity patterns and underlying neural functions. The present study investigated amygdalar reactivity to emotional stimuli as a neural signature that amplified the influence of rearing environments on youths’ socio-emotional outcomes.
Methods: To increase replicability and generalizability, this investigation included two independent studies that methodologically complemented each other. Study I employed a large, national, and longitudinal dataset (the ABCD study; N=11,875). Study II used a community sample of youths (N=123) with multi-method and multi-reporter assessments.
Results: In Study I, high left amygdalar reactivity to positive stimuli significantly amplified the impact of parental warmth on youths’ prosocial behaviors. In Study II, left and right amygdala reactivity to positive stimuli significantly intensified the associations between family functioning and youths’ internalizing problems. These findings were consistent with the BSCT/DST hypothesis because significant socio-emotional differences were observed at both negative and positive extremes of rearing environments. Additionally, Study II partially supported the diathesis-stress hypothesis by showing significant differences in youths’ vulnerability to negative family environments. Specifically, left amygdalar response to negative stimuli exacerbated the associations between unbalanced family functioning and heightened internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Left amygdalar reactivity to positive stimuli intensified the link between unbalanced family functioning and elevated externalizing problems.
Conclusions: Among youths and adolescents, amygdalar emotional reactivity may serve as a biomarker of differential sensitivity to rearing environments.
Cheng TW, Magis-Weinberg L, Guazzelli Williamson V, Ladouceur CD, Whittle SL, Herting MM, Uban KA, Byrne M, Barendse MEA, Shirtcliff EA, Pfeifer JH (2021). A Researcher’s Guide to the Measurement and Modeling of Puberty in the ABCD Study ® at Baseline. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 May 5;12:608575. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.608575. eCollection 2021.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ (ABCD) Study is an ongoing, diverse, longitudinal, and multi-site study of 11,880 adolescents in the United States. The ABCD Study provides open access to data about pubertal development at a large scale, and this article is a researcher’s guide that both describes its pubertal variables and outlines recommendations for use. These considerations are contextualized with reference to cross-sectional empirical analyses of pubertal measures within the baseline ABCD dataset by Herting, Uban, and colleagues (2021). We discuss strategies to capitalize on strengths, mitigate weaknesses, and appropriately interpret study limitations for researchers using pubertal variables within the ABCD dataset, with the aim of building toward a robust science of adolescent development.
Hackman DA, Cserbik D, Chen J-C, Berhane K, Minaravesh V, McConnell R, Herting MM (2021). Association of Local Variation in Neighborhood Disadvantage in Metropolitan Areas With Youth Neurocognition and Brain Structure. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 May 3;e210426. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0426. Online ahead of print.
Importance: Neighborhood disadvantage is an important social determinant of health in childhood and adolescence. Less is known about the association of neighborhood disadvantage with youth neurocognition and brain structure, and particularly whether associations are similar across metropolitan areas and are attributed to local differences in disadvantage.
Objective: To test whether neighborhood disadvantage is associated with youth neurocognitive performance and with global and regional measures of brain structure after adjusting for family socioeconomic status and perceptions of neighborhood characteristics, and to assess whether these associations (1) are pervasive or limited, (2) vary across metropolitan areas, and (3) are attributed to local variation in disadvantage within metropolitan areas.
Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study analyzed baseline data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a cohort study conducted at 21 sites across the US. Participants were children aged 9.00 to 10.99 years at enrollment. They and their parent or caregiver completed a baseline visit between October 1, 2016, and October 31, 2018.
Exposures: Neighborhood disadvantage factor based on US census tract characteristics.
Main outcomes and measures: Neurocognition was measured with the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery, and T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess whole-brain and regional measures of structure. Linear mixed-effects models examined the association between neighborhood disadvantage and outcomes after adjusting for sociodemographic factors.
Results: Of the 11 875 children in the ABCD Study cohort, 8598 children (72.4%) were included in this analysis. The study sample had a mean (SD) age of 118.8 (7.4) months and included 4526 boys (52.6%). Every 1-unit increase in the neighborhood disadvantage factor was associated with lower performance on 6 of 7 subtests, such as Flanker Inhibitory Control and Attention (unstandardized Β = -0.5; 95% CI, -0.7 to -0.2; false discovery rate (FDR)-corrected P = .001) and List Sorting Working Memory (unstandardized Β = -0.7; 95% CI, -1.0 to -0.3; FDR-corrected P < .001), as well as on all composite measures of neurocognition, such as the Total Cognition Composite (unstandardized Β = -0.7; 95% CI, -0.9 to -0.5; FDR-corrected P < .001). Each 1-unit increase in neighborhood disadvantage was associated with lower whole-brain cortical surface area (unstandardized Β = -692.6 mm2; 95% CI, -1154.9 to -230.4 mm2; FDR-corrected P = .007) and subcortical volume (unstandardized Β = -113.9 mm3; 95% CI, -198.5 to -29.4 mm3; FDR-corrected P = .03) as well as with regional surface area differences, primarily in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. Associations largely remained after adjusting for perceptions of neighborhood safety and were both consistent across metropolitan areas and primarily explained by local variation in each area.
Conclusions and relevance: This study found that, in the US, local variation in neighborhood disadvantage was associated with lower neurocognitive performance and smaller cortical surface area and subcortical volume in young people. The findings demonstrate that neighborhood disadvantage is an environmental risk factor for neurodevelopmental and population health and enhancing the neighborhood context is a promising approach to improving the health and development of children and adolescents.
Warrier V, Kwong ASF, Luo M, Dalvie S, Croft J, Sallis HM, Baldwin J, Munafo MR, Nievergelt CM, Grant AJ, Burgess S, Moore TM, Barzilay R, McIntosh A, van IJzendoorn MH, Cecil CAM (2021). Gene–environment correlations and causal effects of childhood maltreatment on physical and mental health: a genetically informed approach. The Lancet, Psychiatry, Vol 8, Issue 5, P373-386, May 01, 2021. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30569-1.
Childhood maltreatment is associated with poor mental and physical health. However, the mechanisms of gene–environment correlations and the potential causal effects of childhood maltreatment on health are unknown. Using genetics, we aimed to delineate the sources of gene–environment correlation for childhood maltreatment and the causal relationship between childhood maltreatment and health.
We did a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of childhood maltreatment using data from the UK Biobank (n=143 473), Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (n=26 290), Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n=8346), Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (n=5400), and Generation R (n=1905). We included individuals who had phenotypic and genetic data available. We investigated single nucleotide polymorphism heritability and genetic correlations among different subtypes, operationalisations, and reports of childhood maltreatment. Family-based and population-based polygenic score analyses were done to elucidate gene–environment correlation mechanisms. We used genetic correlation and Mendelian randomisation analyses to identify shared genetics and test causal relationships between childhood maltreatment and mental and physical health conditions.
Our meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (N=185 414) identified 14 independent loci associated with childhood maltreatment (13 novel). We identified high genetic overlap (genetic correlations 0·24–1·00) among different maltreatment operationalisations, subtypes, and reporting methods. Within-family analyses provided some support for active and reactive gene–environment correlation but did not show the absence of passive gene–environment correlation. Robust Mendelian randomisation suggested a potential causal role of childhood maltreatment in depression (unidirectional), as well as both schizophrenia and ADHD (bidirectional), but not in physical health conditions (coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes) or inflammation (C-reactive protein concentration).
Childhood maltreatment has a heritable component, with substantial genetic correlations among different operationalisations, subtypes, and retrospective and prospective reports of childhood maltreatment. Family-based analyses point to a role of active and reactive gene–environment correlation, with equivocal support for passive correlation. Mendelian randomisation supports a (primarily bidirectional) causal role of childhood maltreatment on mental health, but not on physical health conditions. Our study identifies research avenues to inform the prevention of childhood maltreatment and its long-term effects.
Roffman JL, Sipahi ED, Dowling KF, Hughes DE, Hopkinson CE, Lee H, Eryilmaz H, Cohen LS, Gilman J, Doyle AE, Dunn EC (2021). Association of adverse prenatal exposure burden with child psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD). StudyPLoS One. 2021 Apr 28;16(4):e0250235. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250235. eCollection 2021.
Objective: Numerous adverse prenatal exposures have been individually associated with risk for psychiatric illness in the offspring. However, such exposures frequently co-occur, raising questions about their cumulative impact. We evaluated effects of cumulative adverse prenatal exposure burden on psychopathology risk in school-aged children.
Methods: Using baseline surveys from the U.S.-based Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (7,898 non-adopted, unrelated children from 21 sites, age 9-10, and their primary caregivers), we examined 8 retrospectively-reported adverse prenatal exposures in relation to caregiver-reported total and subscale Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scores. We also assessed cumulative effects of these factors on CBCL total as a continuous measure, as well as on odds of clinically significant psychopathology (CBCL total ≥60), in both the initial set and a separate ABCD sample comprising an additional 696 sibling pairs. Analyses were conducted before and after adjustment for 14 demographic and environmental covariates.
Results: In minimally and fully adjusted models, 6 exposures (unplanned pregnancy; maternal alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use early in pregnancy; pregnancy complications; and birth complications) independently associated with significant but small increases in CBCL total score. Among these 6, none increased the odds of crossing the threshold for clinically significant symptoms by itself. However, odds of exceeding this threshold became significant with 2 exposures (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.47-2.36), and increased linearly with each level of exposure (OR = 1.39, 95% CI 1.31-1.47), up to 3.53-fold for ≥4 exposures versus none. Similar effects were observed in confirmatory analysis among siblings. Within sibling pairs, greater discordance for exposure load associated with greater CBCL total differences, suggesting that results were not confounded by unmeasured family-level effects.
Conclusion: Children exposed to multiple common, adverse prenatal events showed dose-dependent increases in broad, clinically significant psychopathology at age 9-10. Fully prospective studies are needed to confirm and elaborate upon this pattern.
Lopez DA, Foxe JJ, Mao Y, Thompson WK, Martin HJ, Freedman EG (2021). Breastfeeding Duration Is Associated With Domain-Specific Improvements in Cognitive Performance in 9–10-Year-Old Children. Front. Public Health, 26 April 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.657422
Significant immunological, physical and neurological benefits of breastfeeding in infancy are well-established, but to what extent these gains persist into later childhood remain uncertain. This study examines the association between breastfeeding duration and subsequent domain-specific cognitive performance in a diverse sample of 9–10-year-olds enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. The analyses included 9,116 children that attended baseline with their biological mother and had complete neurocognitive and breastfeeding data. Principal component analysis was conducted on data from an extensive battery of neurocognitive tests using varimax-rotation to extract a three-component model encompassing General Ability, Executive Functioning, and Memory. Propensity score weighting using generalized boosted modeling was applied to balance the distribution of observed covariates for children breastfed for 0, 1–6, 7–12, and more than 12 months. Propensity score-adjusted linear regression models revealed significant association between breastfeeding duration and performance on neurocognitive tests representing General Ability, but no evidence of a strong association with Executive Function or Memory. Benefits on General Ability ranged from a 0.109 (1–6 months) to 0.301 (>12 months) standardized beta coefficient difference compared to those not breastfed. Results indicate clear cognitive benefits of breastfeeding but that these do not generalize to all measured domains, with implications for public health policy as it pertains to nutrition during infancy.
Kirlic N, Colaizzi JM, Cosgrove KT, Cohen ZP, Yeh H-W, Breslin F, Morris AS, Aupperle RL, Singh MK, Paulus MP (2021). Extracurricular Activities, Screen Media Activity, and Sleep May Be Modifiable Factors Related to Children’s Cognitive Functioning: Evidence From the ABCD Study®. Child Dev. 2021 Apr 26. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13578. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13578
This study used a machine learning framework in conjunction with a large battery of measures from 9,718 school-age children (ages 9-11) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) Study to identify factors associated with fluid cognitive functioning (FCF), or the capacity to learn, solve problems, and adapt to novel situations. The identified algorithm explained 14.74% of the variance in FCF, replicating previously reported socioeconomic and mental health contributors to FCF, and adding novel and potentially modifiable contributors, including extracurricular involvement, screen media activity, and sleep duration. Pragmatic interventions targeting these contributors may enhance cognitive performance and protect against their negative impact on FCF in children.
Adise S, Allgaier N, Laurent J, Hahn S, Chaarani B, Owens M, Yuan D, Nyugen P, Mackey S, Potter A, Garavan HP (2021). Multimodal brain predictors of current weight and weight gain in children enrolled in the ABCD study®. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 49, June 2021, 100948, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100948
Multimodal neuroimaging assessments were utilized to identify generalizable brain correlates of current body mass index (BMI) and predictors of pathological weight gain (i.e., beyond normative development) one year later. Multimodal data from children enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® at 9-to-10-years-old, consisted of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting state (rs), and three task-based functional (f) MRI scans assessing reward processing, inhibitory control, and working memory. Cross-validated elastic-net regression revealed widespread structural associations with BMI (e.g., cortical thickness, surface area, subcortical volume, and DTI), which explained 35% of the variance in the training set and generalized well to the test set (R2 = 0.27). Widespread rsfMRI inter- and intra-network correlations were related to BMI (R2train = 0.21; R2test = 0.14), as were regional activations on the working memory task (R2train = 0.20; (R2 test = 0.16). However, reward and inhibitory control tasks were unrelated to BMI. Further, pathological weight gain was predicted by structural features (Area Under the Curve (AUC)train = 0.83; AUCtest = 0.83, p < 0.001), but not by fMRI nor rsfMRI. These results establish generalizable brain correlates of current weight and future pathological weight gain. These results also suggest that sMRI may have particular value for identifying children at risk for pathological weight gain.
Jeong HJ, Durhan EL, Moore TM, Dupont RM, McDowell M, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Micciche ET, Berman MG, Lahey BB, Kaczkurkin AN (2021). The association between latent trauma and brain structure in children. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 24;11(1):240. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01357-z. DOI: 10.1038/s41398-021-01357-z
The developing brain is marked by high plasticity, which can lead to vulnerability to early life stressors. Previous studies indicate that childhood maltreatment is associated with structural aberrations across a number of brain regions. However, prior work is limited by small sample sizes, heterogeneous age groups, the examination of one structure in isolation, the confounding of different types of early life stressors, and not accounting for socioeconomic status. These limitations may contribute to high variability across studies. The present study aimed to investigate how trauma is specifically associated with cortical thickness and gray matter volume (GMV) differences by leveraging a large sample of children (N = 9270) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). A latent measure of trauma exposure was derived from DSM-5 traumatic events, and we related this measure of trauma to the brain using structural equation modeling. Trauma exposure was associated with thinner cortices in the bilateral superior frontal gyri and right caudal middle frontal gyrus (pfdr-values < .001) as well as thicker cortices in the left isthmus cingulate and posterior cingulate (pfdr-values ≤ .027), after controlling age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Furthermore, trauma exposure was associated with smaller GMV in the right amygdala and right putamen (pfdr-values ≤ .048). Sensitivity analyses that controlled for income and parental education were largely consistent with the main findings for cortical thickness. These results suggest that trauma may be an important risk factor for structural aberrations, specifically for cortical thickness differences in frontal and cingulate regions in children.
van Dijk MT, Murphy E, Posner JE, Talati A, Weissman MM (2021). Association of Multigenerational Family History of Depression With Lifetime Depressive and Other Psychiatric Disorders in Children: Results from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 21. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0350. Online ahead of print.
Importance: Three-generation family studies of depression have established added risk of psychopathology for offspring with 2 previous generations affected with depression compared with 1 or none. Because of their rigorous methodology, there are few of these studies, and existing studies are limited by sample sizes. Consequently, the 3-generation family risk paradigm established in family studies can be a critical neuropsychiatric tool if similar transmission patterns are reliably demonstrated with the family history method.
Objective: To examine the association of multigenerational family history of depression with lifetime depressive disorders and other psychopathology in children.
Design, setting, and participants: In this analysis of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study data, retrospective, cross-sectional reports on psychiatric functioning among 11 200 children (generation 3 [G3]) and parent reports on parents’ (G2) and grandparents’ (G1) depression histories were analyzed. The ABCD study sampling weights were used for generalized estimating equation models and descriptive analyses. Data were collected from September 2016 to November 2018, and data were analyzed from July to November 2020.
Main outcomes and measures: Four risk categories were created, reflecting how many prior generations had history of depression: (1) neither G1 nor G2 (G1-/G2-), (2) only G1 (G1+/G2-), (3) only G2 (G1-/G2+), and (4) both G1 and G2 (G1+/G2+). Child lifetime prevalence and relative risks of psychiatric disorders were based on child and caregiver reports and grouped according to familial risk category derived from G1 and G2 depression history.
Results: Among 11 200 included children, 5355 (47.8%) were female, and the mean (SD) age was 9.9 (0.6) years. By parent reports, the weighted prevalence of depressive disorder among children was 3.8% (95% CI, 3.2-4.3) for G1-/G2- children, 5.5% (95% CI, 4.3-7.1) for G1+/G2- children, 10.4% (95% CI, 8.6-12.6) for G1-/G2+ children, and 13.3% (95% CI, 11.6-15.2) for G1+/G2+ children (Cochran-Armitage trend = 243.77; P < .001). The weighted suicidal behavior prevalence among children was 5.0% (95% CI, 4.5-5.6) for G1-/G2- children, 7.2% (95% CI, 5.8-8.9) for G1+/G2- children, 12.1% (95% CI, 10.1-14.4) for G1-/G2+ children, and 15.0% (95% CI, 13.2-17.0) for G1+/G2+ children (Cochran-Armitage trend = 188.66; P < .001). By child reports, the weighted prevalence of depressive disorder was 4.8% (95% CI, 4.3-5.5) for G1-/G2- children, 4.3% (95% CI, 3.2-5.7) for G1+/G2- children, 6.3% (95% CI, 4.9-8.1) for G1-/G2+ children, and 7.0% (95% CI, 5.8-8.5) for G1+/G2+ children (Cochran-Armitage trend = 9.01; P = .002), and the weighted prevalence of suicidal behaviors was 7.4% (95% CI, 6.7-8.2) for G1-/G2- children, 7.0% (95% CI, 5.6-8.6) for G1+/G2- children, 9.8% (95% CI, 8.1-12.0) for G1-/G2+ children, and 13.8% (95% CI, 12.1-15.8) for G1+/G2+ children (Cochran-Armitage trend = 46.69; P < .001). Similar patterns were observed for other disorders for both parent and child reports and across sex, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity.
Conclusions and relevance: In this study, having multiple prior affected generations was associated with increased risk of childhood psychopathology. Furthermore, these findings were detectable even at prepubertal ages and existed in diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Clinically, they underscore the need for screening for family history in pediatric settings and highlight implications for biological research with homogenous subgroups using magnetic resonance imaging or genetic analyses.
Demidenko MI, Ip KI, Kelly DP, Constante K, Goetschius LG, Keating DP (2021). Ecological stress, amygdala reactivity, and internalizing symptoms in preadolescence: Is parenting a buffer?. Special Issue «Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study»: Registered Report. Cortex, Volume 140, July 2021, Pages 128-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2021.02.032
Ecological stress during adolescent development may increase the sensitivity to negative emotional processes that can contribute to the onset and progression of internalizing behaviors during preadolescence. Although a small number of studies have considered the link among the relations between ecological stress, amygdala reactivity and internalizing symptoms in childhood and adolescence, these studies have largely been small, cross-sectional, and often do not consider unique roles of parenting or sex. In the current study, we evaluated the interrelations between ecological stress, amygdala functioning, subsequent internalizing symptoms, and the moderating roles of parenting and sex among 9- and 10-year-old preadolescents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study ®. A subset of participants who met a priori quality control criteria for bilateral amygdala activation during the EN-back faces versus places contrast (N = 7,385; Mean Age = 120 months, SD = 7.52; 49.5% Female) were included in the study. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed to create a latent variable of ecological stress, and multiple structural equation models were tested to evaluate the association among baseline ecological stress and internalizing symptoms one year later, the mediating role of amygdala activity, and moderating effects of parental acceptance and sex. The results revealed a significant association between ecological stress and subsequent internalizing symptoms, which was greater in males than females. There was no association between amygdala activity during the Faces versus Places contrast and ecological stress or subsequent internalizing symptoms, and no mediating role of amygdala or moderating effect of parental acceptance on the association between ecological stress and internalizing symptoms. An alternative mediation model was tested which revealed that there was a small mediating effect of parental acceptance on the association between ecological stress and internalizing symptoms, demonstrating lower internalizing symptoms among preadolescents one year later. Given the lack of association in brain function, ecological stress and internalizing symptoms in preadolescents in this registered report, effects from comparable small studies should be reconsidered in larger samples.
Tillem S, Conley MI, Baskin-Sommers A (2021). Conduct disorder symptomatology is associated with an altered functional connectome in a large national youth sample. Dev Psychopathol. 2021 Apr 14;1-12. doi: 10.1017/S0954579421000237. Online ahead of print.
Conduct disorder (CD), characterized by youth antisocial behavior, is associated with a variety of neurocognitive impairments. However, questions remain regarding the neural underpinnings of these impairments. To investigate novel neural mechanisms that may support these neurocognitive abnormalities, the present study applied a graph analysis to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected from a national sample of 4,781 youth, ages 9-10, who participated in the baseline session of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). Analyses were then conducted to examine the relationships among levels of CD symptomatology, metrics of global topology, node-level metrics for subcortical structures, and performance on neurocognitive assessments. Youth higher on CD displayed higher global clustering (β = .039, 95% CIcorrected [.0027 .0771]), but lower Degreesubcortical (β = -.052, 95% CIcorrected [-.0916 -.0152]). Youth higher on CD had worse performance on a general neurocognitive assessment (β = -.104, 95% CI [-.1328 -.0763]) and an emotion recognition memory assessment (β = -.061, 95% CI [-.0919 -.0290]). Finally, global clustering mediated the relationship between CD and general neurocognitive functioning (indirect β = -.002, 95% CI [-.0044 -.0002]), and Degreesubcortical mediated the relationship between CD and emotion recognition memory performance (indirect β = -.002, 95% CI [-.0046 -.0005]). CD appears associated with neuro-topological abnormalities and these abnormalities may represent neural mechanisms supporting CD-related neurocognitive disruptions.
Isaiah A, Ernst T, Cloak CC, Clark DB, Chang L (2021). Associations between frontal lobe structure, parent-reported obstructive sleep disordered breathing and childhood behavior in the ABCD dataset. Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 13;12(1):2205. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22534-0.
Parents frequently report behavioral problems among children who snore. Our understanding of the relationship between symptoms of obstructive sleep disordered breathing (oSDB) and childhood behavioral problems associated with brain structural alterations is limited. Here, we examine the associations between oSDB symptoms, behavioral measures such as inattention, and brain morphometry in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study comprising 10,140 preadolescents. We observe that parent-reported symptoms of oSDB are associated with composite and domain-specific problem behaviors measured by parent responses to the Child Behavior Checklist. Alterations of brain structure demonstrating the strongest negative associations with oSDB symptoms are within the frontal lobe. The relationships between oSDB symptoms and behavioral measures are mediated by significantly smaller volumes of multiple frontal lobe regions. These results provide population-level evidence for an association between regional structural alterations in cortical gray matter and problem behaviors reported in children with oSDB.
Owens MM, Allgaier N, Hahn S, Yuan D, Albaugh M, Adise S, Chaarani B, Ortigara J, Juliano A, Potter A, Garavan H (2021). Correction to: Multimethod investigation of the neurobiological basis of ADHD symptomatology in children aged 9-10: baseline data from the ABCD study. Published Erratum Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 12;11(1):216. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01320-y.
Kerr KL, Ralph-Nearman C, Colaizzi JM, DeVille DC, Breslin FJ, Aupperle R, Paulus MP, Sheffield Morris A (2021). Gastric symptoms and low perceived maternal warmth are associated with eating disorder symptoms in young adolescent girls. Int J Eat Disord. 2021 Apr 9. doi: 10.1002/eat.23516. Online ahead of print.
Objective: This study sought to determine whether gastric symptoms are associated with later eating disorder (ED) symptoms during early adolescence, and whether this relationship is moderated by parental warmth/acceptance and/or the child’s sex.
Method: Longitudinal data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study were utilized. Participants ages 9-10 years old (N = 4,950; 2,370 female) completed measures at baseline and 1 year later (Y1). At baseline, gastric symptoms were measured by parent-reported items from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and perceived parental acceptance was measured by youth report on the Children’s Report of Parent Behavior Inventory (CRPBI) Acceptance subscale separately for mothers and fathers. ED symptoms at Y1 were assessed by parent report on a computerized version of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). Linear mixed-effects models were conducted separately for maternal and paternal acceptance to test relationships among variables.
Results: A three-way interaction between baseline gastric symptoms, sex, and maternal acceptance predicted Y1 ED symptoms (???? = 0.08; p < .01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that the interaction between gastric symptoms and maternal acceptance was significant for girls only (???? = -0.06, p < .01), such that low maternal acceptance was associated with a stronger relationship between baseline gastric symptoms and Y1 ED symptoms. No statistically significant main effects or interactions were found in the model for paternal acceptance.
Discussion: Gastric symptoms and low perceived maternal acceptance may interact to result in heightened risk for EDs in young adolescent girls.
Palmer CE, Zhao W Loughnan R, Zou J, Fan CC, Thompson WK, Dale AM, Jernigan TL (2021). Distinct Regionalization Patterns of Cortical Morphology are Associated with Cognitive Performance Across Different Domains. Cereb Cortex. 2021 Apr 7;bhab054. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab054. Online ahead of print.
Cognitive performance in children is predictive of academic and social outcomes; therefore, understanding neurobiological mechanisms underlying individual differences in cognition during development may be important for improving quality of life. The belief that a single, psychological construct underlies many cognitive processes is pervasive throughout society. However, it is unclear if there is a consistent neural substrate underlying many cognitive processes. Here, we show that a distributed configuration of cortical surface area and apparent thickness, when controlling for global imaging measures, is differentially associated with cognitive performance on different types of tasks in a large sample (N = 10 145) of 9-11-year-old children from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) study. The minimal overlap in these regionalization patterns of association has implications for competing theories about developing intellectual functions. Surprisingly, not controlling for sociodemographic factors increased the similarity between these regionalization patterns. This highlights the importance of understanding the shared variance between sociodemographic factors, cognition and brain structure, particularly with a population-based sample such as ABCD.
Dube S, Ivanova M & Potter A (2021). “I Don’t Understand”: Who Is Missed When We Ask Early Adolescents, “Are You Transgender”?. Arch Sex Behav (2021), Letter to the Editor. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-01986-x
Naqvi S, Sleyp Y, Hoskens H, Indencleef K, Spence JP, Bruffaerts R, Radwan A, Eller RJ, Richmond S, Shriver MD, Shaffer JR, Weinberg SM, Walsh S, Thompson J, Pritchard JK, Sunaert S, Peeters H, Wysocka J, Claes P (2021). Shared heritability of human face and brain shape. Nat Genet (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00827-w
Evidence from model organisms and clinical genetics suggests coordination between the developing brain and face, but the role of this link in common genetic variation remains unknown. We performed a multivariate genome-wide association study of cortical surface morphology in 19,644 individuals of European ancestry, identifying 472 genomic loci influencing brain shape, of which 76 are also linked to face shape. Shared loci include transcription factors involved in craniofacial development, as well as members of signaling pathways implicated in brain–face cross-talk. Brain shape heritability is equivalently enriched near regulatory regions active in either forebrain organoids or facial progenitors. However, we do not detect significant overlap between shared brain–face genome-wide association study signals and variants affecting behavioral–cognitive traits. These results suggest that early in embryogenesis, the face and brain mutually shape each other through both structural effects and paracrine signaling, but this interplay may not impact later brain development associated with cognitive function.
Auerbach RP, Chase HW, Brent DA (2021). The Elusive Phenotype of Preadolescent Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: Can Neuroimaging Deliver on Its Promise? The American Journal of Psychiatry, Published Online: 1 Apr 2021, https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.21010022
In this issue of the Journal, Vidal-Ribas and colleagues (1) highlight many of the challenges in identifying biological markers that confer risk for suicidal behaviors in preadolescent youths. Lifetime suicidal thoughts and behaviors were assessed in a large sample (N=7,994) of children ages 9–10 years recruited through the Adolescent Brain Cognition Development (ABCD) project. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors were most closely associated with child psychopathology, family conflict, and parental psychopathology. The strongest neural correlate was an association between suicidal thoughts and behaviors and decreased thickness of the superior temporal gyrus. Psychosocial and neuroimaging findings only modestly discriminated between those with and without lifetime suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This study is timely, as the rate of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among preadolescents is increasing rapidly (2), most notably among females, as well as Black youths, for reasons that are poorly understood. Despite recent efforts, no definitive neural correlates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors have been identified (3).
Assari S, Boyce S (2021). Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Cerebellum Cortex Fractional Anisotropy in Pre-Adolescents. Adolescents 2021, 1(2), 70-94; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1020007
Introduction: Cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy is a proxy of the integrity of the cerebellum cortex. However, less is known about how it is shaped by race and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators such as parental education and household income. Purpose: In a national sample of American pre-adolescents, this study had two aims: to test the effects of two SES indicators, namely parental education and household income, on cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy, and to explore racial differences in these effects. Methods: Using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we analyzed the diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) data of 9565, 9–10-year-old pre-adolescents. The main outcomes were cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy separately calculated for right and left hemispheres using dMRI. The independent variables were parental education and household income; both treated as categorical variables. Age, sex, ethnicity, and family marital status were the covariates. Race was the moderator. To analyze the data, we used mixed-effects regression models without and with interaction terms. We controlled for propensity score and MRI device. Results: High parental education and household income were associated with lower right and left cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy. In the pooled sample, we found significant interactions between race and parental education and household income, suggesting that the effects of parental education and household income on the right and left cerebellum cortex fractional anisotropy are all significantly larger for White than for Black pre-adolescents. Conclusions: The effects of SES indicators, namely parental education and household income, on pre-adolescents’ cerebellum cortex microstructure and integrity are weaker in Black than in White families. This finding is in line with the Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs), defined as weaker effects of SES indicators for Blacks and other racial and minority groups than for Whites.
Assari S. Association Between Parental Educational Attainment and Children’s Negative Urgency: Sex Differences. Int J Epidemiol Res. 2021 Winter;8(1):14-22. doi: 10.34172/IJER.2021.04. Epub 2021 Mar 30. PMID: 34604532; PMCID: PMC8486299.
Background and aims: Negative urgency reflects a specific facet of impulsivity and correlates with a wide range of health-related risk behaviors, including, but not limited to, problematic substance use. Negative urgency is also shaped by family socioeconomic position (SEP), such as parental educational attainment (PEA). This study aimed to explore sex differences regarding protective effects of PEA on children’s negative urgency in the US.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study data. Baseline ABCD data included 10,535 American children in the age range of 9-10 years old. The independent variable was PEA, treated as a 5-level categorical variable. The primary outcome was negative urgency measured by the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation Seeking, Positive Urgency, Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS-SS). Mixed-effects regression models were applied for data analysis.
Results: In sex-stratified regression models, high PEA was predictive of lower levels of negative urgency in female but not male children. In the overall sample, sex showed a statistically significant interaction with PEA on children’s negative urgency, indicating a stronger protective effect of high PEA for female compared to male children.
Conclusion: PEA was a more salient determinant of negative urgency in female children than male ones. Our results also showed that American boys tend to have high levels of negative urgency, which is a risk factor of drug use, at all parental education levels.
Adise S, Allgaier N, Laurent J, Hahn S, Chaarani B, Owens M, Yuan D, Nyugen P, Mackey S, Potter A, Garavan HP (2021). Multimodal brain predictors of current weight and weight gain in children enrolled in the ABCD Study®. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 49, June 2021, Available online 30 March 2021, 100948, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100948
Multimodal neuroimaging assessments were utilized to identify generalizable brain correlates of current body mass index (BMI) and predictors of pathological weight gain (i.e., beyond normative development) one year later. Multimodal data from children enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® at 9-to-10-years-old, consisted of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting state (rs), and three task-based functional (f) MRI scans assessing reward processing, inhibitory control, and working memory. Cross-validated elastic-net regression revealed widespread structural associations with BMI (e.g., cortical thickness, surface area, subcortical volume, and DTI), which explained 35% of the variance in the training set and generalized well to the test set (R2 = 0.27). Widespread rsfMRI inter- and intra-network correlations were related to BMI (R2train = 0.21; R2test = 0.14), as were regional activations on the working memory task (R2train = 0.20; (R2 test = 0.16). However, reward and inhibitory control tasks were unrelated to BMI. Further, pathological weight gain was predicted by structural features (Area Under the Curve (AUC)train = 0.83; AUCtest = 0.83, p < 0.001), but not by fMRI nor rsfMRI. These results establish generalizable brain correlates of current weight and future pathological weight gain. These results also suggest that sMRI may have particular value for identifying children at risk for pathological weight gain.
Ohi K, Ochi R, Noda Y, Wada M, Sugiyama S, Nishi A, Shioiri T, Mimura M, Nakajima S (2021). Polygenic risk scores for major psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders contribute to sleep disturbance in childhood: Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 26;11(1):187. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01308-8.
Sleep disturbance is a common symptom of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders and, especially in childhood, can be a precursor to various mental disorders. However, the genetic etiology of mental illness that contributes to sleep disturbance during childhood is poorly understood. We investigated whether the polygenic features of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with sleep disturbance during childhood. We conducted polygenic risk score (PRS) analyses by utilizing large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWASs) (n = 46,350-500,199) of five major psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders (autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder) and, additionally, anxiety disorders as base datasets. We used the data of 9- to 10-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (n = 9683) as a target dataset. Sleep disturbance was assessed based on the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) scores. The effects of PRSs for these psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders on the total scores and six subscale scores of the SDSC were investigated. Of the PRSs for the five psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, the PRSs for ADHD and MDD positively correlated with sleep disturbance in children (ADHD: R2 = 0.0033, p = 6.19 × 10-5, MDD: R2 = 0.0042, p = 5.69 × 10-6). Regarding the six subscale scores of the SDSC, the PRSs for ADHD positively correlated with both disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep (R2 = 0.0028, p = 2.31 × 10-4) and excessive somnolence (R2 = 0.0023, p = 8.44 × 10-4). Furthermore, the PRSs for MDD primarily positively correlated with disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep (R2 = 0.0048, p = 1.26 × 10-6), followed by excessive somnolence (R2 = 0.0023, p = 7.74 × 10-4) and sleep hyperhidrosis (R2 = 0.0014, p = 9.55 × 10-3). Despite high genetic overlap between MDD and anxiety disorders, PRSs for anxiety disorders correlated with different types of sleep disturbances such as disorders of arousal or nightmares (R2 = 0.0013, p = 0.011). These findings suggest that greater genetic susceptibility to specific psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, as represented by ADHD, MDD, and anxiety disorders, may contribute to greater sleep problems among children.
Li Y, Thompson WK, Reuter C, Nillo R, Jernigan T, Dale A, Sugrue LP, and the ABCD Consortium (2021). Rates of Incidental Findings in Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Children. JAMA Neurol. Published online March 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0306
Importance Incidental findings (IFs) are unexpected abnormalities discovered during imaging and can range from normal anatomic variants to findings requiring urgent medical intervention. In the case of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), reliable data about the prevalence and significance of IFs in the general population are limited, making it difficult to anticipate, communicate, and manage these findings.
Objectives To determine the overall prevalence of IFs in brain MRI in the nonclinical pediatric population as well as the rates of specific findings and findings for which clinical referral is recommended.
Design, Setting, and Participants This cohort study was based on the April 2019 release of baseline data from 11 810 children aged 9 to 10 years who were enrolled and completed baseline neuroimaging in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, the largest US population-based longitudinal observational study of brain development and child health, between September 1, 2016, and November 15, 2018. Participants were enrolled at 21 sites across the US designed to mirror the demographic characteristics of the US population. Baseline structural MRIs were centrally reviewed for IFs by board-certified neuroradiologists and findings were described and categorized (category 1, no abnormal findings; 2, no referral recommended; 3; consider referral; and 4, consider immediate referral). Children were enrolled through a broad school-based recruitment process in which all children of eligible age at selected schools were invited to participate. Exclusion criteria were severe sensory, intellectual, medical, or neurologic disorders that would preclude or interfere with study participation. During the enrollment process, demographic data were monitored to ensure that the study met targets for sex, socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial diversity. Data were analyzed from March 15, 2018, to November 20, 2020.
Main Outcomes and Measures Percentage of children with IFs in each category and prevalence of specific IFs.
Results A total of 11 679 children (52.1% boys, mean [SD] age, 9.9 [0.62] years) had interpretable baseline structural MRI results. Of these, 2464 participants (21.1%) had IFs, including 2013 children (17.2%) assigned to category 2, 431 (3.7%) assigned to category 3, and 20 (0.2%) assigned to category 4. Overall rates of IFs did not differ significantly between singleton and twin gestations or between monozygotic and dizygotic twins, but heritability analysis showed heritability for the presence or absence of IFs (h2 = 0.260; 95% CI, 0.135-0.387).
Conclusions and Relevance Incidental findings in brain MRI and findings with potential clinical significance are both common in the general pediatric population. By assessing IFs and concurrent developmental and health measures and following these findings over the longitudinal study course, the ABCD study has the potential to determine the significance of many common IFs.
Assari S, Boyce S, Saqib M, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH (2021). Parental Education and Left Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortical Activity during N-Back Task: An fMRI Study of American Adolescents. Brain Sci. 2021 Mar 22;11(3):401. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11030401.
Introduction. The Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC) is a cortical structure that has implications in cognition, memory, reward anticipation, outcome evaluation, decision making, and learning. As such, OFC activity correlates with these cognitive brain abilities. Despite research suggesting race and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators such as parental education may be associated with OFC activity, limited knowledge exists on multiplicative effects of race and parental education on OFC activity and associated cognitive ability. Purpose. Using functional brain imaging data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we tested the multiplicative effects of race and parental education on left lateral OFC activity during an N-Back task. In our study, we used a sociological rather than biological theory that conceptualizes race and SES as proxies of access to the opportunity structure and exposure to social adversities rather than innate and non-modifiable brain differences. We explored racial variation in the effect of parental educational attainment, a primary indicator of SES, on left lateral OFC activity during an N-Back task between Black and White 9-10 years old adolescents. Methods. The ABCD study is a national, landmark, multi-center brain imaging investigation of American adolescents. The total sample was 4290 9-10 years old Black or White adolescents. The independent variables were SES indicators, namely family income, parental education, and neighborhood income. The primary outcome was the average beta weight for N-Back (2 back versus 0 back contrast) in ASEG ROI left OFC activity, measured by functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) during an N-Back task. Ethnicity, age, sex, subjective SES, and family structure were the study covariates. For data analysis, we used linear regression models. Results. In White but not Black adolescents, parental education was associated with higher left lateral OFC activity during the N-Back task. In the pooled sample, we found a significant interaction between race and parental education on the outcome, suggesting that high parental education is associated with a larger increase in left OFC activity of White than Black adolescents. Conclusions. For American adolescents, race and SES jointly influence left lateral OFC activity correlated with cognition, memory, decision making, and learning. Given the central role of left lateral OFC activity in learning and memory, our finding calls for additional research on contextual factors that reduce the gain of SES for Black adolescents. Cognitive inequalities are not merely due to the additive effects of race and SES but also its multiplicative effects.
Assari S. Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children’s Internalizing Symptoms: Race and Socioeconomic Status Differences. J Ment Health Clin Psychol. 2021;5(1):19-33. Epub 2021 Mar 19. PMID: 34590080; PMCID: PMC8478356.
Background: In the United States, due to residential segregation, racial minorities and families with low socioeconomic status (SES) tend to live in less safe neighborhoods than their White and high SES counterparts. As such, in the US, race and SES closely correlate with neighborhood safety. Due to the high chronicity of stress in unsafe neighborhoods, perceived neighborhood safety may be a mechanism through which race and SES are linked to children’s mental health. Simultaneously, race and SES may alter the effects of perceived neighborhood safety on children’s mental health.
Aim: To explore racial and SES differences in the effects of neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms, we compared racially and SES diverse groups of American children for the effects of parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10484 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Mixed-effects regression was used for data analysis. The predictor variable was parents’ perceived neighborhood safety which was treated as a continuous measure. The primary outcome was children’s internalizing symptoms reported by children. Race, parental education, household income, and family structure were moderators.
Results: Overall, the parents’ high neighborhood safety was associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms in children. Race and household income showed statistically significant interactions with subjective neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children’s internalizing symptoms for Black than White families. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children’s internalizing symptoms for high income than low-income families. Parental education or family structure did not show any significant interaction with parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms.
Conclusion: The degree to which neighborhood safety may be associated with children’s internalizing symptoms may depend on race and household income. Some of the effects of race and SES on children’s mental health outcomes may be due to interactions with contextual factors such as neighborhood safety. More research is needed on why and how diverse racial and SES groups differ in the association between perceived neighborhood safety and children’s well-being.
Clark DA, Hicks BM, Angstadt M, Rutherford S, Taxali A, Hyde L, Weigard A, Heitzeg MM, Sripada C. The General Factor of Psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: A Comparison of Alternative Modeling Approaches. Clin Psychol Sci. 2021 Mar;9(2):169-182. doi: 10.1177/2167702620959317. Epub 2021 Feb 16. PMID: 34621600; PMCID: PMC8494184.
Many models of psychopathology include a single general factor of psychopathology (GFP) or «p factor» to account for covariation across symptoms. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study provides a rich opportunity to study the development of the GFP. However, a variety of approaches for modeling the GFP have emerged, raising questions about how modeling choices impact estimated GFP scores. We used the ABCD baseline assessment (ages 9-10 years-old; N=11,875) of the parent-rated Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to examine the implications of modeling the GFP using items versus scales; using a priori CBCL scales versus data-driven dimensions; and using bifactor, higher-order, or single-factor models. Children’s rank-ordering on the GFP was stable across models, with GFP scores similarly related to criterion variables. Results suggest that while theoretical debates about modeling the GFP continue, the practical implications of these choices for rank-ordering children and assessing external associations will often be modest.
Assari S, Boyce S (2021). Resting-State Functional Connectivity between Putamen and Salience Network and Childhood Body Mass Index. Neurol. Int. 2021, 13(1), 85-101; https://doi.org/10.3390/neurolint13010009
Introduction: Although the putamen has a significant role in reward-seeking and motivated behaviors, including eating and food-seeking, minorities’ diminished returns (MDRs) suggest that individual-level risk and protective factors have weaker effects for Non-Hispanic Black than Non-Hispanic White individuals. However, limited research is available on the relevance of MDRs in terms of the role of putamen functional connectivity on body mass index (BMI). Purpose: Building on the MDRs framework and conceptualizing race and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators as social constructs, we explored racial and SES differences in the associations between putamen functional connectivity to the salience network and children’s BMI. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of 6473 9–10-year-old Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The primary independent variable was putamen functional connectivity to the salience network, measured by fMRI. The primary outcome was the children’s BMI. Age, sex, neighborhood income, and family structure were the covariates. Race, family structure, parental education, and household income were potential moderators. For data analysis, we used mixed-effect models in the overall sample and by race. Results: Higher right putamen functional connectivity to the salience network was associated with higher BMI in Non-Hispanic White children. The same association was missing for Non-Hispanic Black children. While there was no overall association in the pooled sample, a significant interaction was found, suggesting that the association between right putamen functional connectivity to the salience network and children’s BMI was modified by race. Compared to Non-Hispanic White children, Non-Hispanic Black children showed a weaker association between right putamen functional connectivity to the salience network and BMI. While parental education and household income did not moderate our association of interest, marital status altered the associations between putamen functional connectivity to the salience network and children’s BMI. These patterns were observed for right but not left putamen. Other/Mixed Race children also showed a pattern similar to Non-Hispanic Black children. Conclusions: The association between right putamen functional connectivity to the salience network and children’s BMI may depend on race and marital status but not parental education and household income. While right putamen functional connectivity to the salience network is associated with Non-Hispanic White children’s BMI, Non-Hispanic Black children’ BMI remains high regardless of their putamen functional connectivity to the salience network. This finding is in line with MDRs, which attributes diminished effects of individual-risk and protective factors for Non-Hispanic Black children to racism, stratification, and segregation. View Full-Text
Bissett PG, Hagen MP, Jones HM, Poldrack RA (2021). Design issues and solutions for stop-signal data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development [ABCD] study. Elife. 2021 Mar 4;10:e60185. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60185. Online ahead of print.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is an unprecedented longitudinal neuroimaging sample that tracks the brain development of over 10,000 9-10 year olds through adolescence. At the core of this study are the three tasks that are completed repeatedly within the MRI scanner, one of which is the stop-signal task. In analyzing the available stopping experimental code and data, we identified a set of design issues that we believe significantly compromise its value. These issues include but are not limited to: variable stimulus durations that violate basic assumptions of dominant stopping models, trials in which stimuli are incorrectly not presented, and faulty stop-signal delays. We present eight issues, show their effect on the existing ABCD data, suggest prospective solutions including task changes for future data collection and preliminary computational models, and suggest retrospective solutions for data users who wish to make the most of the existing data.
Modabbernia A, Janiri D, Doucet GE, Reichenberg A, Frangou S (2021). Multivariate Patterns of Brain-Behavior-Environment Associations in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Mar 1; 89(5): 510–520. Published online 2020 Aug 24. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.08.014
Background: Adolescence is a critical developmental stage. A key challenge is to characterize how variation in adolescent brain organization relates to psychosocial and environmental influences.
Methods: We used canonical correlation analyses to discover distinct patterns of covariation between measures of brain organization (brain morphometry, intracortical myelination, white matter integrity and resting-state functional connectivity) and individual, psychosocial and environmental factors in a nationally representative US sample of 9,623 individuals (aged 9–10 years, 49% female) participating in Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development.
Results: These analyses identified 14 reliable modes of brain-behavior-environment covariation (canonical rdiscovery=0.21 to 0.49, canonical rtest =0.10 to 0.39, PFalse discovery rate-corrected<0.0001). Across modes, neighborhood environment, parental characteristics, quality of family life, perinatal history, cardiometabolic health, cognition and psychopathology had the most consistent and replicable associations with multiple measures of brain organization; positive and negative exposures converged to form patterns of psychosocial advantage or adversity. These showed modality-general, respectively positive or negative associations with brain structure and function with little evidence of regional specificity. Nested within these cross-modal patterns were more specific associations between prefrontal measures of morphometry, intracortical myelination and functional connectivity with affective psychopathology, cognition, and family environment.
Conclusions: We identified clusters of exposures that showed consistent modality-general associations with global measures of brain organization. These findings underscore the importance of understanding of the complex and intertwined influences on brain organization and mental function during development and have the potential to inform public health policies aiming towards interventions to improve mental wellbeing.
Nagata, JM, Iyer, P, Chu, J, Baker, FC, Gabriel, KP, Garber, AK, Murray, SB, Bibbins-Domingo, K, Ganson, KT (2021). Contemporary screen time modalities among children 9-10 years old and binge-eating disorder at one-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study. Int J Eat Disord. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1002/eat.23489. Online ahead of print.
Objective: To determine the prospective associations between contemporary screen time modalities in a nationally representative cohort of 9–10‐year‐old children and binge‐eating disorder at one‐year follow‐up.
Method: We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11,025). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between baseline child‐reported screen time (exposure) and parent‐reported binge‐eating disorder based on the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS‐5, outcome) at one‐year follow‐up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, BMI percentile, site, and baseline binge‐eating disorder.
Results: Each additional hour of total screen time per day was prospectively associated with 1.11 higher odds of binge‐eating disorder at 1‐year follow‐up (95% CI 1.05–1.18) after adjusting for covariates. In particular, each additional hour of social networking (aOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.18–2.22), texting (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.08–1.82), and watching/streaming television shows/movies (aOR 1.39, 95% CI 1.14–1.69) was significantly associated with binge‐eating disorder.
Discussion: Clinicians should assess screen time usage and binge eating in children and adolescents and advise parents about the potential risks associated with excessive screen time.
Blashill AJ, Fox K, Feinstein BA, Albright CA, Calzo J (2021). Nonsuicidal self-injury, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts among sexual minority children. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2021 Feb;89(2):73-80. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000624.
Objectives: Sexual minority adolescents have previously been found to experience disparities in self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) compared to heterosexual adolescents. However, there is a paucity of data on SITBs amongst children. Thus, the aim of the current study is to assess the prevalence of SITBs in a large sample of U.S. children and to test whether rates vary by sexual orientation.
Methods: Data were drawn from the 2.0 baseline release of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The full sample included 11,777raw 9-10-year-old children (sexual minority n = 150raw). Children completed a computerized version of the youth Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS-5), including items assessing suicide ideation, suicide attempts, and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Unadjusted and adjusted models compared the prevalence of outcomes by sexual orientation. Models also compared the co-occurrence of NSSI and suicide ideation by sexual orientation.
Results: Across all outcomes, sexual minority children reported elevated prevalence rates compared to heterosexual children, with odds ratios ranging from 4.4 to 6.5. Among children who reported NSSI, a greater proportion of sexual minority versus heterosexual children reported co-occurring suicide ideation (OR = 3.8).
Conclusions: In a large sample of 9-10-year-old U.S. children, sexual orientation disparities emerged across NSSI, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. Results indicate that sexual minority children are a vulnerable population for SITBs. Inclusion of children in prevention programs is encouraged. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Olino TM, Michelini G, Mennies RJ, Kotov R, Klein DN (2021). Does maternal psychopathology bias reports of offspring symptoms? A study using moderated non-linear factor analysis. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 26. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13394. Online ahead of print.
Background: Mood-state biases in maternal reports of emotional and behavioral problems in their children have been a major concern for the field. However, few studies have addressed this issue from a measurement invariance perspective.
Methods: Using data from baseline assessment of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (n = 8,507 mother-child dyads; youth aged 9-11 years), we examined how dimensions of maternal psychopathology, including internalizing problems, were associated with indices of bias in reports of their children’s dimensions of internalizing, externalizing, neurodevelopmental, detachment, somatoform psychopathology using moderated non-linear factor analysis. Moderated non-linear factor analyses examined multiple potential biases in maternal reports of youth psychopathology.
Results: Across analyses, we found very small magnitudes of associations between dimensions of maternal psychopathology and biases in reports of child emotional and behavioral problems.
Conclusions: Based on these results, we find little psychometric evidence for maternal psychopathology biasing reports of child behavior problems.
Cook N, Kar JE, Iverson G (2021). Children with ADHD Have a Greater Lifetime History of Concussion: Results from the ABCD Study. J Neurotrauma. 2021 Feb 25. doi: 10.1089/neu.2021.0019. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1089/neu.2021.0019
This case-control study using baseline data from the population cohort Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® compared lifetime history of concussion between children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that children with ADHD would have a greater lifetime history of concussion than children without ADHD. Children were recruited from schools across the US, sampled to provide strong generalizability to the US population. The current sample included 10,585 children (age: M=9.9, SD=0.6, range 9-10 years; 48.9% girls; 64.6% White), including 1,085 with ADHD and 9,500 without ADHD. The prevalence of prior concussion among children with ADHD was 7.2% (95% CI: 6.6-7.8%) compared to 3.2% (3.1-3.3%) among children without ADHD, meaning current ADHD status was associated with twice the odds of experiencing a prior concussion, χ2=44.54, p<.001, OR=2.34 (1.81-3.03). No significant differences were observed in proportion of boys and girls with ADHD who had a prior concussion history. The number of current ADHD symptoms were not meaningfully associated with prior concussion history. Lower socioeconomic status was associated with lower rates of reported concussion, but not differentially in association with ADHD. ADHD is associated with twice the lifetime prevalence of prior concussion before age 11 among children from the general US population. Boys and girls with ADHD did not differ in proportions with prior concussion and concussion history was not related to the number of ADHD symptoms reported by parents.
Aguinaldo LD, Goldstone A, Hasler BP, Brent DA, Coronado C, Jacobus J (2021). Preliminary Analysis of Low-Level Alcohol Use and Suicidality with Children in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Baseline Cohort. Available online 23 February 2021, 113825. Psychiatry Research, Volume 299, May 2021, 113825. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113825
Cross-sectional analyses were conducted in the baseline cohort of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to determine if lifetime low-level alcohol use was associated with an increased likelihood of lifetime suicidality (N=10,773, ages 9-10). Among the lifetime suicide ideation and attempt groups, 37.7% and 36.2% reported lifetime low-level alcohol use, respectively; versus 22.2% in the non-suicidality group. Children reporting lifetime alcohol use (i.e., ≥ a sip) showed a nearly two-fold increase in their odds of lifetime suicidality compared to those with no previous alcohol use. Future prospective research with this cohort will continue to probe alcohol-suicidality associations.
Wang Z, Buu A, Lohrmann DK, Shih PC, Lin H-C. (2021). The Role of Family Conflict in Mediating Impulsivity to Early Substance Exposure among Preteens. Addictive Behaviors, Volume 115, April 2021, 106779. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106779
Preadolescence substance exposure, which increases the risk of regular substance use, has been a public health concern. Although studies found that impulsivity is a predisposing factor of early substance exposure, the pathways through which impulsivity is associated with early substance exposure remain unclear. This study examined how family conflict mediates this association among U.S. preteens as family environment plays an essential role in pre-adolescent development.
Respondents (N=11,800, 9-10 years old) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study Release 2.01 (July 2019) were included in this study. Generalized Structural Equation Modeling was performed to investigate the mediation effects of family conflict on the associations between childhood impulsivity and early exposure of alcohol and tobacco use, controlling for covariates based on the Problem Behavior Theory.
Pre-adolescents with high impulsivity levels (≥90th percentile) were more likely to report early alcohol and tobacco exposure (total effect: ORs=1.49 and 1.70, respectively), where 4.13% and 12.41% of the associations, respectively, were meditated by family conflict (indirect effect: ORs=1.02 and 1.07; Sobel test ps=0.022 and 0.005, respectively).
Family conflict mediates the associations between childhood impulsivity and early substance exposure among preteens, with higher impulsivity leading to more severe family conflicts that are, in turn, associated with a higher likelihood of early substance exposure. To prevent preteens with high impulsivity level from early use of substances, interventions may focus on reducing family conflicts such as parenting counseling that guides parents to strengthen conflict-resolution skills and create a stable home environment for preteens.
Herting MM, Uban KA, Robledo Gonzalez M, Baker FC, Kan EC, Thompson WK, Granger DA, Albaugh MD, Anokhin AP, Bagot KS, Banich MT, Barch DM, Baskin-Sommers A, Breslin FJ, Casey B. J. , Chaarani B, Chang L, Clark DB, Cloak CC, Constable RT, Cottler LB, Dagher RK, Dapretto M, Dick AS, Dosenbach N, Dowling GJ, Dumas JA, Edwards S, Ernst T, Fair DA, Feldstein-Ewing SW, Freedman EG, Fuemmeler BF, Garavan H, Gee DG, Giedd JN, Glaser PEA, Goldstone A, Gray KM, Hawes SW, Heath AC, Heitzeg MM, Hewitt JK, Heyser CJ, Hoffman EA, Huber RS, Huestis MA, Hyde LW, Infante MA, Ivanova MY, Jacobus J, Jernigan TL, Karcher NR, Laird AR, LeBlanc KH, Lisdahl K, Luciana M, Luna B, Maes HH, Marshall AT, Mason MJ, McGlade EC, Morris AS, Nagel BJ, Neigh GN, Palmer CE, Paulus MP, Potter AS, Puttler LI, Rajapakse N, Rapuano K, Reeves G, Renshaw PF, Schirda C, Sher KJ, Sheth C, Shilling PD, Squeglia LM, Sutherland MT, Tapert SF, Tomko RL, Yurgelun-Todd D, Wade NE, Weiss SRB, Zucker RA and Sowell ER (2021). Correspondence Between Perceived Pubertal Development and Hormone Levels in 9-10 Year-Olds From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Front. Endocrinol., 18 February 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.549928
Aim: To examine individual variability between perceived physical features and hormones of pubertal maturation in 9–10-year-old children as a function of sociodemographic characteristics.
Methods: Cross-sectional metrics of puberty were utilized from the baseline assessment of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study—a multi-site sample of 9–10 year-olds (n = 11,875)—and included perceived physical features via the pubertal development scale (PDS) and child salivary hormone levels (dehydroepiandrosterone and testosterone in all, and estradiol in females). Multi-level models examined the relationships among sociodemographic measures, physical features, and hormone levels. A group factor analysis (GFA) was implemented to extract latent variables of pubertal maturation that integrated both measures of perceived physical features and hormone levels.
Results: PDS summary scores indicated more males (70%) than females (31%) were prepubertal. Perceived physical features and hormone levels were significantly associated with child’s weight status and income, such that more mature scores were observed among children that were overweight/obese or from households with low-income. Results from the GFA identified two latent factors that described individual differences in pubertal maturation among both females and males, with factor 1 driven by higher hormone levels, and factor 2 driven by perceived physical maturation. The correspondence between latent factor 1 scores (hormones) and latent factor 2 scores (perceived physical maturation) revealed synchronous and asynchronous relationships between hormones and concomitant physical features in this large young adolescent sample.
Conclusions: Sociodemographic measures were associated with both objective hormone and self-report physical measures of pubertal maturation in a large, diverse sample of 9–10 year-olds. The latent variables of pubertal maturation described a complex interplay between perceived physical changes and hormone levels that hallmark sexual maturation, which future studies can examine in relation to trajectories of brain maturation, risk/resilience to substance use, and other mental health outcomes.
Murphy MA, Dufour SC, Gray JC (2021). The association between child alcohol sipping and alcohol expectancies in the ABCD study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 221, 1 April 2021, 108624, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108624
Underage drinking is a serious societal concern, yet relatively little is known about child sipping of alcohol and its relation to beliefs about alcohol. The current study aimed to (1) examine the contexts in which the first sip of alcohol occurs (e.g., type of alcohol, who provided sip, sip offered or taken without permission); (2) examine the association between sipping and alcohol expectancies; and (3) explore how different contexts of sipping are related to alcohol expectancies. We expected to find that children who had sipped alcohol would have increased positive expectancies and reduced negative expectancies compared to children who had never sipped alcohol.
Data were derived from the 2.0 release of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a longitudinal study of children in the United States. We utilized data from 4,842 children ages 9 to 11; 52% were male, 60% were White, 19% were Hispanic/Latinx, and 9% were Black/African American.
We found that 22% of the sample had sipped alcohol. Children reported sipping beer most frequently, and the drink most often belonged to the child’s father. We found that children who had sipped had higher positive alcohol expectancies than children who had not while accounting for variables related to alcohol expectancies. Child sipping was not significantly associated with negative expectancies and the context of the first sip of alcohol was not significantly associated with positive and negative expectancies.
Providing sips of alcohol to children is associated with them having more favorable expectations about drinking.
Bohon C, Welch H (In Press 2021). Quadratic relations of BMI with depression and brain volume in children: Analysis of data from the ABCD Study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Available online 15 February 2021. In Press, Journal Pre-proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.02.038
Weight-related health conditions and depression peak during adolescence and show relations with brain structure. Understanding how these conditions relate to each other prior to adolescence may guide research on the co-development of unhealthy weight conditions (both underweight and overweight) and depression, with a potential brain-based link. This study examines the cross-sectional relations between body mass index (BMI), depressive symptoms, and brain volume (total and regional) to determine whether BMI has a linear or quadratic relation with depressive symptoms and brain volume and how depressive symptoms and brain volume are related.
Cross-sectional study using structural magnetic resonance imaging, height and weight to calculate BMI z-scores, and Child Behavior Checklist withdrawn depression scores. Data were from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, collected at 21 sites across the United States from 11,875 9- and 10-year-old children recruited as a national sample. Mixed models were used to examine the linear and quadratic effects of BMI z-score on both brain volume (total and regional) and withdrawn depression scores, as well as the relations between brain volume and depression scores. Intracranial volume, age, sex, race, site, and family were included in the models as covariates.
Overall, BMI z-scores showed a quadratic relation with brain volumes and depressive symptoms. When including intracranial volume as a covariate, regional volumes investigated did not follow the same global pattern of effects except for right hippocampus and left lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Total brain volume was negatively related to depressive symptoms.
Links between depressive symptoms and low or high weight could improve our understanding of brain structural differences in depression. These findings also emphasize the importance of including the full spectrum of BMI from underweight to overweight and testing for nonlinear effects in models.
Assari S. Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Correlates of Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Screening and Diagnosis History: Sex/Gender Differences. J Neurol Neuromedicine. 2021;6(1):1278. doi: 10.29245/2572.942x/2021/1.1278. Epub 2021 Feb 1. PMID: 34632309
Background: While clinical studies have documented sex differences in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive function of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), it is unknown if these sex differences are due to differences in referral and diagnosis or if they can be also seen when we screen a community sample for ADHD. If these sex differences exist in populations with a diagnosis history but cannot be seen in screening, then they are unfair, preventable, and due to gender (social processes in referral and diagnosis) rather than sex.
Aim: Using the data from a community sample of 9-10-year-old healthy developing children, we explored sex differences in the associations between cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and health status with positive screening vs. history of diagnosed ADHD.
Methods: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study included a national sample of 10,171 American children between ages 9 and 10 years old. This sample included 1,488 children with a history of psychiatric diagnosis and 8,683 children without a diagnosis. The two independent variables were screening and history of ADHD. The following variables were outcomes: symptom severity, cognitive function, body mass index (BMI), internalizing, externalizing, and total behavioral disorders. Sex was the moderator, and age, race, ethnicity, education, household income, and family structure were covariates. Mixed-effects regression models were used to adjust for the nested nature of the data.
Results: Positive screening for ADHD and a history of diagnosis were both associated with worse cognitive function, higher internalizing, externalizing, total problem behaviors, higher inattention (ADHD symptoms), and lower BMI. Sex altered the association between history of diagnosis but not positive screening for ADHD with externalizing, and total behavioral problems as well as cognitive function. Sex did not affect the associations between positive screening for ADHD or a history of diagnosis with BMI or ADHD symptoms. Both history of diagnosis and positive screening for ADHD were associated with higher internalizing for boys than girls.
Conclusion: History of diagnosis, but not positive screening for ADHD, is differently associated with behavioral and cognitive performance of males and females. As sex differences are seen in correlates of history of diagnosis but not positive screening, some of the observed sex differences are due to differential referral and diagnosis rather than differential presentation of ADHD in the community. This finding suggests that some of the so-called «sex differences» that are believed to be due to biology and heritable may be «gender differences» and modifiable. This is important because while gender differences are preventable and modifiable, sex differences are not.
Assari S (2021). Are Teachers Biased against Black Children? A Study of Race, Amygdala Volume, and Problem Behaviors. Original Paper. Journal of Education, Teaching and Social Studies. ISSN 2642-2336 (Print) ISSN 2642-2328 (Online), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2021, doi:10.22158/jetss.v
Introduction: While the amygdala has a core role in behaviors, less is known about racial variation in the association between amygdala volume and teachers’ behavioral rating of children. According to the Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) phenomenon, the effects of individual-level risk and protective factors tend to be weaker for Black than White children due to structural factors such as social stratification and racism. Purpose: Built on the MDRs framework and conceptualizing race as a social rather than a biological factor, this study explored racial variation in the magnitude of the effects of amygdala volume on teachers’ behavioral ratings of children. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we used baseline socioeconomic data and structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data of 4305 American children ages 9-10 who had participated in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The primary outcome was the teachers’ behavioral rating of the child. The independent variable was amygdala volume. Age, sex, parental education, parental marital status, and ethnicity were the covariates. Race was the moderator. We used mixed-effect models for data analysis to adjust for the participants’ nested nature within families and study sites. Results: Teachers rated children with larger amygdala volumes as having lower behavioral problems. The concordance between size of amygdala volume and teachers’ behavioral rating of the child was modified by race. For while children, teachers reported the children to have lower behavioral problems when they had a large amygdala. For Black children, teachers reported high behavioral problems across all amygdala sizes. Conclusions: The results can be explained in two ways. The first explanation is minorities’ diminished returns hypothesis (MDRs). In line with MDRs, due to structural inequalities and school segregation, a large amygdala would result in a more favorable behavioral rating of the White children than Black children, as we expect an unequal effect of equal resources across racial groups in the presence of racism. The second explanation is systemic bias of teachers against Black children: meaning that due to their anti-Black bias, teachers report high behavioral problems in Black children, across all amygdala sizes (behavioral profiles). That means, race may trigger some cues and biases in the teachers, so they do not pay attention to the details of the behavioral profile of the Black child. For White children, however, in the absence of such racial bias, teachers behavioral rating of a child reflects the child’s amygdala size.
Christensen ZP, Freedman EG, Foxe JJ. (2021). Caffeine exposure in utero is associated with structural brain alterations and deleterious neurocognitive outcomes in 9-10 year old children. Neuropharmacology. 2021 Jan 30;108479. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108479. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108479
Caffeine, a very widely used and potent neuromodulator, easily crosses the placental barrier, but relatively little is known about the long-term impact of gestational caffeine exposure (GCE) on neurodevelopment. Here, we leverage magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, collected from a very large sample of 9157 children, aged 9-10 years, as part of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Developmentsm (ABCD ®) study, to investigate brain structural outcomes at 27 major fiber tracts as a function of GCE. Significant relationships between GCE and fractional anisotropy (FA) measures in the inferior fronto-occipito fasciculus and corticospinal tract of the left hemisphere (IFOF-LH; CST-LH) were detected via mixed effects binomial regression. We further investigated the interaction between these fiber tracts, GCE, cognitive measures (working memory, task efficiency), and psychopathology measures (externalization, internalization, somatization, and neurodevelopment). GCE was associated with poorer outcomes on all measures of psychopathology but had negligible effect on cognitive measures. Higher FA values in both fiber tracts were associated with decreased neurodevelopmental problems and improved performance on both cognitive tasks. We also identified a decreased association between FA in the CST-LH and task efficiency in the GCE group. These findings suggest that GCE can lead to future neurodevelopmental complications and that this occurs, in part, through alteration of the microstructure of critical fiber tracts such as the IFOF-LH and CST-LH. These data suggest that current guidelines regarding limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy may require some recalibration.
Durham EL, Jeong HJ, Moore TM, Dupont RM, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Cui Z, Stone FE, Berman MG, Lahey BB, Kaczkurkin AN. (2021). Association of gray matter volumes with general and specific dimensions of psychopathology in children. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Jan 21. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-00952-w. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1038/s41386-020-00952-w
Childhood is an important time for the manifestation of psychopathology. Psychopathology is characterized by considerable comorbidity which is mirrored in the underlying neural correlates of psychopathology. Both common and dissociable variations in brain volume have been found across multiple mental disorders in adult and youth samples. However, the majority of these studies used samples with broad age ranges which may obscure developmental differences. The current study examines associations between regional gray matter volumes (GMV) and psychopathology in a large sample of children with a narrowly defined age range. We used data from 9607 children 9-10 years of age collected as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). A bifactor model identified a general psychopathology factor that reflects common variance across disorders and specific factors representing internalizing symptoms, ADHD symptoms, and conduct problems. Brain volume was acquired using 3T MRI. After correction for multiple testing, structural equation modeling revealed nearly global inverse associations between regional GMVs and general psychopathology and conduct problems, with associations also found for ADHD symptoms (pfdr-values ≤ 0.048). Age, sex, and race were included as covariates. Sensitivity analyses including total GMV or intracranial volume (ICV) as covariates support this global association, as a large majority of region-specific results became nonsignificant. Sensitivity analyses including income, parental education, and medication use as additional covariates demonstrate largely convergent results. These findings suggest that globally smaller GMVs are a nonspecific risk factor for general psychopathology, and possibly for conduct problems and ADHD as well.
Nooner KB, Chung T, Feldstein Ewing SW, Brumback T, Arwood Z, Tapert SF, Brown SA, Cottler L. (2021). Retaining Adolescent and Young Adult Participants in Research During a Pandemic: Best Practices From Two Large-Scale Developmental Neuroimaging Studies (NCANDA and ABCD). Front Behav Neurosci. 2021 Jan 18;14:597902. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.597902. eCollection 2020.
The novel coronavirus pandemic that emerged in late 2019 (COVID-19) has created challenges not previously experienced in human research. This paper discusses two large-scale NIH-funded multi-site longitudinal studies of adolescents and young adults – the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) and the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study – and valuable approaches to learn about adaptive processes for conducting developmentally sensitive research with neuroimaging and neurocognitive testing across consortia during a global pandemic. We focus on challenges experienced during the pandemic and modifications that may guide other projects, such as implementing adapted protocols that protect the safety of participants and research staff, and addressing assessment challenges through the use of strategies such as remote and mobile assessments. Given the pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on participants typically underrepresented in research, we describe efforts to retain these individuals. The pandemic provides an opportunity to develop adaptive processes that can facilitate future studies’ ability to mobilize effectively and rapidly.
Owens MM, Allgaier N, Hahn S, Yuan D, Albaugh M, Adise S, Chaarani B, Ortigara J, Juliano A, Potter A, Garavan H. (2021). Multimethod investigation of the neurobiological basis of ADHD symptomatology in children aged 9-10: baseline data from the ABCD study. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Jan 18;11(1):64. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-01192-8. DOI: 10.1038/s41398-020-01192-8
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is associated with numerous neurocognitive deficits, including poor working memory and difficulty inhibiting undesirable behaviors that cause academic and behavioral problems in children. Prior work has attempted to determine how these differences are instantiated in the structure and function of the brain, but much of that work has been done in small samples, focused on older adolescents or adults, and used statistical approaches that were not robust to model overfitting. The current study used cross-validated elastic net regression to predict a continuous measure of ADHD symptomatology using brain morphometry and activation during tasks of working memory, inhibitory control, and reward processing, with separate models for each MRI measure. The best model using activation during the working memory task to predict ADHD symptomatology had an out-of-sample R2 = 2% and was robust to residualizing the effects of age, sex, race, parental income and education, handedness, pubertal status, and internalizing symptoms from ADHD symptomatology. This model used reduced activation in task positive regions and reduced deactivation in task negative regions to predict ADHD symptomatology. The best model with morphometry alone predicted ADHD symptomatology with an R2 = 1% but this effect dissipated when including covariates. The inhibitory control and reward tasks did not yield generalizable models. In summary, these analyses show, with a large and well-characterized sample, that the brain correlates of ADHD symptomatology are modest in effect size and captured best by brain morphometry and activation during a working memory task.
Guerrero MD, Barnes JD, Tremblay MS, , Pulkki-Råback L. (2021). Typologies of Family Functioning and 24-h Movement Behaviors. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 15;18(2):E699. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020699. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18020699
Research on the importance of the family environment on children’s health behaviors is ubiquitous, yet critical gaps in the literature exist. Many studies have focused on one family characteristic and have relied on variable-centered approaches as opposed to person-centered approaches (e.g., latent profile analysis). The purpose of the current study was to use latent profile analysis to identify family typologies characterized by parental acceptance, parental monitoring, and family conflict, and to examine whether such typologies are associated with the number of movement behavior recommendations (i.e., physical activity, screen time, and sleep) met by children. Data for this cross-sectional observational study were part of the baseline data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Data were collected across 21 study sites in the United States. Participants included 10,712 children (female = 5143, males = 5578) aged 9 and 10 years (M = 9.91, SD = 0.62). Results showed that children were meaningfully classified into one of five family typologies. Children from families with high acceptance, medium monitoring, and medium conflict (P2; OR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.39-0.76); high acceptance, medium monitoring, and high conflict (P3; OR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.20, 0.40); low acceptance, low monitoring, and medium conflict (P4; OR = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.16, 0.36); and medium acceptance, low monitoring, and high conflict (P5; OR = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.12-0.29) were less likely to meet all three movement behavior recommendations compared to children from families with high acceptance, high monitoring, and low conflict (P1). These findings highlight the importance of the family environment for promoting healthy movement behaviors among children.
Brislin SJ, Martz ME, Joshi S, Duval ER, Gard A, Clark DA, Hyde LW, Hicks BM, Taxali A, Angstadt M, Rutherford S, Heitzeg MM, Sripada C. (2021). Differentiated nomological networks of internalizing, externalizing, and the general factor of psychopathology (‘ p factor’) in emerging adolescence in the ABCD study. Psychol Med. 2021 Jan 14;1-11. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720005103. Online ahead of print.
Background: Structural models of psychopathology consistently identify internalizing (INT) and externalizing (EXT) specific factors as well as a superordinate factor that captures their shared variance, the p factor. Questions remain, however, about the meaning of these data-driven dimensions and the interpretability and distinguishability of the larger nomological networks in which they are embedded.
Methods: The sample consisted of 10 645 youth aged 9-10 years participating in the multisite Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. p, INT, and EXT were modeled using the parent-rated Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Patterns of associations were examined with variables drawn from diverse domains including demographics, psychopathology, temperament, family history of substance use and psychopathology, school and family environment, and cognitive ability, using instruments based on youth-, parent-, and teacher-report, and behavioral task performance.
Results: p exhibited a broad pattern of statistically significant associations with risk variables across all domains assessed, including temperament, neurocognition, and social adversity. The specific factors exhibited more domain-specific patterns of associations, with INT exhibiting greater fear/distress and EXT exhibiting greater impulsivity.
Conclusions: In this largest study of hierarchical models of psychopathology to date, we found that p, INT, and EXT exhibit well-differentiated nomological networks that are interpretable in terms of neurocognition, impulsivity, fear/distress, and social adversity. These networks were, in contrast, obscured when relying on the a priori Internalizing and Externalizing dimensions of the CBCL scales. Our findings add to the evidence for the validity of p, INT, and EXT as theoretically and empirically meaningful broad psychopathology liabilities.