ABCD Study publications authored by ABCD investigators, collaborators, and non-ABCD researchers.
Marshall AT, Betts S, Kan EC, McConnell R, Lanphear BP, & Sowell ER (2020). Association of lead-exposure risk and family income with childhood brain outcomes. Nature Medicine 26, 91–97 (January 13, 2020) doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0713-y
Socioeconomic factors influence brain development and structure, but most studies have overlooked neurotoxic insults that impair development, such as lead exposure. Childhood lead exposure affects cognitive development at the lowest measurable concentrations, but little is known about its impact on brain development during childhood. We examined cross-sectional associations among brain structure, cognition, geocoded measures of the risk of lead exposure and sociodemographic characteristics in 9,712 9- and 10-year-old children. Here we show stronger negative associations of living in high-lead-risk census tracts in children from lower- versus higher-income families. With increasing risk of exposure, children from lower-income families exhibited lower cognitive test scores, smaller cortical volume and smaller cortical surface area. Reducing environmental insults associated with lead-exposure risk might confer greater benefit to children experiencing more environmental adversity, and further understanding of the factors associated with high lead-exposure risk will be critical for improving such outcomes in children.
Fair DA, Miranda-Dominguez O, Snyder AZ, Perrone A, Earl EA, Van AN, Koller JM, Feczko E, Tisdall MD, van der Kouwe A, Klein RL, Mirro AE, Hampton JM, Adeyemo B, Laumann TO, Gratton C, Greene DJ, Schlaggar BL, Hagler D Jr, Watts R, Garavan H, Barch DM, Nigg JT, Petersen SE, Dale AM, Feldstein-Ewing SW, Nagel BJ, Dosenbach NUF. (2019) Correction of respiratory artifacts in MRI head motion estimates. Neuroimage, Volume 208, March 2020, 116400. Epub ahead of print.
Head motion represents one of the greatest technical obstacles in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human brain. Accurate detection of artifacts induced by head motion requires precise estimation of movement. However, head motion estimates may be corrupted by artifacts due to magnetic main field fluctuations generated by body motion. In the current report, we examine head motion estimation in multiband resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study and comparison ‘single-shot’ datasets. We show that respirations contaminate movement estimates in functional MRI and that respiration generates apparent head motion not associated with functional MRI quality reductions. We have developed a novel approach using a band-stop filter that accurately removes these respiratory effects from motion estimates. Subsequently, we demonstrate that utilizing a band-stop filter improves post-processing fMRI data quality. Lastly, we demonstrate the real-time implementation of motion estimate filtering in our FIRMM (Framewise Integrated Real-Time MRI Monitoring) software package.
Watts AL, Smith GT, Barch DM, Sher KJ. (2019) Factor structure, measurement and structural invariance, and external validity of an abbreviated youth version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. Psychol Assess 2019 Dec 16. doi: 10.1037/pas0000791. 2019 Epub ahead of print.
The current study examines the measurement properties and validity of a novel, abbreviated youth version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale that was developed to maintain measurement consistency with the existing adult short form. Specifically, we examined this scale’s (a) factor structure; (b) measurement and structural invariance across four demographic characteristics: gender, ethnicity, household income, and parental education; and (c) correlates using a subset of 4,521 preadolescent (9- and 10-year old) children (53% male) from the baseline wave of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a large, community-based sample. Our findings supported a correlated 5-factor model, as well as a hierarchical model that recaptured the covariation among these 5 lower-order factors in three higher-order factors. Both of these models are consistent with the commonly observed structure of the UPPS-P among adults. We established measurement invariance across all demographic characteristics. Finally, our UPPS-P scales evidenced good convergent and discriminant validity with a broad swath of theoretically relevant external criteria, including self- and parent-reported personality and psychopathology, as well as lab-based neurocognitive tasks. Our findings indicate that we can assess multidimensional impulsivity in children reliably and validly by means of self-report, allowing assessment of this critical domain at early stages of development. We hope that this measure will facilitate the study of impulsivity in large-scale samples to begin to understand the evolution and long-term consequences of impulsivity.
Laurent JS, Watts R, Adise S, Allgaier N, Chaarani B, Garavan H, Potter A, Mackey S. (2019) Associations Among Body Mass Index, Cortical Thickness, and Executive Function in Children. JAMA Pediatr. Epub ahead of print. Published online December 9, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4708
A total of 25.7 million children in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. Obesity is associated with deficits in executive function, which may contribute to poor dietary decision-making. Less is known about the associations between being overweight or obese and brain development.
To examine whether body mass index (BMI) is associated with thickness of the cerebral cortex and whether cortical thickness mediates the association between BMI and executive function in children.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In this cross-sectional study, cortical thickness maps were derived from T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images of a large, diverse sample of 9 and 10-year-old children from 21 US sites. List sorting, flanker, matrix reasoning, and Wisconsin card sorting tasks were used to assess executive function.
Main Outcomes and Measures
A 10-fold nested cross-validation general linear model was used to assess mean cortical thickness from BMI across cortical brain regions. Associations between BMI and executive function were explored with Pearson partial correlations. Mediation analysis examined whether mean prefrontal cortex thickness mediated the association between BMI and executive function.
Among 3190 individuals (mean [SD] age, 10.0 [0.61] years; 1627 [51.0%] male), those with higher BMI exhibited lower cortical thickness. Eighteen cortical regions were significantly inversely associated with BMI. The greatest correlations were observed in the prefrontal cortex. The BMI was inversely correlated with dimensional card sorting (r = −0.088, P < .001), list sorting (r = −0.061, P < .003), and matrix reasoning (r = −0.095, P < .001) but not the flanker task. Mean prefrontal cortex thickness mediated the association between BMI and list sorting (mean [SE] indirect effect, 0.014 [0.008]; 95% CI, 0.001-0.031) but not the matrix reasoning or card sorting task.
Conclusions and Relevance
These results suggest that BMI is associated with prefrontal cortex development and diminished executive functions, such as working memory.
Marek S., Tervo-Clemmens B., Nielsen A.N., Wheelock M.D., Miller R.L., Laumann T.O., Earl E., Foran W.W., Cordova M., Doyle O., Perrone A., Miranda-Dominguez O., Feczko E., Sturgeon D., Graham A., Hermosillo R., Snider K., Galassi A., Nagel B.J., Ewing S.W.F., Eggebrecht A.T., Garavan H., Dale A.M., Greene D.J., Barch D.M., Fair D.A., Luna B., Dosenbach N.U.F. (2019). Identifying reproducible individual differences in childhood functional brain networks: An ABCD study. Dev Cogn Neurosci. Epub ahead of print. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929319302932?via%3Dihub
The 21-site Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study provides an unparalleled opportunity to characterize functional brain development via resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and to quantify relationships between RSFC and behavior. This multi-site data set includes potentially confounding sources of variance, such as differences between data collection sites and/or scanner manufacturers, in addition to those inherent to RSFC (e.g., head motion). The ABCD project provides a framework for characterizing and reproducing RSFC and RSFC-behavior associations, while quantifying the extent to which sources of variability bias RSFC estimates. We quantified RSFC and functional network architecture in 2,188 9-10-year old children from the ABCD study, segregated into demographically-matched discovery (N = 1,166) and replication datasets (N = 1,022). We found RSFC and network architecture to be highly reproducible across children. We did not observe strong effects of site; however, scanner manufacturer effects were large, reproducible, and followed a “short-to-long” association with distance between regions. Accounting for potential confounding variables, we replicated that RSFC between several higher-order networks was related to general cognition. In sum, we provide a framework for how to characterize RSFC-behavior relationships in a rigorous and reproducible manner using the ABCD dataset and other large multi-site projects.
Donohue MR, Tillman R, Perino MT, Whalen D2, Luby J, Barch DM (2019) Prevalence and correlates of maladaptive guilt in middle childhood. J Affect Disord. Epub ahead of print. Available online 13 November 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.075
Maladaptive guilt can develop by age three and is associated with severe affective psychopathology in adolescents and adults. Yet, little is known about its prevalence prior to adolescence, or which children are at greatest risk of developing this symptom. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of maladaptive guilt in middle childhood.
This study examined a large community sample of 9-to 10-year-old children (N = 4485) from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Maladaptive guilt was assessed through the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for DSM-5. Parental rejection, family conflict, and parental depression were assessed via questionnaires.
In depressed children, a 1-month prevalence of maladaptive guilt of 18.4% and a lifetime prevalence of 30.8% was found. Lifetime rates ranged from 1.8 to 4.1% in children with other psychiatric disorders. Cross-sectionally, maladaptive guilt was associated with lower family income-to-needs, greater family conflict, a history of maternal depression, and greater parental rejection. These findings held when controlling for children’s depressive severity, indicating that these associations are specific to maladaptive guilt.
Maladaptive guilt was assessed through one item, though many studies of maladaptive guilt measure the symptom in this manner.
Findings suggest that it may be beneficial for clinicians to assess for maladaptive guilt beyond the context of assessment for depression, particularly with children of low socioeconomic status and children of depressed mothers, whom this study suggests are at higher risk. Negative family climates and parenting might also be important targets of preventative interventions.
Ronan, L., Alexander-Bloch, A., & Fletcher, P.C. (2019). Childhood Obesity, Cortical Structure, and Executive Function in Healthy Children. Cerebral Cortex, bhz257, 24 October 2019, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz257
The development of executive function is linked to maturation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in childhood. Childhood obesity has been associated with changes in brain structure, particularly in PFC, as well as deficits in executive functions. We aimed to determine whether differences in cortical structure mediate the relationship between executive function and childhood obesity. We analyzed MR-derived measures of cortical thickness for 2700 children between the ages of 9 and 11 years, recruited as part of the NIH Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We related our findings to measures of executive function and body mass index (BMI). In our analysis, increased BMI was associated with significantly reduced mean cortical thickness, as well as specific bilateral reduced cortical thickness in prefrontal cortical regions. This relationship remained after accounting for age, sex, race, parental education, household income, birth-weight, and in-scanner motion. Increased BMI was also associated with lower executive function. Reduced thickness in the rostral medial and superior frontal cortex, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the lateral orbitofrontal cortex partially accounted for reductions in executive function. These results suggest that childhood obesity is associated with compromised executive function. This relationship may be partly explained by BMI-associated reduced cortical thickness in the PFC.
Pagliaccio D., Alqueza K.L., Marsh R., Auerbach R.P. (2019). Brain Volume Abnormalities in Youth at High Risk for Depression: Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Epub ahead of print https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089085671932101X?via%3Dihub
Children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop major depressive disorder than children without parental history; however, subcortical brain volume abnormalities characterizing major depressive disorder risk remain unclear. The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study provides an opportunity to identify subcortical differences associated with parental depressive history.
Michelini G., Barch D.M., Tian Y., Watson D., Klein D.N., Kotov R. (2019). Delineating and validating higher-order dimensions of psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Transl Psychiatry. 9(1):261. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0593-4
Hierarchical dimensional systems of psychopathology promise more informative descriptions for understanding risk and predicting outcome than traditional diagnostic systems, but it is unclear how many major dimensions they should include. We delineated the hierarchy of childhood and adult psychopathology and validated it against clinically relevant measures. Participants were 9987 9- and 10-year-old children and their parents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Factor analyses of items from the Child Behavior Checklist and Adult Self-Report were run to delineate hierarchies of dimensions. We examined the familial aggregation of the psychopathology dimensions, and the ability of different factor solutions to account for risk factors, real-world functioning, cognitive functioning, and physical and mental health service utilization. A hierarchical structure with a general psychopathology (‘p’) factor at the apex and five specific factors (internalizing, somatoform, detachment, neurodevelopmental, and externalizing) emerged in children. Five similar dimensions emerged also in the parents. Child and parent p-factors correlated highly (r = 0.61, p < 0.001), and smaller but significant correlations emerged for convergent dimensions between parents and children after controlling for p-factors (r = 0.09−0.21, p < 0.001). A model with child p-factor alone explained mental health service utilization (R2 = 0.23, p < 0.001), but up to five dimensions provided incremental validity to account for developmental risk and current functioning in children (R2 = 0.03−0.19, p < 0.001). In this first investigation comprehensively mapping the psychopathology hierarchy in children and adults, we delineated a hierarchy of higher-order dimensions associated with a range of clinically relevant validators. These findings hold important implications for psychiatric nosology and future research in this sample.
Sripada C, Rutherford S, Angstadt M, Thompson WK, Luciana M, Weigard A, Hyde LH, Heitzeg M (2019) Prediction of neurocognition in youth from resting state fMRI. Mol Psychiatry. Published: 19 August 2019. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0481-6
Difficulties with higher-order cognitive functions in youth are a potentially important vulnerability factor for the emergence of problematic behaviors and a range of psychopathologies. This study examined 2013 9–10 year olds in the first data release from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development 21-site consortium study in order to identify resting state functional connectivity patterns that predict individual-differences in three domains of higher-order cognitive functions: General Ability, Speed/Flexibility, and Learning/Memory. For General Ability scores in particular, we observed consistent cross-site generalizability, with statistically significant predictions in 14 out of 15 held-out sites. These results survived several tests for robustness including replication in split-half analysis and in a low head motion subsample. We additionally found that connectivity patterns involving task control networks and default mode network were prominently implicated in predicting differences in General Ability across participants. These findings demonstrate that resting state connectivity can be leveraged to produce generalizable markers of neurocognitive functioning. Additionally, they highlight the importance of task control-default mode network interconnections as a major locus of individual differences in cognitive functioning in early adolescence.
Guerrero, M.D, Barnes, J.D., Walsh, J.J., Chaput, J-P., Tremblay, M.S., Goldfield, G.S. (2019). 24-Hour Movement Behaviors and Impulsivity. Pediatrics, Published Online (date) August 14, 2019. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-0187
Findings support efforts to determine if limiting recreational screen time (ST) while promoting adequate sleep enhances the treatment and prevention of impulsivity-related disorders.
Hagler Jr., D.J., Hatton, S.N., Cornejo, M.D., Makowski, C., Fair, D.A., Dick, A.S., Sutherland, M.T., Casey, B.J., Barch, D.M., Harms, M.P., Watts, R., Bjork, J.M., Garavan, H.P., Hilmer, L., Pung, C.J., Sicat, C.S., Kuperman, J., Bartsch, H., Xue, F., Heitzeg, M.M., Laird, A.R., Trinh, T.T., Gonzalez, R., Tapert, S.F., Riedel, M.C., Squeglia, L.M., Hyde, L.W., rosenberg, M.D., Earl, E.A., Howlett, K.D., Baker, F.C., Soules, M., Diaz, J., Ruiz de Leon, O., Thompson, W.K., Neale, M.C., Herting, M., Sowell, E.R., Alvarez, R.P., Hawes, S.W., Sanchez, M., Bodurka, J., Breslin, F.J., Sheffield Morris, A., Paulus, M.P., Simmons, W.K., Polimeni, J.R., van der Kouwe, A., Nencka, A.S., Gray, K.M., Pierpaoli, C., Matochik, J.A., Noronha, A., Aklin, W.M., Conway, K., Glantz, M., Hoffman, E., Little, R., Lopoez, M., Pariyadath, V., Weiss, S. RB., Wolff-Hughes, D.L., DelCarmen-Wiggins, R., Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Miranda-Dominguez, O., Nagel, B.J., Perrone, A.J., Sturgeon, D.T., Goldstone, A., Pfefferbaum, A., Pohl, K.M., Prouty, D., Uban, K., Bookheimer, S.Y., Dapretto, M., Galvan, A., Bagot, K., Giedd, J., Infante, M.A., Jacobus, J., Patrick, K., Shilling, P.D., Desikan, R., Li, Y., Sugrue, L., Banich, M.T., Friedman, N., Hewitt, J.K., Hopfer, C., Sakai, J., Tanabe, J., Cottler, L.B., Nixon, S.J., Chang, L., Cloak, C., Ernst, T., Reeves, G., Kennedy, D.N., Heeringa, S., Peltier, S., Schulenberg, J., Sripada, C., Zucker, R.A., Iacono, W.G., Luciana, M., Calabro, F.J., Clark, D.B., Lewis, D.A., Luna, B., Schirda, C., Brima, Tufikameni, Foxe, J.J., Freedman, E.G., Mruzek, D.W., Mason, M.J., Huber, R., McGlade, E., Prescot, A., Renshaw, P.F., Yurgelun-Todd, D.A., Allgaier, N.A., Dumas, J.A., Ivanova, M., Potter, A., Florsheim, P., Larswon, C., Lisdahl, K., Charness, M.E., Fuemmeler, B., Hettema, J.M., Maes, H.H., Steinberg, J., Anokhin, A.P., Glaser, P., Heath, A.C., Maddden, P.A., Baskin-Sommers, A., Constable, R.T., Grant, S.J., Dowling, G.J., Brown, S.A., Jernigan, T.L., Dale, A.M. (2019). Image processing and analysis methods for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. NeuroImage, Available online 12 August 2019, 116091. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116091.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is an ongoing, nationwide study of the effects of environmental influences on behavioral and brain development in adolescents. The main objective of the study is to recruit and assess over eleven thousand 9-10-year-olds and follow them over the course of 10 years to characterize normative brain and cognitive development, the many factors that influence brain development, and the effects of those factors on mental health and other outcomes. The study employs state-of-the-art multimodal brain imaging, cognitive and clinical assessments, bioassays, and careful assessment of substance use, environment, psychopathological symptoms, and social functioning. The data is a resource of unprecedented scale and depth for studying typical and atypical development. The aim of this manuscript is to describe the baseline neuroimaging processing and subject-level analysis methods used by ABCD. Processing and analyses include modality-specific corrections for distortions and motion, brain segmentation and cortical surface reconstruction derived from structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), analysis of brain microstructure using diffusion MRI (dMRI), task-related analysis of functional MRI (fMRI), and functional connectivity analysis of resting-state fMRI. This manuscript serves as a methodological reference for users of publicly shared neuroimaging data from the ABCD Study.
Compton, W.M., Dowling, G.J., Garavah, H. (2019). Ensuring the Best Use of Data. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. JAMA Pediatrics, July 15, 2019.
Data sharing is increasingly acknowledged to be a feature of a healthy scientific ecosystem, maximizing the benefits from the often costly business of collecting scientific data and enhancing discovery. Thus, timely data sharing from large research projects is an explicitly stated policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Making data openly and freely available and encouraging researchers to use them for additional analyses ensures the maximum return on the scientific investments that the NIH, and ultimately the US taxpayer, have made.
Gray J.C., Schvey N.A.,Tanofsky-Kraff M. (2019). Demographic,psychological, behavioral, and cognitive correlates of BMI in youth: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development(ABCD) study. Psychological Medicine 1–9, July 10, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719001545.
Beyond demographics and stimulant use, this study highlights abstract reasoning as an important cognitive variable and reaffirms social problems and screen time as significant correlates of BMI and as modifiable therapeutic targets. Prospective data are needed to understand the predictive power of these variables for BMI gain.
Dick, A.S., Garcia, N.L., Pruden, S.M., Thompson, W.K., Hawes, S.W., Sutherland, M.T., Riedel, M.C., Laird, A.R., & Gonzalez, R. (2019). No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the nationally representative ABCD study.
Nature Human Behaviour (2019); Letter published May 20, 2019.
Learning a second language in childhood is inherently advantageous for communication. However, parents, educators and scientists have been interested in determining whether there are additional cognitive advantages. One of the most exciting yet controversial findings about bilinguals is a reported advantage for executive function. That is, several studies suggest that bilinguals perform better than monolinguals on tasks assessing cognitive abilities that are central to the voluntary control of thoughts and behaviours—the so-called ‘executive functions’ (for example, attention, inhibitory control, task switching and resolving conflict). Although a number of small- and large-sample studies have reported a bilingual executive function advantage, there have been several failures to replicate these findings, and recent meta-analyses have called into question the reliability of the original empirical claims. Here we show, in a very large, demographically representative sample (n = 4,524) of 9- to 10-year-olds across the United States, that there is little evidence for a bilingual advantage for inhibitory control, attention and task switching, or cognitive flexibility, which are key aspects of executive function. We also replicate previously reported disadvantages in English vocabulary in bilinguals. However, these English vocabulary differences are substantially mitigated when we account for individual differences in socioeconomic status or intelligence. In summary, notwithstanding the inherently positive benefits of learning a second language in childhood, we found little evidence that it engenders additional benefits to executive function development.
Thompson, W.K., Barch, D.M., Bjork, J.M., Gonzalez, R., Nagel, B.J., Nixon, S.J., Luciana, M. (2018). The structure of cognition in 9 and 10 year-old children and associations with problem behaviors: Findings from the ABCD study’s baseline neurocognitive battery.
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 36, April 2019. Available online 13 December 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.12.004.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is poised to be the largest single-cohort long-term longitudinal study of neurodevelopment and child health in the United States. Baseline data on 4521 children aged 9–10 were released for public access on November 2, 2018. In this paper we performed principal component analyses of the neurocognitive assessments administered to the baseline sample. The neurocognitive battery included seven measures from the NIH Toolbox as well as five other tasks. We implemented a Bayesian Probabilistic Principal Components Analysis (BPPCA) model that incorporated nesting of subjects within families and within data collection sites. We extracted varimax-rotated component scores from a three-component model and associated these scores with parent-rated Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) internalizing, externalizing, and stress reactivity. We found evidence for three broad components that encompass general cognitive ability, executive function, and learning/memory. These were significantly associated with CBCL scores in a differential manner but with small effect sizes. These findings set the stage for longitudinal analysis of neurocognitive and psychopathological data from the ABCD cohort as they age into the period of maximal adolescent risk-taking.
Fine, J.D., Moreau, A.L., Karcher, N.R., Agrawal, A., Rogers, C.E., Barch, D.M., Bogdan, R. (2019). Association of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure With Psychosis Proneness Among Children in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online March 27, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0076
Mirroring increases in the general population, the prevalence of past-month marijuana use among pregnant mothers in the United States increased by 75% between 2002 (2.85%) and 2016 (4.98%).1 Although cannabis use has been linked to psychosis, little is known about prenatal exposure.2,3 Unprecedented increases in marijuana use during pregnancy, alongside evidence that cannabis use is correlated with psychosis and that endocannabinoids play an important role in neurodevelopment, highlight the importance of evaluating potential long-term consequences of prenatal exposure.4
Hoffman, E.A., Clark, D.B., Orendain, N., Hudziak, J., Squeglia, L.M., Dowling, G.J. (2019). Stress exposures, neurodevelopment and health measures in the ABCD study. Neurobiology of Stress, Available online March 19, 2019, 100157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2019.100157
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a large, longitudinal study of brain development and child health, is uniquely positioned to explore relationships among stress, neurodevelopment, and psychiatric symptomatology, including substance use and addiction. There is much we do not know about how adverse experiences affect the developing brain and cognitive, social, emotional, and academic outcomes. The data collected by the ABCD Study will allow the examination of the relationships among these variables in adolescence, including the effects of stressors (e.g., abuse, neglect, household challenges, parental substance use) on psychological adjustment and other stress responses. A comprehensive protocol that includes physical and mental health, substance use, culture and environment, neurocognitive assessments, biospecimen analyses, and structural and functional neuroimaging will provide opportunities for learning about the impacts of stressors on health and other outcomes in the context of adolescent development. This knowledge could lead to the development of interventions that reduce or even reverse the impacts of stressors.
Pornpattananangkul, N., Leibenluft, E., Pine, D.S., Stringaris, A. (2019). Association of Brain Functions in Children With Anhedonia Mapped Onto Brain Imaging Measures. JAMA Psychiatry. (March 13, 2019) Published online March 13, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0020
In this large-scale cross-sectional functional magnetic resonance imaging study that included 2878 children, anhedonia (but not low mood, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) was associated with hypoconnectivity at rest between the ventral striatum and the cingulo-opercular network and hypoactivation during reward anticipation in the dorsal striatum and cingulo-opercular network.
Hawes, S.W., Waller, R., Thompson, W.K., Hyde, L.W., Byrd, A.L., Burt, S.A., Klump, K.L., Gonzalez, R. (2019). Assessing callous-unemotional traits: development of a brief, reliable measure in a large and diverse sample of preadolescent youth. Psychological Medicine. Published online: March 8, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719000278
Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are critical to developmental, diagnostic, and clinical models of antisocial behaviors (AB). However, assessments of CU traits within large-scale longitudinal and neurobiologically focused investigations remain remarkably sparse. We sought to develop a brief measure of CU traits using items from widely administered instruments that could be linked to neuroimaging, genetic, and environmental data within already existing datasets and future studies.
Data came from a large and diverse sample (n = 4525) of youth (ages~9–11) taking part in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Moderated nonlinear factor analysis was used to assess measurement invariance across sex, race, and age. We explored whether CU traits were distinct from other indicators of AB, investigated unique links with theoretically-relevant outcomes, and replicated findings in an independent sample.
The brief CU traits measure demonstrated strong psychometric properties and evidence of measurement invariance across sex, race, and age. On average, boys endorsed higher levels of CU traits than girls and CU traits were related to, yet distinguishable from other indicators of AB. The CU traits construct also exhibited expected associations with theoretically important outcomes. Study findings were also replicated across an independent sample of youth.
In a large, multi-site study, a brief measure of CU traits can be measured distinctly from other dimensions of AB. This measure provides the scientific community with a method to assess CU traits in the ABCD sample, as well as in other studies that may benefit from a brief assessment of CU.
Gorham, L.S., Jernigan, T., Hudziak, J., Barch, D.M. (2019). Involvement in Sports, Hippocampal Volume, and Depressive Symptoms in Children. Biological Psychiatry CNNI (Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging). Published online: February 04, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.01.011
Recent studies have found that higher levels of exercise are associated with fewer symptoms of depression among young people. In addition, research suggests that exercise may modify hippocampal volume, a brain region that has been found to show reduced volume in depression. However, it is not clear whether this relationship emerges as early as preadolescence.
We examined data from a nationwide sample of 4191 children 9 to 11 years of age from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. The parents of the children completed the Child Behavior Checklist, providing data about the child’s depressive symptoms, and the Sports and Activities Questionnaire, which provided data about the child’s participation in 23 sports. Children also took part in a structural magnetic resonance imaging scan, providing us with measures of bilateral hippocampal volume.
Sports involvement interacted with sex to predict depressive symptoms, with a negative relationship found in boys only (t = −5.257, β = −.115, p < .001). Sports involvement was positively correlated with hippocampal volume in both boys and girls (t = 2.810, β = .035, p = .007). Hippocampal volume also interacted with sex to predict depressive symptoms, with a negative relationship in boys (t = −2.562, β = −.070, p = .010), and served as a partial mediator for the relationship between involvement in sports and depressive symptoms in boys.
These findings help illuminate a potential neural mechanism for the impact of exercise on the developing brain, and the differential effects in boys versus girls mirror findings in the animal literature. More research is needed to understand the causal relationships between these constructs.
Blashill, A.J., & Calzo, J.P. (2019). Sexual minority children: Mood disorders and suicidality disparities. Journal of Affective Disorders 246 (2019) 96–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.040
Sexual orientation disparities in mood disorders and suicidality appear to develop as early as middle childhood. Clinicians are encouraged to assess sexual orientation among children as young as 9–10 years old, and provide appropriate normalization of sexual orientation, and referrals for mental health treatment, as indicated.
Karcher, N.R., O’Brien, K.J., Kandala, S., Barch, D.M. (2019). Resting-State Functional Connectivity and Psychotic-like Experiences in Childhood: Results From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Biological Psychiatry. Available online January 26, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.01.013
Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) during childhood are associated with greater risk of developing a psychotic disorder (and other mental disorders), highlighting the importance of identifying neural correlates of childhood PLEs. Three major cortical networks—the cingulo-opercular network (CON), default mode network (DMN), and frontoparietal network—are consistently implicated in psychosis and PLEs in adults. However, it is unclear whether variation in functional connectivity is associated with PLEs in school-aged children.
Using hierarchical linear models, we examined the relationships between childhood PLEs and resting-state functional connectivity of the CON, DMN, and frontoparietal network, as well as the other networks, using an a priori network parcellation, using data from 9- to 11-year-olds (n = 3434) in the ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) study. We examined within-network, between-network, and subcortical connectivity.
Decreased CON and DMN connectivity, as well as cinguloparietal (CPAR) network connectivity, were associated with greater PLEs, even after accounting for family history of psychotic disorders, internalizing symptoms, and cognitive performance. Decreased DMN connectivity was more strongly associated with increased delusional ideation, whereas decreased CON connectivity was more strongly associated with increased perceptual distortions. Increased CON-cerebellar and decreased CPAR-cerebellar connectivity were also associated with increased PLEs, and CPAR-cerebellar connectivity was more strongly associated with increased perceptual distortions.
Consistent with hypotheses about the dimensionality of psychosis, our results provide novel evidence that neural correlates of PLEs, such as reduced functional connectivity of higher-order cognitive networks, are present even in school-aged children. The results provide further validation for continuity of PLEs across the life span.
Paulus, M.P., Squeglia, L.M., Bagot, K., Jacobus, J., Kuplicki, R., Breslin, F.J., Bodurka, J., Sheffield Morris, A., Thompson, W.K., Bartsch, H., & Tapert, S.F. (2018). Screen media activity and brain structure in youth: Evidence for diverse structural correlation networks from the ABCD study. NeuroImage,
Volume 185, 15 January 2019, Pages 140-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.040.
The adolescent brain undergoes profound structural changes which is influenced by many factors. Screen media activity (SMA; e.g., watching television or videos, playing video games, or using social media) is a common recreational activity in children and adolescents; however, its effect on brain structure is not well understood. A multivariate approach with the first cross-sectional data release from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study was used to test the maturational coupling hypothesis, i.e. the notion that coordinated patterns of structural change related to specific behaviors. Moreover, the utility of this approach was tested by determining the association between these structural correlation networks and psychopathology or cognition. ABCD participants with usable structural imaging and SMA data (N = 4277 of 4524) were subjected to a Group Factor Analysis (GFA) to identify latent variables that relate SMA to cortical thickness, sulcal depth, and gray matter volume. Subject scores from these latent variables were used in generalized linear mixed-effect models to investigate associations between SMA and internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, as well as fluid and crystalized intelligence. Four SMA-related GFAs explained 37% of the variance between SMA and structural brain indices. SMA-related GFAs correlated with brain areas that support homologous functions. Some but not all SMA-related factors corresponded with higher externalizing (Cohen’s d effect size (ES) 0.06–0.1) but not internalizing psychopathology and lower crystalized (ES: 0.08–0.1) and fluid intelligence (ES: 0.04–0.09). Taken together, these findings support the notion of SMA related maturational coupling or structural correlation networks in the brain and provides evidence that individual differences of these networks have mixed consequences for psychopathology and cognitive performance.
Rozzell, K., Moon, D.Y., Klimek, P., Brown, T., Blashill, A.J. (2018). Prevalence of Eating Disorders Among US Children Aged 9 to 10 Years: Data From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatrics. Published online November 26, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3678.
Eating disorders (EDs) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality.1 The prevalence of early-onset EDs has increased in the past several decades, with younger children more likely than adolescents to experience psychiatric comorbidity. The single nationally representative study that has reported 12-month prevalence rates of EDs among children aged 8 to 15 years found 0.1% total for children aged 8 to 11 years, with 0.3% for girls and 0.1% for boys aged 8 to 15 years old.2 However, this previous study used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria and did not report the prevalence of specific ED diagnoses. The aims of the present study were to report the prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED) in addition to a global “any ED” diagnosis, using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) (DSM-5) criteria among a US representative sample of children aged 9 and 10 years. Prevalence rates were tested by participant sex.
Calzo, J.P., & Blashill, A.J. (2018). Child Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Cohort Study. JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(11):1090-1092. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.2496.
Sexual and gender minorities (ie, individuals who do not identify as heterosexual and those whose gender identities differ from their birth sex) experience significantly elevated physical and mental health morbidities compared with heterosexual and cisgender individuals.1 By collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data in a US representative cohort of 9- to 10-year-old children, the recently released Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study2 provides an opportunity to understand the development of health disparities and resilience by SOGI at earlier ages than previous research. Both children and parental figures reported SOGI data, bolstering measurement rigor. Baseline analysis of ABCD Study SOGI data can contextualize the opportunities afforded by the data set for epidemiologic surveillance.
Walsh, J.J., Barnes, J.D., Cameron, J.D., Goldfield, G.S., Chaput, JP, Gunnell, K.E., Ledoux, AA, Zemek, R.L., Tremblay, M.S. (2018). Associations between 24 hour movement behaviours and global cognition in US children: a cross-sectional observational study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Published: September 26, 2018. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30278-5.
Childhood and adolescence are crucial periods for brain development, and the behaviours during a typical 24 h period contribute to cognitive performance. The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth recommend at least 60 min physical activity per day, 2 h or less recreational screen time per day, and 9–11 h sleep per night in children aged 8–11 years. We investigated the relationship between adherence to these recommendations and global cognition.
Bustamente, E.E. (2018). Convergent influences of lifestyle behaviour on neurocognitive development in children. The Lancet: Child & Adolescent Health. Published September 26, 2018. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30305-5.
Comment on: Walsh, J.J., Barnes, J.D., Cameron, J.D., Goldfield, G.S., Chaput, JP, Gunnell, K.E., Ledoux, AA, Zemek, R.L., Tremblay, M.S. (2018). Associations between 24 hour movement behaviours and global cognition in US children: a cross-sectional observational study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Available online 27 September 2018.
Healthy lifestyle behaviours are the primary modifiable risk factors for prevention of chronic disease. 1 Recognition of the interdependence between various lifestyle behaviours has grown and investigation of their potentially synergistic benefits has increased. 2 In The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Jeremy Walsh and colleagues’ report 3 an investigation of the effects of three movement behaviours—physical activity, sleep, and recreational screen time—independently and in combination on children’s neurocognitive development. They analysed the curated data from the first year of the ongoing Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) prospective cohort study, which is measuring lifestyle behaviours and global cognition, fluid intelligence, and crystallised intelligence among children.
Karcher, N.R., Barch, D.M., Avenevoli, S., Savill, M., Huber, R.S., Simon, T.J., Leckliter, I.N., Sher, K.J., Loewy, R.L. (2018). Assessment of the Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief Child Version for Measurement of Self-reported Psychoticlike Experiences in Childhood. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 6, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1334.
These results provide support for the construct validity and demonstrate adequate psychometric properties of a self-report instrument designed to measure childhood PLEs, providing evidence that the PQ-BC may be a useful measure of early risk for psychotic disorders. Furthermore, these data suggest that PLEs at school age are associated with many of the same familial, cognitive, and emotional factors associated with psychotic symptoms in older populations, consistent with the dimensionality of psychosis across the lifespan.
Garavan, H., Bartsch, H., Conway, K., Decastro, A., Goldstein, R.Z., Heeringa, S., Jernigan, T., Potter, A., Thompson, W., Zahs, D. (in press). Recruiting the ABCD Sample: Design Considerations and Procedures.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 16 April 2018, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.04.004
The ABCD study is a new and ongoing project of very substantial size and scale involving 21 data acquisition sites. It aims to recruit 11,500 children and follow them for ten years with extensive assessments at multiple timepoints. To deliver on its potential to adequately describe adolescent development, it is essential that it adopt recruitment procedures that are efficient and effective and will yield a sample that reflects the nation’s diversity in an epidemiologically informed manner. Here, we describe the sampling plans and recruitment procedures of this study. Participants are largely recruited through the school systems with school selection informed by gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and urbanicity. Procedures for school selection designed to mitigate selection biases, dynamic monitoring of the accumulating sample to correct deviations from recruitment targets, and a description of the recruitment procedures designed to foster a collaborative attitude between the researchers, the schools and the local communities, are provided.
Hoffman, E.A., Howlett, K.D., Breslin, F., Dowling, G.J. (in press). Outreach and innovation: Communication strategies for the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.Available online 16 April 2018. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.04.001
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a large, longitudinal study of brain development and child health, relies on the engagement of communities, educators, and families to ensure its success. To that end, community and partner relationships, development of targeted messages and materials for specific audiences (educators, families, youth, scientists), and continued and consistent outreach must be an integral part of the Consortium activities. The ABCD Consortium has made these efforts a priority and developed a framework to raise awareness about the study and promote sustained broad-base support from diverse stakeholders.
Auchter, A.M., Mejia, M.H., Heyser, C.J., Shilling, P.D., Jernigan, T.L., Brown, S.A., Tapert, S.F., Dowling, G.J. (in press). A description of the ABCD organizational structure and communication framework. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (2018), Available online 16 April 2018, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.04.003
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is designed to be the largest study of brain development and child health in the United States, performing comprehensive assessments of 11,500 children repeatedly for 10 years. An endeavor of this magnitude requires an organized framework of governance and communication that promotes collaborative decision-making and dissemination of information. The ABCD consortium structure, built upon the Matrix Management approach of organizational theory, facilitates the integration of input from all institutions, numerous internal workgroups and committees, federal partners, and external advisory groups to make use of a broad range of expertise to ensure the study’s success.
Loeber, R., Clark, D.B., Ahonen, L., FitzGerald, D., Trucco, E.M., Zucker, R.A. (in press). A brief validated screen to identify boys and girls at risk for early marijuana use. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Available online 7 April 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. ttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.011
To guide recruitment, the ABCD Study requires a method for identifying children at high risk for early-onset substance use that may be utilized during the recruitment process. This study was undertaken to inform the development of a brief screen for identifying youths’ risk of early-onset substance use and other adverse outcomes. To be acceptable by participants in this context, consideration of potential items was limited to child characteristics previously determined to be potentially pertinent and parental cigarette smoking. To focus the analyses on a single target substance use outcome pertinent to the stated goals of the ABCD Study, early-onset marijuana use was selected. Utilizing data collected prior to the initiation of the ABCD Study, four longitudinal data sets were used in nine secondary data analyses to test, replicate and validate a brief screening assessment for boys and girls to identify those at risk for early-onset marijuana use by ages 14–15. The combination of child externalizing problems reported by the parent (4 items: destroys things belonging to his/her family or others; disobedience at school; lying or cheating; steals outside the home) and parent smoking (1 item) proved to be the optimal screen. This was largely replicated across the four data sets. Indicators of predictive efficiency were modest in magnitude and statistically significant in 8 out of the 9 analyses. The results informed the screen’s optimal threshold for identifying children at risk for early-onset marijuana use. The addition of child internalizing problems did not improve these predictions. Further analyses showed the predictive utility of the screen for several other substance use outcomes at ages 15 to 18, including alcohol and nicotine use. The results support the use of a short screening assessment to identify youth at risk for early-onset substance use in the ABCD Study and other research.
Gray, K., Herting, M., May, A., Colrain, I., Godino, J., Tapert, S., Brown, S., Patrick, K. (in press). Current, future and potential use of mobile and wearable technologies andsocial media data in the ABCD study to increase understanding ofcontributors to child health.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (2018), Available online 28 March 2018, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.008
Mobile and wearable technologies and novel methods of data collection are innovating health-related research. These technologies and methods allow for multi-system level capture of data across environmental, physiological, behavioral, and psychological domains. In the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, there is great potential for harnessing the acceptability, accessibility, and functionality of mobile and social technologies for in-vivo data capture to precisely measure factors, and interactions between factors, that contribute to childhood and adolescent neurodevelopment and psychosocial and health outcomes. Here we discuss advances in mobile and wearable technologies and methods of analysis of geospatial, ecologic, social network and behavioral data. Incorporating these technologies into the ABCD study will allow for interdisciplinary research on the effects of place, social interactions, environment, and substance use on health and developmental outcomes in children and adolescents.
Zucker, R.A., Gonzalez, R., Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Paulus, M.P., Arroyo, J., Fuligni, A., Sheffield Morris, A., Sanchez, M., Wills, T. (in press). Assessment of culture and environment in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Rationale, description of measures, and early data. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.Available online 17 March 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.004
Neurodevelopmental maturation takes place in a social environment in addition to a neurobiological one. Characterization of social environmental factors that influence this process is therefore an essential component in developing an accurate model of adolescent brain and neurocognitive development, as well as susceptibility to change with the use of marijuana and other drugs. The creation of the Culture and Environment (CE) measurement component of the ABCD protocol was guided by this understanding. Three areas were identified by the CE Work Group as central to this process: influences relating to CE Group membership, influences created by the proximal social environment, influences stemming from social interactions. Eleven measures assess these influences, and by time of publication, will have been administered to well over 7,000 9–10 year-old children and one of their parents. Our report presents baseline data on psychometric characteristics (mean, standard deviation, range, skewness, coefficient alpha) of all measures within the battery. Effectiveness of the battery in differentiating 9–10-year olds who were classified as at higher and lower risk for marijuana use in adolescence was also evaluated. Psychometric characteristics on all measures were good to excellent; higher vs. lower risk contrasts were significant in areas where risk differentiation would be anticipated.
Uban, K.A., Horton, M.K., Jacobus, J., Heyser, C., Thompson, W.K., Tapert, S.F., Madden, P.A.F., Sowell, E.R., the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. (in press). Biospecimens and the ABCD study: Rationale, methods of collection, measurement and early data. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Available online 16 March 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.005
Biospecimen collection in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study – of hair samples, shed deciduous (baby) teeth, and body fluids – will serve dual functions of screening for study eligibility, and providing measures of biological processes thought to predict or correlate with key study outcomes on brain and cognitive development. Biosamples are being collected annually to screen for recency of drug use prior to the neuroimaging or cognitive testing visit, and to store for the following future studies: (1) on the effects of exposure to illicit and recreational drugs (including alcohol and nicotine); (2) of pubertal hormones on brain and cognitive developmental trajectories; (3) on the contribution of genomics and epigenomics to child and adolescent development and behavioral outcomes; and (4) with pre- and post-natal exposure to environmental neurotoxicants and drugs of abuse measured from novel tooth analyses. The present manuscript describes the rationales for inclusion and selection of the specific biospecimens, methodological considerations for each measure, future plans for assessment of biospecimens during follow-up visits, and preliminary ABCD data to illustrate methodological considerations.
Casey, B.J., Cannonier, T., Conley, M.I., Cohen, A.O., Barch, D.M., Heitzeg, M.M., Soules, M.E., Teslovich, T., Dellarco, D.V., Garavan, H., Orr, C.A., Wager, T.D., Banich, M.T., Speer, N.K., Sutherland, M.T., Riedel, M.C., Dick, A.S., Bjork, J.M., Dale, A.M. (in press). The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study: Imaging acquisition across 21 sites. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 14 March 2018. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.001
The ABCD study is recruiting and following the brain development and health of over 10,000 9–10 year olds through adolescence. The imaging component of the study was developed by the ABCD Data Analysis and Informatics Center (DAIC) and the ABCD Imaging Acquisition Workgroup. Imaging methods and assessments were selected, optimized and harmonized across all 21 sites to measure brain structure and function relevant to adolescent development and addiction. This article provides an overview of the imaging procedures of the ABCD study, the basis for their selection and preliminary quality assurance and results that provide evidence for the feasibility and age-appropriateness of procedures and generalizability of findings to the existent literature.
Luciana, M., Bjork, J.M., Nagel, B.J., Barch, D.M., Gonzalez, R., Nixon, S.J., Banich, M.T. (in press). Adolescent neurocognitive development and impacts of substance use: Overview of the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) baseline neurocognition battery. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 21 February 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.02.006
Adolescence is characterized by numerous social, hormonal and physical changes, as well as a marked increase in risk-taking behaviors. Dual systems models attribute adolescent risk-taking to tensions between developing capacities for cognitive control and motivational strivings, which may peak at this time. A comprehensive understanding of neurocognitive development during the adolescent period is necessary to permit the distinction between premorbid vulnerabilities and consequences of behaviors such as substance use. Thus, the prospective assessment of cognitive development is fundamental to the aims of the newly launched Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Consortium. This paper details the rationale for ABC’lected measures of neurocognition, presents preliminary descriptive data on an initial sample of 2299 participants, and provides a context for how this large-scale project can inform our understanding of adolescent neurodevelopment.
Lisdahl, K.M., Sher, K.J., Conway, K.P., Gonzalez, R., Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Nixon, S.J., Tapert, S., Bartsch, H., Goldstein, R.Z., Heitzeg, M. (in press). Adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study: Overview of substance use assessment methods. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Available online 21 February 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.02.007
One of the objectives of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (https://abcdstudy.org/) is to establish a national longitudinal cohort of 9 and 10 year olds that will be followed for 10 years in order to prospectively study the risk and protective factors influencing substance use and its consequences, examine the impact of substance use on neurocognitive, health and psychosocial outcomes, and to understand the relationship between substance use and psychopathology. This article provides an overview of the ABCD Study Substance Use Workgroup, provides the goals for the workgroup, rationale for the substance use battery, and includes details on the substance use module methods and measurement tools used during baseline, 6-month and 1-year follow-up assessment time-points. Prospective, longitudinal assessment of these substance use domains over a period of ten years in a nationwide sample of youth presents an unprecedented opportunity to further understand the timing and interactive relationships between substance use and neurocognitive, health, and psychopathology outcomes in youth living in the United States.
Jernigan, T.L., Brown, S.A., ABCD Consortium Coordinators. (in press). Introduction. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 15 February 2018, In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.02.002
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is a longitudinal, observational study of over 10,000 youth recruited at 21 sites throughout the United States. Comprehensive biennial assessments and more limited interim assessments measure health, mental health, neurocognition, family, cultural and environmental variables, substance use, genetic and other biomarkers, and structural and functional brain development. Within this Special Issue, readers will find much information about the rationale and objectives of the study, the broad ranging assessment protocols and new as well as traditional methodologies applied at baseline, the recruitment and retention strategies, and the anticipated final composition of the cohort. Information is also provided about how the study is coordinated and conducted, how decisions are made, how data quality is monitored, and how ethical standards are protected. In this introduction we will focus instead on the position of the ABCD Study in the changing landscape of biomedical research.
Charness, M.D. (in press). The adolescent brain cognitive development study external advisory board. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 28 December 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.12.007
Why should the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD Study) have an External Advisory Board (EAB)? ABCD Study has approximately two-dozen principal investigators, all experts and leaders in the diverse fields of study required to accomplish ABCD Study’s goals. Furthermore, as part of an NIH consortium, ABCD Study investigators work in close collaboration with scientific experts from multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Offices (https://abcdstudy.org/federal-partners.html) and have ready access to their expertise. And NIH has constituted an Observational Study Management Board (OSMB) to offer oversight and counsel to ABCD Study regarding myriad ethical issues that might arise in the course of a 10-year longitudinal study of 10,000 children. So why also have an EAB? In a way, it is the organizational structure of ABCD Study, its cost, its complexity, its extraordinarily ambitious goals, and its importance to the scientific community and public health that together obligate oversight from an unbiased set of experts who can advise ABCD Study across a wide range of issues.
Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Chang, L., Cottler, L.B., Tapert, S.F., Dowling G.J., Brown, S.A. (in press). Approaching Retention within the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 11 November 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.11.004
Retention efforts are critical to maintain relationships with research participants over time. This is especially important for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, where families are asked to stay engaged with the study throughout the course of 10 years. This high-degree of involvement is essential to longitudinally track child and adolescent development. At a minimum, we will connect with families every 6 months by telephone, and every year in person, with closer contact with the youth directly as they transition into adolescence. Differential retention, when related to non-random issues pertaining to demographic or risk features, can negatively impact the generalizability of study outcomes. Thus, to ensure high rates of retention for all participants, the ABCD study employs a number of efforts to support youth and families. This overview details the framework and concrete steps for retention.
Barch, D.M., Albaugh, M.D., Avenevoli, S., Chang, L., Clark, D.B., Glantz, M.D., Hudziak, J.J., Jernigan, T.L., Tapert, S.F., Yurgelun-Todd, D., Alia-Klein, N., Potter, A.S., Paulus, M.P., Prouty, D., Zucker, R.A., Sher, K.J. (in press). Demographic, physical and mental health assessments in the adolescent brain and cognitive development study: Rationale and description. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 3 November 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.10.010
The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study incorporates a comprehensive range of measures assessing predictors and outcomes related to both mental and physical health across childhood and adolescence. The workgroup developed a battery that would assess a comprehensive range of domains that address study aims while minimizing participant and family burden. We review the major considerations that went into deciding what constructs to cover in the demographics, physical health and mental health domains, as well as the process of selecting measures, piloting and refining the originally proposed battery. We present a description of the baseline battery, as well as the six-month interim assessments and the one-year follow-up assessments. This battery includes assessments from the perspectives of both the parent and the target youth, as well as teacher reports. This battery will provide a foundational baseline assessment of the youth’s current function so as to permit characterization of stability and change in key domains over time. The findings from this battery will also be utilized to identify both resilience markers that predict healthy development and risk factors for later adverse outcomes in physical health, mental health, and substance use and abuse.
Volkow, N.D., Koob, G.F., Croyle, R.T., Bianchi, D.W., Gordon, J.A., Koroshetz, W.J., Pérez-Stable, E.J., Riley, W.T., Bloch, M.H., Conway, K., Deeds, B.G., Dowling, G.J., Grant, S., Howlett, K.D., Matochik, J.A., Morgan, G.D., Murray, M.M., Noronha, A., Spong, C.Y., Wargo, E.M., Warren, K.R., Weiss, S.R.B. (in press). The conception of the ABCD study: From substance use to a broad NIH collaboration. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 10 October 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.10.002
Adolescence is a time of dramatic changes in brain structure and function, and the adolescent brain is highly susceptible to being altered by experiences like substance use. However, there is much we have yet to learn about how these experiences influence brain development, how they promote or interfere with later health outcomes, or even what healthy brain development looks like. A large longitudinal study beginning in early adolescence could help us understand the normal variability in adolescent brain and cognitive development and tease apart the many factors that influence it. Recent advances in neuroimaging, informatics, and genetics technologies have made it feasible to conduct a study of sufficient size and scope to answer many outstanding questions. At the same time, several Institutes across the NIH recognized the value of collaborating in such a project because of its ability to address the role of biological, environmental, and behavioral factors like gender, pubertal hormones, sports participation, and social/economic disparities on brain development as well as their association with the emergence and progression of substance use and mental illness including suicide risk. Thus, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study was created to answer the most pressing public health questions of our day.
Iacono, W.G., Heath, A.C., Hewitt, J.K., Neale, M.C., Banich, M.T., Luciana, M.M., Madden, P.A., Barch, D.M., Bjork, J.M. (in press). The utility of twins in developmental cognitive neuroscience research: How twins strengthen the ABCD research design. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 12 September 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.09.001
The ABCD twin study will elucidate the genetic and environmental contributions to a wide range of mental and physical health outcomes in children, including substance use, brain and behavioral development, and their interrelationship. Comparisons within and between monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs, further powered by multiple assessments, provide information about genetic and environmental contributions to developmental associations, and enable stronger tests of causal hypotheses, than do comparisons involving unrelated children. Thus a sub-study of 800 pairs of same-sex twins was embedded within the overall Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) design. The ABCD Twin Hub comprises four leading centers for twin research in Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia, and Missouri. Each site is enrolling 200 twin pairs, as well as singletons. The twins are recruited from registries of all twin births in each State during 2006–2008. Singletons at each site are recruited following the same school-based procedures as the rest of the ABCD study. This paper describes the background and rationale for the ABCD twin study, the ascertainment of twin pairs and implementation strategy at each site, and the details of the proposed analytic strategies to quantify genetic and environmental influences and test hypotheses critical to the aims of the ABCD study.
Clark, D.B., Fisher, C.B., Bookheimer, S., Brown, S.A., Evans, J.H., Hopfer, C., Hudziak, J., Montoya, I., Murray, M., Pfefferbaum, A., Yurgelun-Todd, D. (in press). Biomedical ethics and clinical oversight in multisite observational neuroimaging studies with children and adolescents: The ABCD experience. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Available online 28 June 2017. In Press, Corrected Proof. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.06.005
Observational neuroimaging studies with children and adolescents may identify neurological anomalies and other clinically relevant findings. Planning for the management of this information involves ethical considerations that may influence informed consent, confidentiality, and communication with participants about assessment results. Biomedical ethics principles include respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Each project presents unique challenges. The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study (ABCD) collaborators have systematically developed recommendations with written guidelines for identifying and responding to potential risks that adhere to biomedical ethics principles. To illustrate, we will review the ABCD approach to three areas: (1) hazardous substance use; (2) neurological anomalies; and (3) imminent potential for self-harm or harm to others. Each ABCD site is responsible for implementing procedures consistent with these guidelines in accordance with their Institutional Review Board approved protocols, state regulations, and local resources. To assure that each site has related plans and resources in place, site emergency procedures manuals have been developed, documented and reviewed for adherence to ABCD guidelines. This article will describe the principles and process used to develop these ABCD bioethics and medical oversight guidelines, the concerns and options considered, and the resulting approaches advised to sites.