ABCD Study publications are authored by ABCD investigators, collaborators, and non-ABCD researchers.

The analysis methodologies, findings, and interpretations expressed in these publications are those of the authors and do not constitute an endorsement by the ABCD Study®.

2021
Baseline brain function in the preadolescents of the ABCD Study

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.

Polygenic Risk Scores for Alcohol Involvement Relate to Brain Structure in Substance-Naïve Children: Results from the ABCD Study

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.

Evaluation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications, Externalizing Symptoms, and Suicidality in Children

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

Importance
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.

Objective
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.

Exposures
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).

Results
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.

Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children’s Cognitive Performance: Complexities by Race, Ethnicity, and Cognitive Domain

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.

Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Cerebellum Cortex Fractional Anisotropy in Pre-Adolescents. Adolescents

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.

Responsible Use of Open-Access Developmental Data: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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.

Household Income and Children’s Depressive Symptoms: Immigrants’ Diminished Returns

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.

Prediction of suicidal ideation and attempt in 9 and 10 year-old children using transdiagnostic risk features

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.

 

Sex Differences in Psychopathology in a Large Cohort of Nine and Ten-Year-Olds

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.

Feasibility of Race by Sex Intersectionality Research on Suicidality in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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.

Associations between neighborhood disadvantage, resting-state functional connectivity, and behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) StudyⓇ

Rakesh D, Seguin C, Zalesky A, Cropley V, Whittle S (In Press, 2021). 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. Available online 23 March 2021, In Press, Journal Pre-proof, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.008

Objective
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 the present 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.

Methods
In this pre-registered 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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
Our findings shed light on potential mechanisms (i.e., alteration of neural circuitry) through which neighborhood disadvantage may affect youth cognition and mental wellbeing. This work highlights the importance of positive family and school environments in mitigating some of these effects.

Parental Educational Attainment, the Superior Temporal Cortical Surface Area, and Reading Ability among American Children: A Test of Marginalization-Related Diminished Returns

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.

Association between Hippocampal Volume and Working Memory in 10,000+ 9–10-Year-Old Children: Sex Differences

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.

Prevalence of Perceived Racism and Discrimination Among US Children Aged 10 and 11 Years: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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.

 

Associations of family income with cognition and brain structure in USA children: prevention implications

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.

Sleep Disturbance Predicts Depression Symptoms in Early Adolescence: Initial Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

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

Purpose
The aim of the study was to investigate associations between sleep disturbances and mental health in adolescents.

Methods
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.

Results
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).

Conclusions
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.

Amygdalar Activation as a Neurobiological Marker of Differential Sensitivity in the Effects of Family Rearing Experiences on Socioemotional Adjustment in Youths

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.

A Researcher’s Guide to the Measurement and Modeling of Puberty in the ABCD Study ® at Baseline

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.

Association of Local Variation in Neighborhood Disadvantage in Metropolitan Areas With Youth Neurocognition and Brain Structure

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.

Gene–environment correlations and causal effects of childhood maltreatment on physical and mental health: a genetically informed approach

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.

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Findings
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).

Interpretation
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.

Association of adverse prenatal exposure burden with child psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)

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.

Breastfeeding Duration Is Associated With Domain-Specific Improvements in Cognitive Performance in 9–10-Year-Old Children

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.

Extracurricular Activities, Screen Media Activity, and Sleep May Be Modifiable Factors Related to Children’s Cognitive Functioning: Evidence From the ABCD Study®

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.

Multimodal brain predictors of current weight and weight gain in children enrolled in the ABCD study®

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.

The association between latent trauma and brain structure in children

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.

 

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

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.

Ecological stress, amygdala reactivity, and internalizing symptoms in preadolescence: Is parenting a buffer?

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.

Conduct disorder symptomatology is associated with an altered functional connectome in a large national youth sample

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.

Associations between frontal lobe structure, parent-reported obstructive sleep disordered breathing and childhood behavior in the ABCD dataset

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.

Correction to: Multimethod investigation of the neurobiological basis of ADHD symptomatology in children aged 9-10: baseline data from the ABCD study

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.

Gastric symptoms and low perceived maternal warmth are associated with eating disorder symptoms in young adolescent girls

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 (𝛽 = 0.08; p < .01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that the interaction between gastric symptoms and maternal acceptance was significant for girls only (𝛽 = -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.

Distinct Regionalization Patterns of Cortical Morphology are Associated with Cognitive Performance Across Different Domains

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.

“I Don’t Understand”: Who Is Missed When We Ask Early Adolescents, “Are You Transgender”?

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

Shared Heritability of Human Face and Brain Shape

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.

The Elusive Phenotype of Preadolescent Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: Can Neuroimaging Deliver on Its Promise?

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).

Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Cerebellum Cortex Fractional Anisotropy in Pre-Adolescents

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.

Multimodal brain predictors of current weight and weight gain in children enrolled in the ABCD Study®

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.

Polygenic risk scores for major psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders contribute to sleep disturbance in childhood: Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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.

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

Rakesh D, Seguin C, Zalesky A, Cropley V, Whittle S (In Press, 2021). 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, Available online 23 March 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.008

Objective: 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 the present 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.

Methods: In this pre-registered 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: Our findings shed light on potential mechanisms (i.e., alteration of neural circuitry) through which neighborhood disadvantage may affect youth cognition and mental wellbeing. This work highlights the importance of positive family and school environments in mitigating some of these effects.

Rates of Incidental Findings in Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 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.

Parental Education and Left Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortical Activity during N-Back Task: An fMRI Study of American Adolescents

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.

Resting-State Functional Connectivity between Putamen and Salience Network and Childhood Body Mass Index

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

Design issues and solutions for stop-signal data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development [ABCD] study

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.

Multivariate Patterns of Brain-Behavior-Environment Associations in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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.

Contemporary screen time modalities among children 9-10 years old and binge-eating disorder at one-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study

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.

Nonsuicidal self-injury, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts among sexual minority children

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).

Does maternal psychopathology bias reports of offspring symptoms? A study using moderated non-linear factor analysis

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.

Children with ADHD Have a Greater Lifetime History of Concussion: Results from the ABCD Study

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.

Preliminary Analysis of Low-Level Alcohol Use and Suicidality with Children in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Baseline Cohort

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.

The Role of Family Conflict in Mediating Impulsivity to Early Substance Exposure among Preteens

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

Objectives
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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).

Conclusions
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.

Correspondence Between Perceived Pubertal Development and Hormone Levels in 9-10 Year-Olds From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

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.

The association between child alcohol sipping and alcohol expectancies in the ABCD study

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
Providing sips of alcohol to children is associated with them having more favorable expectations about drinking.

Quadratic relations of BMI with depression and brain volume in children: Analysis of data from the ABCD Study

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
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.

Are Teachers Biased against Black Children? A Study of Race, Amygdala Volume, and Problem Behaviors

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.

Caffeine exposure in utero is associated with structural brain alterations and deleterious neurocognitive outcomes in 9-10 year old children

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.

Association of gray matter volumes with general and specific dimensions of psychopathology in children

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.

Retaining Adolescent and Young Adult Participants in Research During a Pandemic: Best Practices From Two Large-Scale Developmental Neuroimaging Studies (NCANDA and ABCD)

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.

Multimethod investigation of the neurobiological basis of ADHD symptomatology in children aged 9-10: baseline data from the ABCD study

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.

Typologies of Family Functioning and 24-h Movement Behaviors

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.

 

Differentiated nomological networks of internalizing, externalizing, and the general factor of psychopathology (‘ p factor’) in emerging adolescence in the ABCD study

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.

Risk factors associated with curiosity about alcohol use in the ABCD cohort

Wade NE, Palmer CE, Gonzalez MR, Wallace AL, Infante MA, Tapert SF, Jacobus J, Bagot KS. (2021). Risk factors associated with curiosity about alcohol use in the ABCD cohort. Alcohol. 2021 Jan 9;S0741-8329(21)00002-1. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2021.01.002. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2021.01.002.

Curiosity and intent to use alcohol in pre-adolescence is a risk factor for later experimentation and use, yet we know little of how curiosity about use develops. Here, we examine factors that may influence curiosity around alcohol use, as it may be an important predictor of later drinking behavior. Cross-sectional data on youth ages 10-11 from the ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) Study Year 1 follow-up were used (n=2,334; NDA 2.0.1). All participants were substance-naïve at time of assessment. Group factor analysis identified latent factors across common indicators of risk for early substance use (i.e., psychopathology and trait characteristics; substance use attitudes/behaviors; neurocognition; family and environment). Logistic mixed-effect models tested associations between latent factors of risk for early substance use and curiosity about alcohol use, controlling for demographics and study site. Two multidimensional factors were significantly inversely and positively associated with greater curiosity about alcohol use, respectively: (1) low internalizing and externalizing symptomatology coupled with low impulsivity, perceived neighborhood safety, negative parental history of alcohol use problems, and fewer adverse life experiences and family conflict; and (2) low perceived risk of alcohol use coupled with lack of peer disapproval of use. When assessing all risk factors in an overall regression, lack of perceived harm from trying alcohol once or twice was associated with greater likelihood of alcohol curiosity. Taken together, perceptions that alcohol use causes little harm and having peers with similar beliefs is related to curiosity about alcohol use among substance-naïve 10-11 year-olds. General mental health and environmental risk factors similarly increase the odds of curiosity for alcohol. Identification of multidimensional risk factors for early alcohol use may point to novel prevention and early intervention targets. Future longitudinal investigations in the ABCD cohort will determine the extent to which these factors and curiosity predict alcohol use among youth.

Powering and Structuring Intersectionality: Beyond Main and Interactive Associations

Del Rio-Gonzalez, A, Holt SL, Bowleg L. (2021). Powering and Structuring Intersectionality: Beyond Main and Interactive Associations. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol. 2021 Jan 6. doi: 10.1007/s10802-020-00720-w. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-020-00720-w. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33404947/

It is exciting to watch intersectionality travel from its roots in Black feminist activism and critical legal studies to increasingly more mainstream research domains such as psychology and psychopathology. We commend Mennies et al. (Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 2020) for their application of the intersectionality framework to the study of psychopathology and treatment utilization in youth in the ABCD study. We argue, however, that this application falls short of its intersectional promise. We discuss some conceptual and methodological/analytical issues that evidence the focal article’s lack of alignment with intersectionality’s core tenets, particularly regarding the central role of power and social-structural factors as drivers of inequities across intersectional positions. Specifically, we discuss our concerns with the testing and flattening of intersectionality, the selection and operationalization of intersectional positions, and the use of conventional regression models as quantitative analytical approach. We end by suggesting ways that intersectionality can help reduce the inequities in psychopathology and treatment utilization identified by Mennies et al. (Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 2020).

Problems experienced by children from families with histories of substance misuse: An ABCD Study®

Lees B, Stapinski LA, Teesson M, Squeglia LM, Jacobus J, Mewton L. (2021). Problems experienced by children from families with histories of substance misuse: An ABCD Study®. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Volume 218, 1 January 2021, 108403 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108403

Background
There are significant knowledge gaps of the vulnerabilities faced by youth from families with histories of alcohol or substance misuse. This study aimed to provide a comprehensive assessment of problems experienced by substance-naive children with positive family histories of substance misuse (FHP).

Methods
Baseline data from up to 11,873 children (52.1% male), aged 9.0–10.9 years (M = 9.9 ± 0.6), enrolled in the US-based Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® were utilized. Mixed models tested cross-sectional associations between family history of substance misuse, assessed categorically and continuously, with neurobiological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological outcomes, when controlling for confounding factors, including family history of psychopathology, and correcting for multiple comparisons.

Results
One in four (26.3%) youth were categorized as FHP (defined as ≥ one parent or ≥ two grandparents with misuse history). Controlling for confounding, FHP youth exhibited thinner whole cortices and greater surface area in frontal and occipital regions than youth with no such history (ps<.001, |ds|≥0.04). FHP youth experienced greater psychopathology and sleep disturbance (ps<.001, |ds| ≥ 0.36) and were more likely to be diagnosed with multiple mental disorders (odds ratios≥1.22, ps<.001), with severity of effects dependent on family history density of substance misuse. Differences in cognition, impulsivity, and motivation were non-significant. Psychopathology, mental disorders, and sleep disturbance were negatively correlated with various neural indices (|rs| = 0.01-0.05, ps<.05).

Conclusions
At age 9-10 years, FHP youth can experience numerous problems, with psychopathology and mental disorders being some of the most significant. Therefore, prevention efforts should target psychopathology vulnerabilities in FHP children.

2020
Obesity and Eating Disorder Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth

Schvey NA, Pearlman AT, Klein DA, Murphy MA, Gray JC. (2020). Obesity and Eating Disorder Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. JAMA Pediatr. Research Letter, Published online December 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5152

Obesity and eating disorders in youth are prevalent,1,2 are associated with medical and psychosocial consequences, and may persist into adulthood. Therefore, identifying subgroups of youth vulnerable to 1 or both conditions is critical. One group that may be at risk for obesity3 and disordered eating4 is sexual and gender minorities (SGM; those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender or whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression do not conform to societal conventions).

Racial Disparities in Elementary School Disciplinary Actions: Findings From the ABCD Study

Fadus MC, Valadez EA, Bryant BE, Garcia AM, Neelon B, Tomko RL, Squeglia LM. (2020). Racial Disparities in Elementary School Disciplinary Actions: Findings From the ABCD Study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Dec 24;S0890-8567(20)32213-9. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2020.11.017.

Objective
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 vs. 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.

Method
Caregivers of 11,875 children between ages 9-10 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study completed a questionnaire assessing their child’s demographics, family information, emotions and behaviors, and past year school discipline history. Data was analyzed with logistic regression, implemented with a generalized estimating equations model.

Results
5.4% of all 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.

Conclusion
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.

Altered hippocampal microstructure and function in children who experienced Hurricane Irma

Conley MI, Skalaban LJ, Rapuano KM, Gonzalez R, Laird AR, Dick AS, Sutherland MT, Watts R and Casey BJ (2020). Altered hippocampal microstructure and function in children who experienced Hurricane Irma. Developmental Psychobiology 16 December 2020, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.22071

Hurricane Irma was the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, displacing 6 million and killing over 120 people in the state of Florida alone. Unpredictable disasters like Irma are associated with poor cognitive and health outcomes that can disproportionately impact children. This study examined the effects of Hurricane Irma on the hippocampus and memory processes previously related to unpredictable stress. We used an innovative application of an advanced diffusion‐weighted imaging technique, restriction spectrum imaging (RSI), to characterize hippocampal microstructure (i.e., cell density) in 9‐ to 10‐year‐old children who were exposed to Hurricane Irma relative to a non‐exposed control group (i.e., assessed the year before Hurricane Irma). We tested the hypotheses that the experience of Hurricane Irma would be associated with decreases in: (a) hippocampal cellularity (e.g., neurogenesis), based on known associations between unpredictable stress and hippocampal alterations; and (b) hippocampal‐related memory function as indexed by delayed recall. We show an association between decreased hippocampal cellularity and delayed recall memory in children who experienced Hurricane Irma relative to those who did not. These findings suggest an important role of RSI for assessing subtle microstructural changes related to functionally significant changes in the developing brain in response to environmental events.

Parental Education, Household Income, and Cortical Surface Area among 9-10 Years Old Children: Minorities’ Diminished Returns

Assari S. (2020). Parental Education, Household Income, and Cortical Surface Area among 9-10 Years Old Children: Minorities’ Diminished Returns. Brain Sci. 2020 Dec 9;10(12):E956. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10120956.

Introduction: Although the effects of parental education and household income on children’s brain development are well established, less is known about possible variation in these effects across diverse racial and ethnic groups. According to the Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) phenomenon, due to structural racism, social stratification, and residential segregation, parental educational attainment and household income show weaker effects for non-White than White children. Purpose: Built on the MDRs framework and conceptualizing race as a social rather than a biological factor, this study explored racial and ethnic variation in the magnitude of the effects of parental education and household income on children’s whole-brain cortical surface area. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, we used baseline socioeconomic and structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Our analytical sample was 10,262 American children between ages 9 and 10. The independent variables were parental education and household income. The primary outcome was the children’s whole-brain cortical surface area. Age, sex, and family marital status were covariates. Race and ethnicity were the moderators. We used mixed-effects regression models for data analysis as participants were nested within families and study sites. Results: High parental education and household income were associated with larger children’s whole-brain cortical surface area. The effects of high parental education and high household income on children’s whole-brain cortical surface area were modified by race. Compared to White children, Black children showed a diminished return of high parental education on the whole-brain cortical surface area when compared to White children. Asian American children showed weaker effects of household income on the whole-brain cortical surface area when compared to White children. We could not find differential associations between parental education and household income with the whole-brain cortical surface area, when compared to White children, for non-Hispanic and Hispanic children. Conclusions: The effects of parental educational attainment and household income on children’s whole-brain cortical surface area are weaker in non-White than White families. Although parental education and income contribute to children’s brain development, these effects are unequal across racial groups.

Parental Education, Household Income, Race, and Children’s Working Memory: Complexity of the Effects

Akhlaghipour G, Assari S. (2020). Parental Education, Household Income, Race, and Children’s Working Memory: Complexity of the Effects. Brain Sci. 2020 Dec 7;10(12):E950. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10120950.

Background. Considerable research has linked social determinants of health (SDoHs) such as race, parental education, and household income to school performance, and these effects may be in part due to working memory. However, a growing literature shows that these effects may be complex: while the effects of parental education may be diminished for Blacks than Whites, household income may explain such effects.

Purpose. Considering race as sociological rather than a biological construct (race as a proxy of racism) and built on Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs), this study explored complexities of the effects of SDoHs on children’s working memory.

Methods. We borrowed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The total sample was 10,418, 9- and 10-year-old children. The independent variables were race, parental education, and household income. The primary outcome was working memory measured by the NIH Toolbox Card Sorting Test. Age, sex, ethnicity, and parental marital status were the covariates. To analyze the data, we used mixed-effect regression models.

Results. High parental education and household income were associated with higher and Black race was associated with lower working memory. The association between high parental education but not household income was less pronounced for Black than White children. This differential effect of parental education on working memory was explained by household income.

Conclusions. For American children, parental education generates unequal working memory, depending on race. This means parental education loses some of its expected effects for Black families. It also suggests that while White children with highly educated parents have the highest working memory, Black children report lower working memory, regardless of their parental education. This inequality is mainly because of differential income in highly educated White and Black families. This finding has significant public policy and economic implications and suggests we need to do far more than equalizing education to eliminate racial inequalities in children’s cognitive outcomes. While there is a need for multilevel policies that reduce the effect of racism and social stratification for middle-class Black families, equalizing income may have more returns than equalizing education.

Screen Media Use and Sleep Disturbance Symptom Severity in Children

Hisler GC, Hasler BP, Franzen PL, Clark DB, Twenge JM. (2020). Screen media use and sleep disturbance symptom severity in children. Sleep Health. Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2020, Pages 731-742, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2020.07.002.

Objectives
Few studies have sought to evaluate how screen media use relates to symptoms of sleep-wake disturbances. To extend these prior studies in a large sample of children, this study examined associations of different types of screen media with symptom severity of different classes of sleep-wake disturbances. This study was preregistered here.

Design
This study utilized the baseline cross-sectional survey administered within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD; Release 2.0).

Participants
ABCD recruited over 11,000 U.S. children age 9–10 across 21 study sites using an epidemiologically-informed school-based recruitment strategy.

Measurements
Children reported typical weekend and weekday use of TV, video, video game, social media, texting, and video chat, and parents completed reports of the child’s symptom severity of sleep-wake disturbances via the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children.

Results
Greater screen media use, TV, video, and video game use, was associated with decreased sleep duration, increased sleep onset latency as well as greater excessive sleepiness, insomnia, and overall sleep disturbance symptom severity. Use of these screen medias were also associated with clinically relevant sleep problems. Ethnoracial differences emerged in screen use and sleep, but did not moderate the association between screen use and sleep.

Conclusions
Greater use of screen medias was not just associated with longer sleep onset latency and shorter sleep duration, but also increased severity of multiple types of sleep-wake disturbances. Future research should use longitudinal designs to determine the direction of these associations in adolescent populations.

Family’s Subjective Economic Status and Children’s Matrix Reasoning: Blacks’ Diminished Returns

Assari S, Boyce S. (2020). Family’s Subjective Economic Status and Children’s Matrix Reasoning: Blacks’ Diminished Returns. Res Health Sci. 2021 Nov 29;6(1):1-23. doi: 10.22158/rhs.v6n1p1. Epub 2020 Nov 29.

Background: Due to a pattern known as Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs), historically oppressed non-Hispanic Black Americans show weaker effects of economic status on health and development, when compared to socially privileged non-Hispanic White Americans. Such MDRs are also documented for the effects of economic status on the school performance of non-Hispanic Black children. However, the existing knowledge is minimal on similar diminished returns on children’s intelligence.

Aim: To compare racial and ethnic groups for the effect of subjective economic status on children’s cognitive performance, we compared non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black children for the effects of subjective economic status on children’s matrix reasoning.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 7898 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The predictor variable was subjective economic status, which was treated as a continuous measure. The primary outcome was children’s matrix reasoning, a domain of cognitive performance, measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-IV (WISC-V) matrix reasoning total score.

Results: Overall, high subjective economic status was associated with higher matrix reasoning score. Race showed a statistically significant interaction with subjective economic status on children’s matrix reasoning score. This interaction suggested that high subjective economic status has a smaller boosting effect on increasing matrix reasoning score for non-Hispanic Black children relative to non-Hispanic White children.

Conclusion: The degree by which subjective economic status correlates with matrix reasoning score, an important domain of cognitive performance, depends on race and racialization. Non-Hispanic Black children may show weaker gains in matrix reasoning from their subjective economic status than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. To minimize the racial gap in cognitive performance, we need to address diminished returns that occur as a result of the racialization of racial and ethnic minority children. Not only should we equalize economic status, but also increase the marginal returns of economic status for racial minorities, particularly non-Hispanic Black families. Such efforts require public policies that go beyond access and also consider how we can empower non-Hispanic Black communities and families so they can more effectively leverage and utilize their economic resources to secure measurable and tangible outcomes. Structural and societal barriers such as residential and school segregation may hinder non-Hispanic Black children from receiving the full effects of their family-level economic status on a variety of outcomes, including their cognitive performance.

Direct and Indirect Associations of Widespread Individual Differences in Brain White Matter Microstructure with Executive Functioning and General and Specific Dimensions of Psychopathology in Children

Cardenas-Iniguez C, Moore TM, Kaczkurkin AN, Meyer FAC, Satterthwaite TD, Fair DA, White T, Blok E, Applegate B, Thompson LM, Rosenberg MD, Hedeker D, Berman MG, Lahey BB. (2020). Direct and Indirect Associations of Widespread Individual Differences in Brain White Matter Microstructure with Executive Functioning and General and Specific Dimensions of Psychopathology in Children. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Available online 25 November 2020 (In Press).

Background
Executive functions (EF) are important partly because they are associated with risk for psychopathology and substance use problems. Because EF has been linked to white matter microstructure, we tested the prediction that fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in white matter tracts are associated with EF and dimensions of psychopathology in children younger than the age of widespread psychoactive substance use.

Method
Parent symptom ratings, EF test scores, and diffusion tensor parameters from 8,588 9-10 year olds in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®) were used.

Results
A latent factor derived from EF test scores was significantly associated with specific conduct problems and attention-deficit hyperactivity problems (ADHD) dimensions defined in a bifactor model. Furthermore, EF was associated with FA and MD in 16 of 17 bilateral white matter tracts (range: β = 0.05; SE = 0.17; – β = -0.31; SE = 0.06). Neither FA nor MD was directly associated with psychopathology, but there were significant indirect associations via EF of both FA (range: β = 0.01; SE = 0.01; through β = -0.09; SE = 0.02) and MD (range: β = 0.01; SE = 0.01; through β = 0.09; SE = 0.02) with both specific conduct problems and ADHD in all tracts except the forceps minor.

Conclusions
EF in children is inversely associated with diffusion tensor imaging measures in nearly all tracts throughout the brain. Furthermore, variance in diffusion tensor measures that is shared with EF is indirectly shared with ADHD and conduct problems.

Is it Time to Switch Your T1W Sequence? Assessing the Impact of Prospective Motion Correction on the Reliability and Quality of Structural Imaging

Lei A, Craddock RC, Tottenham N, Dyke JP, Lim R, Colcombe S, Milham M, Franco AR (2020). Is it Time to Switch Your T1W Sequence? Assessing the Impact of Prospective Motion Correction on the Reliability and Quality of Structural Imaging. Neuroimage. 2020 Nov 25;117585. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117585. Online ahead of print.

New large neuroimaging studies, such as the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD) and Human Connectome Project (HCP) Development studies are adopting a new T1-weighted imaging sequence with prospective motion correction (PMC) in favor of the more traditional 3-Dimensional Magnetization-Prepared Rapid Gradient-Echo Imaging (MPRAGE) sequence. Here, we used a developmental dataset (ages 5-21, N=348) from the Healthy Brain Network (HBN) Initiative to directly compare two widely used MRI structural sequences: one based on the Human Connectome Project (MPRAGE) and another based on the ABCD study (MPRAGE+PMC). We aimed to determine if the morphometric measurements obtained from both protocols are equivalent or if one sequence has a clear advantage over the other. The sequences were also compared through quality control measurements. Inter- and intra-sequence reliability were assessed with another set of participants (N=71) from HBN that performed two MPRAGE and two MPRAGE+PMC sequences within the same imaging session, with one MPRAGE (MPRAGE1) and MPRAGE+PMC (MPRAGE+PMC1) pair at the beginning of the session and another pair (MPRAGE2 and MPRAGE+PMC2) at the end of the session. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) scores for morphometric measurements such as volume and cortical thickness showed that intra-sequence reliability is the highest with the two MPRAGE+PMC sequences and lowest with the two MPRAGE sequences. Regarding inter-sequence reliability, ICC scores were higher for the MPRAGE1 – MPRAGE+PMC1 pair at the beginning of the session than the MPRAGE1 – MPRAGE2 pair, possibly due to the higher motion artifacts in the MPRAGE2 run. Results also indicated that the MPRAGE+PMC sequence is robust, but not impervious, to high head motion. For quality control metrics, the traditional MPRAGE yielded better results than MPRAGE+PMC in 5 of the 8 measurements. In conclusion, morphometric measurements evaluated here showed high inter-sequence reliability between the MPRAGE and MPRAGE+PMC sequences, especially in images with low head motion. We suggest that studies targeting hyperkinetic populations use the MPRAGE+PMC sequence, given its robustness to head motion and higher reliability scores. However, neuroimaging researchers studying non-hyperkinetic participants can choose either MPRAGE or MPRAGE+PMC sequences, but should carefully consider the apparent tradeoff between relatively increased reliability, but reduced quality control metrics when using the MPRAGE+PMC sequence.

Screen media activity does not displace other recreational activities among 9-10 year-old youth: a cross-sectional ABCD study®

Lees B, Squeglia LM, Breslin FJ, Thompson WK, Tapert SF (2020). Screen media activity does not displace other recreational activities among 9-10 year-old youth: a cross-sectional ABCD study®. BMC Public Health. 2020 Nov 25;20(1):1783. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09894-w.

Background: Screen media is among the most common recreational activities engaged in by children. The displacement hypothesis predicts that increased time spent on screen media activity (SMA) may be at the expense of engagement with other recreational activities, such as sport, music, and art. This study examined associations between non-educational SMA and recreational activity endorsement in 9-10-year-olds, when accounting for other individual (i.e., cognition, psychopathology), interpersonal (i.e., social environment), and sociodemographic characteristics.

Methods: Participants were 9254 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®. Latent factors reflecting SMA, cognition, psychopathology, and social environment were entered as independent variables into logistic mixed models. Sociodemographic covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, and household income. Outcome variables included any recreational activity endorsement (of 19 assessed), and specific sport (swimming, soccer, baseball) and hobby (music, art) endorsements.

Results: In unadjusted groupwise comparisons, youth who spent more time engaging with SMA were less likely to engage with other recreational activities (ps < .001). However, when variance in cognition, psychopathology, social environment, and sociodemographic covariates were accounted for, most forms of SMA were no longer significantly associated with recreational activity engagement (p > .05). Some marginal effects were observed: for every one SD increase in time spent on games and movies over more social forms of media, youth were at lower odds of engaging in recreational activities (adjusted odds ratio = 0·83, 95% CI 0·76-0·89). Likewise, greater general SMA was associated with lower odds of endorsing group-based sports, including soccer (0·93, 0·88-0·98) and baseball (0·92, 0·86-0·98). Model fit comparisons indicated that sociodemographic characteristics, particularly socio-economic status, explained more variance in rates of recreational activity engagement than SMA and other latent factors. Notably, youth from higher socio-economic families were up to 5·63 (3·83-8·29) times more likely to engage in recreational activities than youth from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Conclusions: Results did not suggest that SMA largely displaces engagement in other recreational activities among 9-10-year-olds. Instead, socio-economic factors greatly contribute to rates of engagement. These findings are important considering recent shifts in time spent on SMA in childhood.

Dimensional Change Card Sorting of American Children: Marginalization-Related Diminished Returns of Age

Assari S. (2020). Dimensional Change Card Sorting of American Children: Marginalization-Related Diminished Returns of Age. Child Teenagers. 2020;3(2):72-92. doi: 10.22158/ct.v3n2p72. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Background: While age is associated with an increase in cognitive flexibility and executive functioning as a result of normal development during childhood, less is known about the effect of racial variation in children’s age-related cognitive development. The Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs) phenomenon suggests that, under racism, social stratification, segregation, and discrimination, individual-level economic and non-economic resources and assets show weaker effects on children’s development for marginalized, racialized, and minoritized families.

Aim: We conducted this study to compare racial groups of children for age-related changes in their card sorting abilities.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10,414 9-10-year-old American children. Data came from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was age, a continuous variable measured in months. The dependent variable was dimensional change card sort (DCCS) score, which reflected cognitive flexibility, and was measured by the NIH Dimensional Change Card Sort. Ethnicity, sex, parental education, and marital status were the covariates.

Results: Older age was associated with higher DCCS score, reflecting a higher card-sorting ability and cognitive flexibility. However, age showed a weaker association with DCCS for Black than for White children. This was documented by a significantly negative interaction between race and age on children’s DCCS scores.

Conclusion: Age shows a weaker correlation with the cognitive flexibility of Black than of White children. A similar pattern can be seen when comparing low-income with high-income children. Conceptualizing race as a social factor that alters normal childhood development is a finding that is in line with MDRs. Marginalization due to social stratification and racism interfere with the normal age-related cognitive development of American children.

Racial Variation in the Association between Childhood Depression and Frontal Pole Volume among American Children

Assari S. (2020). Racial Variation in the Association between Childhood Depression and Frontal Pole Volume among American Children. Res Health Sci. 2020;5(2):121-140. doi: 10.22158/rhs.v5n2p121. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Background: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with an altered structure and function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). There is more to find out about how this association differs among diverse racial groups.

Aim: This study was performed to investigate racial differences in the association between MDD and frontal pole volume in 9/10-year-old children in the U.S.

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Then an analytical sample included 10185 American children between the ages of 9 and 10. The independent variable was current MDD, measured using K-SADS. The primary outcome was frontal pole volume, measured using the structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI). Race was the moderator. Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis.

Results: In the overall sample, MDD was associated with a smaller frontal pole volume among children. Race showed a statistically significant interaction with MDD on children’s frontal pole volume, indicating stronger effects on White children compared to Black children.

Conclusion: The inverse association between MDD and frontal pole volume is steeper in Black than White American children. White American children with and without MDD show more similar frontal pole volume, while Black children with and without MDD differ more when it comes to the frontal pole volume. It is unknown whether or not the stronger association between frontal pole volume and MDD in Black children is due to a poor access to treatment or to a higher chronicity of MDD in Black communities.

American Children’s Screen Time: Diminished Returns of Household Income in Black Families

Assari S (2020). American Children’s Screen Time: Diminished Returns of Household Income in Black Families. Information 2020, 11(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11110538

While increased household income is associated with overall decreased screen time for children, less is known about the effect of racial variation on this association. According to Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) theory, family income and other economic resources show weaker association with children’s developmental, behavioral, and health outcomes for racialized groups such as black families, due to the effect of racism and social stratification. In this study, we investigated the association, by race, between family income and children’s screen time, as a proxy of screen time. This longitudinal study followed 15,022 American children aged 9–11 over a 1-year period. The data came from the baseline of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was family income, and it was categorized as a three-level nominal variable. The dependent variable, screen time, was a continuous variable. Ethnicity, gender, parental education, and marital status were the covariates. The results showed that family income was inversely associated with children’s screen time. However, there was a weaker inverse association seen in black families when compared with white families. This was documented by a significant statistical interaction between race and family income on children’s screen time. Diminished association between family income and children’s screen time for black families, compared with white families, is similar to MDRs and reflects a health risk to high-income black children. In a society where race and skin color determine opportunities and treatment by society, children from middle class black families remain at risk across multiple domains. We should not assume that income similarly promotes the health of all racial and ethnic groups. Addressing health and behavioral inequalities requires interventions that go beyond equalizing socioeconomic resources for black families. Marginalization, racism, and poverty interfere with the normal family income-related development of American children.

Mental Rotation in American Children: Diminished Returns of Parental Education in Black Families

Assari S (2020). Mental Rotation in American Children: Diminished Returns of Parental Education in Black Families. Pediatr Rep. 2020 Nov 20;12(3):130-141. doi: 10.3390/pediatric12030028.

Background: While parental education and family socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with an increase in children’s cognitive functioning, and less is known about racial variation in these effects. Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) suggest that, under racism and social stratification, family SES and particularly parental education show weaker effects on children’s tangible outcomes for marginalized, racialized, and minoritized families, particularly Blacks, compared to Whites. Aim: We conducted this study to compare the effect of parental education on children’s mental rotation abilities, as an important aspect of cognitive function, by race. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 11,135 9-10-year-old American children. Data came from baseline of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parental education. The dependent variable, mental rotation, was measured by the Little Man Task. Ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, and household income were the covariates. Results: Parental education was positively associated with mental rotation. However, parental education showed a weaker association with mental rotation in Black than in White families. This was documented by a significant interaction between race and parental education on children’s efficiency score. Conclusion: Parental education shows a weaker correlation with mental rotation of Black rather than White children, which is probably because of racism, social stratification, and discrimination. This finding is in line with the MDRs phenomenon and suggests that marginalization and racism may interfere with the influences of parental assets and resources and Black American children’s development.

Parental Human Capital and Adolescents’ Executive Function: Immigrants’ Diminished Returns

Assari S, Akhlaghipour G, Boyce S, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH (2020). Parental Human Capital and Adolescents’ Executive Function: Immigrants’ Diminished Returns. Med Res Arch. 2020 Oct;8(10). doi: 10.18103/mra.v8i10.2235. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Racial minorities, particularly non-Hispanic Blacks in the US, experience weaker effects of family socioeconomic position (SEP) on tangible outcomes, a pattern called Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs). These MDRs are frequently shown for the effects of family SEP on immigrant adolescents’ school performance. As a result of these MDRs, immigrant adolescents from high SEP families show worse than expected cognitive outcomes, including but not limited to poor school performance. However, the existing knowledge is minimal about the role of executive function in explaining diminished returns of family SEP on adolescents’ outcomes. To investigate racial differences in the effects of parental human capital on adolescents’ executive function, we compared non-Hispanic White non-immigrant and immigrant adolescents for the effect of parental human capital on adolescents’ executive function. This was a cross-sectional analysis that included 2,723 non-twin non-Hispanic White adolescents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parental human capital (parental educational attainment), treated as a continuous measure with a higher score reflecting higher subjective socioeconomic status. The primary outcome was adolescents’ executive function measured by the stop-signal task (SST). Age, sex, parental marital status, parental employment, family income, and financial difficulties. Immigration status was the effect modifier. Overall, high parental human capital was associated with higher task-based executive function. Immigration status showed statistically significant interactions with parental human capital on adolescents’ executive function outcomes. This interaction term suggested that high parental human capital has a smaller effect on increasing immigrants’ executive function compared to non-immigrant adolescents. The boosting effect of parental human capital on executive function is diminished for immigrants compared to non-immigrant adolescents. To minimize the inequalities in executive function-related outcomes such as school performance, we need to address the diminishing returns of existing resources for immigrants. Not only should we equalize groups based on their SEP but also equalize the marginal returns of their existing SEP. Such efforts require public policies that aim for equal processes. As such, social policies should address structural and societal barriers such as xenophobia, segregation, racism, and discrimination that hinder immigrant families’ ability to effectively utilize their resources. In a fair society, immigrant and non-immigrant families should be equally able to leverage their SEP resources and turn them into tangible outcomes.

Age-Related Decline in Children’s Reward Sensitivity: Blacks’ Diminished Returns

Assari S. (2020). Age-Related Decline in Children’s Reward Sensitivity: Blacks’ Diminished Returns. Res Health Sci. 2020;5(3):112-128. doi: 10.22158/rhs.v5n3p112. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Background: It is important to study the correlates of reward sensitivity since it predicts high-risk behaviors. While ageing reduces children’s reward sensitivity and its associated risk taking, there is more to find out about racial differences in regard to the effect of age on reward sensitivity. Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) suggest that resources and assets show weaker effects on Black children than White children.

Aim: We compared White children to Black children as for the effects of age on reward sensitivity.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10533 American children who participated in the baseline of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was age, while the dependent variable was reward sensitivity as captured by the behavioral approach/behavioral avoidance system (BAS-BIS). Gender, parental education, marital status, parental education, and household income were the covariates.

Results: Higher age was associated with less reward sensitivity. A significant interaction was found between race and age when it comes to children’s reward sensitivity. It suggested that age is associated with a smaller gain in terms of reduced reward sensitivity in Black children than White children.

Conclusion: Age is more likely to reduce reward sensitivity in White children than Black children. This finding is in line with MDRs, and may be due to social racism, segregation, stratification, and discrimination.

Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms among Children in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Clinical, Cognitive, and Brain Connectivity Correlates

Pagliaccio D, Durham K, Fitzgerald KD, Marsh R. (2020). Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms Among Children in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Clinical, Cognitive, and Brain Connectivity Correlates. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2020 Nov 6;S2451-9022(20)30323-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.10.019. Online ahead of print.

Background
Childhood obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) are common and can be an early risk marker for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study provides a unique opportunity to characterize OCS in a large, normative sample of school-age children and to explore cortico-striatal and task-control circuits implicated in pediatric OCD.

Method
The ABCD Study acquired data from 9-10-year-olds (N=11,876). Linear mixed-effects models probed associations between OCS (Child Behavior Checklist) and cognition (NIH Toolbox), brain structure (subcortical volume, cortical thickness), white matter (diffusion tensor imaging), and resting-state functional connectivity.

Results
OCS scores showed good psychometric properties, high prevalence, and related to familial/parental factors, including family conflict. Higher OCS related to better cognitive performance (b=0.06, t(9966.60)=6.28, p<.001, η2p=0.01), particularly verbal, when controlling for ADHD, which related to worse performance. OCS did not significantly relate to brain structure but did relate to lower superior cortico-striate tract fractional anisotropy (b=-0.03, t=-3.07, p=.002, η2p=0.02). Higher OCS related to altered functional connectivity, including weaker within dorsal attention network connectivity (b=-0.04, t(7262.87)=-3.71, p<.001, η2p=0.002) and weaker dorsal attention-default mode anti-correlation (b=0.04, t(7251.95)=3.94, p<.001, η2p=0.002). Dorsal attention-default mode connectivity predicted OCS at 1-year (b=-0.04, t(2407.61)=-2.23, p=.03, η2p=0.03).

Conclusions
OCS are common and may persist throughout childhood. Cortico-striatal and attention network connectivity are likely mechanisms in the subclinical-to-clinical spectrum of OCS. Understanding correlates and mechanisms of OCS may elucidate their role in childhood psychiatric risk and suggest potential utility of neuroimaging, e.g. dorsal attention-default mode connectivity, for identifying children at increased risk for OCD.

Not Race or Age but Their Interaction Predicts Pre-Adolescents’ Inhibitory Control

Assari S, Akhlaghipour G. (2020). Not Race or Age but Their Interaction Predicts Pre-Adolescents’ Inhibitory Control. Child Teenagers. 2020;3(2):50-71. doi: 10.22158/ct.v3n2p50. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Background: African American pre-adolescents are at a higher risk of risky behaviors such as aggression, drug use, alcohol use, and subsequent poor outcomes compared to Caucasian pre-adolescents. All these high-risk behaviors are connected to low levels of inhibitory control (IC).

Aim: We used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) data to compare Caucasian and African American pre-adolescents for the effect of age on pre-adolescents IC, a driver of high-risk behaviors.

Methods: This cross-sectional analysis included 4,626 pre-adolescents between ages 9 and 10 from the ABCD study. Regression was used to analyze the data. The predictor variable was age measured in months. The main outcome was IC measured by a stop-signal task (SST). Race was the effect modifier.

Results: Overall, age was associated with IC. Race also showed a statistically significant interaction with age on pre-adolescents’ IC, indicating weaker effects of age on IC for African American than Caucasian pre-adolescents.

Conclusion: Age-related changes in IC are more pronounced for Caucasian than African American pre-adolescents. To eliminate the racial gap in brain development between African American and Caucasian pre-adolescents, we should address structural and societal barriers that alter age-related development for racial minority pre-adolescents. Social and public policies, rather than health policies, are needed to address structural and societal barriers that hinder African American adolescents’ brain development. Interventions should add resources to the urban areas that many African American families live in so their children can have better age-related brain development. Such changes would be essential given IC in pre-adolescents is a predictor of a wide range of behaviors.

Assessment of Neighborhood Poverty, Cognitive Function, and Prefrontal and Hippocampal Volumes in Children

Taylor RL, Cooper SR, Jackson JJ, Barch DM (2020). Assessment of Neighborhood Poverty, Cognitive Function, and Prefrontal and Hippocampal Volumes in Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Nov 2;3(11):e2023774. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23774.

Importance: The association between poverty and unfavorable cognitive outcomes is robust, but most research has focused on individual household socioeconomic status (SES). There is increasing evidence that neighborhood context explains unique variance not accounted for by household SES.

Objective: To evaluate whether neighborhood poverty (NP) is associated with cognitive function and prefrontal and hippocampal brain structure in ways that are dissociable from household SES.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study used a baseline sample of the ongoing longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. The ABCD Study will follow participants for assessments each year for 10 years. Data were collected at 21 US sites, mostly within urban and suburban areas, between September 2019 and October 2018. School-based recruitment was used to create a participant sample reflecting the US population. Data analysis was conducted from March to June 2019.

Main outcomes and measures: NP and household SES were included as factors potentially associated with National Institutes of Health Toolbox Cognitive Battery subtests and hippocampal and prefrontal (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC], dorsomedial PFC [DMPFC], superior frontal gyrus [SFG]) volumes. Independent variables were first considered individually and then together in mixed-effects models with age, sex, and intracranial volume as covariates. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to assess shared variance in NP to brain structure and cognitive task associations. The tested hypotheses were formulated after data collection.

Results: A total of 11 875 children aged 9 and 10 years (5678 [47.8%] girls) were analyzed. Greater NP was associated with lower scores across all cognitive domains (eg, total composite: β = -0.18; 95% CI, -0.21 to -0.15; P < .001) and with decreased brain volume in the DLPFC (eg, right DLPFC: β = -0.09; 95% CI, -0.12 to -0.07; P < .001), DMPFC (eg, right DMPC: β = -0.07; 95% CI, -0.09 to -0.05; P < .001), SFG (eg, right SFG: β = -0.05; 95% CI, -0.08 to -0.03; P < .001), and right hippocampus (β = -0.04; 95% CI, -0.06 to -0.01; P = .01), even when accounting for household income. Greater household income was associated with higher scores across all cognitive domains (eg, total composite: β = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.33; P < .001) and larger volume in all prefrontal and hippocampal brain regions (eg, right hippocampus: β = 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.07; P < .001) even when accounting for NP. The SEM model was a good fit across all cognitive domains, with prefrontal regions being associated with NP relations to language (picture vocabulary: estimate [SE], -0.03 [0.01]; P < .001; oral reading: estimate [SE], -0.02 [0.01]; P < .001), episodic memory (picture sequence: estimate [SE], -0.02 [0.01]; P = .008), and working memory (dimensional card sort: estimate [SE], -0.02 [0.01]; P = .001; flanker inhibitory control: estimate [SE], -0.01 [0.01]; P = .01; list sorting: estimate [SE], -0.03 [0.01]; P < .001) and hippocampal regions being associated with NP associations with language (picture vocabulary: estimate [SE], -0.01 [0.004]; P < .001) and episodic memory (picture sequence: estimate [SE], -0.01 [0.004]; P < 0.001).

Conclusions and relevance: In this study, NP accounted for unique variance in cognitive function and prefrontal and right hippocampal brain volume. These findings demonstrate the importance of including broader environmental influences when conceptualizing early life adversity.

Behavioral and brain signatures of substance use vulnerability in childhood

Rapuano KM, Rosenberg MD, Maza MT, Dennis NJ, Dorji M, Greene AS, Horien C, Scheinost D, Constable RT, Casey BJ (2020). Behavioral and brain signatures of substance use vulnerability in childhood. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2020 Nov 3;46:100878. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100878. Online ahead of print.

The prevalence of risky behavior such as substance use increases during adolescence; however, the neurobiological precursors to adolescent substance use remain unclear. Predictive modeling may complement previous work observing associations with known risk factors or substance use outcomes by developing generalizable models that predict early susceptibility. The aims of the current study were to identify and characterize behavioral and brain models of vulnerability to future substance use. Principal components analysis (PCA) of behavioral risk factors were used together with connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) during rest and task-based functional imaging to generate predictive models in a large cohort of nine- and ten-year-olds enrolled in the Adolescent Brain & Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (NDA release 2.0.1). Dimensionality reduction (n = 9,437) of behavioral measures associated with substance use identified two latent dimensions that explained the largest amount of variance: risk-seeking (PC1; e.g., curiosity to try substances) and familial factors (PC2; e.g., family history of substance use disorder). Using cross-validated regularized regression in a subset of data (Year 1 Fast Track data; n>1,500), functional connectivity during rest and task conditions (resting-state; monetary incentive delay task; stop signal task; emotional n-back task) significantly predicted individual differences in risk-seeking (PC1) in held-out participants (partial correlations between predicted and observed scores controlling for motion and number of frames [rp]: 0.07-0.21). By contrast, functional connectivity was a weak predictor of familial risk factors associated with substance use (PC2) (rp: 0.03-0.06). These results demonstrate a novel approach to understanding substance use vulnerability, which-together with mechanistic perspectives-may inform strategies aimed at early identification of risk for addiction.

Neighborhood Poverty and Brain Development: Adaptation or Maturation, Fixed or Reversible?

Amso D (2020). Neighborhood Poverty and Brain Development: Adaptation or Maturation, Fixed or Reversible? JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(11):e2024139. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.24139

Considering Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in a Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Framework

McCormack C and Monk C (2020). Considering Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in a Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Framework. The American Journal of Psychiatry, Published Online:1 Nov 2020. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20091376

Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans are impossible to study via controlled experiments; we are limited to observational studies. Although alcohol is considered a teratogen, there is a lack of clarity about the nature of the association between prenatal alcohol exposure, particularly low-level exposure, and offspring development in part because of the potential for unmeasured factors to play a role. In this issue of the Journal, an article by Lees and colleagues (1) leverages data from a large, representative sample, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, to examine prenatal alcohol exposure in relation to adolescents’ neurodevelopmental outcomes based on behavioral assessments, maternal report of psychopathology, and imaging data, with multiple statistical methods to control for other variables. However, review of this article in the context of other studies in the broader field studying the developmental origins of health and disease demonstrates that different research approaches addressing development beginning before birth can lead to divergent conclusions and highlights the importance of considering prenatal exposures in concert with other environmental factors.

Substance Use Disorders and Addiction: Mechanisms, Trends, and Treatment Implications

Kalin NH (2020). Substance Use Disorders and Addiction: Mechanisms, Trends, and Treatment Implications. The American Journal of Psychiatry. Published online: 1 Nov 2020, https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20091382.

The numbers for substance use disorders are large, and we need to pay attention to them. Data from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (1) suggest that, over the preceding year, 20.3 million people age 12 or older had substance use disorders, and 14.8 million of these cases were attributed to alcohol. When considering other substances, the report estimated that 4.4 million individuals had a marijuana use disorder and that 2 million people suffered from an opiate use disorder. It is well known that stress is associated with an increase in the use of alcohol and other substances, and this is particularly relevant today in relation to the chronic uncertainty and distress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic along with the traumatic effects of racism and social injustice. In part related to stress, substance use disorders are highly comorbid with other psychiatric illnesses: 9.2 million adults were estimated to have a 1-year prevalence of both a mental illness and at least one substance use disorder. Although they may not necessarily meet criteria for a substance use disorder, it is well known that psychiatric patients have increased usage of alcohol, cigarettes, and other illicit substances. As an example, the survey estimated that over the preceding month, 37.2% of individuals with serious mental illnesses were cigarette smokers, compared with 16.3% of individuals without mental illnesses. Substance use frequently accompanies suicide and suicide attempts, and substance use disorders are associated with a long-term increased risk of suicide.

 

 

Socioeconomic Status Inequalities Partially Mediate Racial and Ethnic Differences in Children’s Amygdala Volume

Assari S. (2020). Socioeconomic Status Inequalities Partially Mediate Racial and Ethnic Differences in Children’s Amygdala Volume. Stud Soc Sci Res. 2020;1(2):62-79. doi: 10.22158/sssr.v1n2p62. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Background: While race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) impact brain structures such as the amygdala, less is known on whether or not family SES partially explains why amygdala volume is smaller for racial and ethnic minority groups.

Purpose: This study tested the mediating effects of family SES on racial and ethnic differences in right and left amygdala volume.

Methods: We borrowed the structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI) data of the Children Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a brain imaging investigation of childhood brain development in the US. The total sample was 8977, 9-10-year-old children. The independent variables were race and ethnicity. The primary outcomes were right and left amygdala volume. Age, sex, household size, and marital status were the covariates. Multiple SES indicators such as family income, subjective family SES, parental employment, parental education, and neighborhood income were the mediators. To analyze the data, we used regression models without and with our mediators. Sobel test was used to test if these mediational paths are statistically significant.

Results: Black and Latino children had smaller amygdala sizes than non-Latino White children. The effects of race and ethnicity on amygdala volume were partially mediated by SES indicators, suggesting that one of the many reasons Black and Latino children have smaller volumes of right and left amygdala is their lower SES.

Conclusions: For American children, lower family and neighborhood SES indicators partially, but not fully, explain smaller amygdala sizes of Black and Latino children compared to non- Latino White children.

Sex Differences in the Association between Cortical Thickness and Children’s Behavioral Inhibition

Assari S (2020). Sex Differences in the Association between Cortical Thickness and Children’s Behavioral Inhibition. J Psychol Behav Res. 2020;2(2):49-64. doi: 10.22158/jpbr.v2n2p49. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Aim: To investigate sex differences in the association between cortical thickness and behavioral inhibition of 9-10 years old American children.

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional investigation used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Baseline ABCD data of 10249 American children between ages 9 and 10 were analyzed. The independent variable was cortical thickness measured by structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI). The primary outcome, behavioral inhibition, was measured based on the behavioral inhibition system (BIS), and behavioral approach system (BAS). Sex was the moderator. Age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status indicators, and intracranial volume were covariates.

Results: In the overall sample, high cortical thickness was not associated with behavioral inhibition in children. Sex showed a statistically significant interaction with cortical thickness’s effect on children’s behavioral inhibition, net of all confounders. The interaction indicated a statistically stronger positive effect of high cortical thickness on male behavioral inhibition compared to female children.

Conclusion: Cortical thickness is a determinant of behavioral inhibition for male but not female American children. Male but not female children show better behavioral inhabitation at higher levels of cortical thickness.

Positive Economic, Psychosocial, and Physiological Ecologies Predict Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance in 9–10-Year-Old Children

Gonzalez MR, Palmer CE, Uban KA, Jernigan TL, Thompson WK, and Sowell ER. (2020). Positive Economic, Psychosocial, and Physiological Ecologies Predict Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance in 9–10-Year-Old Children. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 28 October 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.578822.

While low socioeconomic status (SES) introduces risk for developmental outcomes among children, there are an array of proximal processes that determine the ecologies and thus the lived experiences of children. This study examined interrelations between 22 proximal measures in the economic, psychosocial, physiological, and perinatal ecologies of children, in association with brain structure and cognitive performance in a diverse sample of 8,158 9–10-year-old children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. SES was measured by the income-to-needs ratio (INR), a measure used by federal poverty guidelines. Within the ABCD study, in what is one of the largest and most diverse cohorts of children studied in the United States, we replicate associations of low SES with lower total cortical surface area and worse cognitive performance. Associations between low SES (<200% INR) and measures of development showed the steepest increases with INR, with apparent increases still visible beyond the level of economic disadvantage in the range of 200–400% INR. Notably, we found three latent factors encompassing positive ecologies for children across the areas of economic, psychosocial, physiological, and perinatal well-being in association with better cognitive performance and the higher total cortical surface area beyond the effects of SES. Specifically, latent factors encompassing youth perceived social support and perinatal well-being were positive predictors of developmental measures for all children, regardless of SES. Further, we found a general latent factor that explained relationships between 20 of the proximal measures and encompassed a joint ecology of higher social and economic resources relative to low adversity across psychosocial, physiological, and perinatal domains. The association between the resource-to-adversity latent factor and cognitive performance was moderated by SES, such that for children in higher SES households, cognitive performance progressively increased with these latent factor scores, while for lower SES, cognitive performance increased only among children with the highest latent factor scores. Our findings suggest that both positive ecologies of increased access to resources and lower adversity are mutually critical for promoting better cognitive development in children from low SES households. Our findings inform future studies aiming to examine positive factors that influence healthier development in children.

A large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder

Johnson EC, Demontis D, Thorgeirsson TE, Walters RK, Polimanti R, Hatoum AS, Sanchez-Roige S, Paul SE, Wendt FR, Clarke T-K, Lai D, Reginsson GW, Zhou H, He J, Baranger DAA, Gudbjartsson DF, Wedow R, Adkins DE, Adkins AE, Alexander J, Bacanu S-A, Bigdeli TB, Boden J, Brown SA, Bucholz KK, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Corley RP, Degenhardt L, Dick DM, Dominque BW, Fox L, Goate Am, Gordon SD, Hack LM, Hancock DB, Hartz S, Hickie IB, Hougaard DM, Krauter K, Lind PA, McClintick JN, McQueen MB, Meyers JL, Montgomery GW, Mors O, Mortensen PB, Nordentoft M, Pearson JF, Peterson RE, Reynolds MD, Rice JP, Runarsdottir V, Saccone NL, Sherva R, Silberg JL, Tarter RE, Tyrfingsson T, Wall, TL, Webb BT, Werge T, Wetherill L, Wright MJ, Zellers S, Adams MJ, Bierut LJ, Boardman JD, Copeland WE, Farrer LA, Foroud TM, Gillespie NA, Grucza RA, Harris KM, Heath AC, Hesselbrock V, Hewitt JK, Hopfer CJ, Horwood J, Iacono WG, Johnson EO, Kendler KS, Kennedy MA, Kranzler HR, Madden PAF, Maes HH, Maher BS, Martin NG, McGue M, McIntosh AM, Medland SE, Nelson EC, Porjesz B, Riley BP, Stallings MC, Vanyukov MM, Vrieze S, Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders Workgroup, Davis LK, Bogdan R, Gelernter J, Edenberg HJ, Stefansson K, Borglum AD, Agrawal A (2020). A large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder. THE LANCET, Psychiatry, October 20, 2020, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30339-4

Background
Variation in liability to cannabis use disorder has a strong genetic component (estimated twin and family heritability about 50–70%) and is associated with negative outcomes, including increased risk of psychopathology. The aim of the study was to conduct a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel genetic variants associated with cannabis use disorder.

Methods
To conduct this GWAS meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder and identify associations with genetic loci, we used samples from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders working group, iPSYCH, and deCODE (20 916 case samples, 363 116 control samples in total), contrasting cannabis use disorder cases with controls. To examine the genetic overlap between cannabis use disorder and 22 traits of interest (chosen because of previously published phenotypic correlations [eg, psychiatric disorders] or hypothesised associations [eg, chronotype] with cannabis use disorder), we used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate genetic correlations.

Findings
We identified two genome-wide significant loci: a novel chromosome 7 locus (FOXP2, lead single-nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] rs7783012; odds ratio [OR] 1·11, 95% CI 1·07–1·15, p=1·84 × 10−9) and the previously identified chromosome 8 locus (near CHRNA2 and EPHX2, lead SNP rs4732724; OR 0·89, 95% CI 0·86–0·93, p=6·46 × 10−9). Cannabis use disorder and cannabis use were genetically correlated (rg 0·50, p=1·50 × 10−21), but they showed significantly different genetic correlations with 12 of the 22 traits we tested, suggesting at least partially different genetic underpinnings of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorder was positively genetically correlated with other psychopathology, including ADHD, major depression, and schizophrenia.

Interpretation
These findings support the theory that cannabis use disorder has shared genetic liability with other psychopathology, and there is a distinction between genetic liability to cannabis use and cannabis use disorder.

Sex Differences in the Association between Household Income and Children’s Executive Function

Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M, & Caldwell CH (2020). Sex Differences in the Association between Household Income and Children’s Executive Function. Sexes 2020, 1(1), 19-31; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes1010002

The study aimed to investigate sex differences in the boosting effects of household income on children’s executive function in the US. This is a cross-sectional study using data from Wave 1 of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Wave 1 ABCD included 8608 American children between ages 9 and 10 years old. The independent variable was household income. The primary outcome was executive function measured by the stop-signal task. Overall, high household income was associated with higher levels of executive function in the children. Sex showed a statistically significant interaction with household income on children’s executive function, indicating a stronger effect of high household income for female compared to male children. Household income is a more salient determinant of executive function for female compared to male American children. Low-income female children remain at the highest risk regarding poor executive function.

Diminished Protective Effects of Household Income on Internalizing Symptoms among African American than European American Pre-Adolescents

Assari S, Islam S (2020). Diminished Protective Effects of Household Income on Internalizing Symptoms among African American than European American Pre-Adolescents. J Econ Trade Mark Manag. 2020;2(4):38-56. doi: 10.22158/jetmm.v2n4p38. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Aim: To investigate the differential role of race on the effect of household income on pre-adolescents’ internalizing symptoms in a national sample of U.S. pre-adolescents.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Wave 1 ABCD data included 5,913 adolescents between ages 9 and 10 years old. The independent variable was household income. The primary outcome was internalizing symptoms measured by the teacher report of the Brief Problem Monitor (BPM) scale.

Results: Overall, high household income was associated with lower levels of pre-adolescents internalizing symptoms. Race showed statistically significant interaction with household income on pre-adolescents’ internalizing symptoms, controlling for all confounders, indicating weaker protective effect of high household income on internalizing symptoms for African American than European pre-adolescents.

Conclusion: High household income is a more salient protective factor against internalizing symptoms of socially privileged European American pre-adolescents than of historically marginalized African Americans pre-adolescents. Elimination of internalizing behavioral gaps across racial groups requires more than equalizing socioeconomic status. Future research should study the moderating role of institutional and structural racism experienced by African American families across all income levels. Such research may explain why pre-adolescent African Americans with high household income remain at high risk of internalizing symptoms.

Prefrontal Cortex Response to Threat: Race by Age Variation in 9-10 Year Old Children

Assari S, Akhlaghipour G, Saqib M, Boyce S, Bazargan M (2020). Prefrontal Cortex Response to Threat: Race by Age Variation in 9-10 Year Old Children. J Ment Health Clin Psychol. 2020;4(4):1-12. doi: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/4.1209. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Background: Considerable research has suggested that race and age are two major determinants of brain development, including but not limited to development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs), however, suggests that race (as a proxy of racism) may interact with various determinants of human and brain development. Minimal knowledge, however, exists on whether age and race also interact on shaping PFC response to threat among American children.

Purpose: Using data from a task-based functional brain imaging study and considering race as a sociological rather than a biological construct, we investigated combined effects of race and age on prefrontal cortical (PFC) response to threat. We explored racial heterogeneities in the association between age and PFC response to threat by comparing Black and White children.

Methods: This study used the task-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data from the Adolescents Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a national, landmark, multi-center brain imaging investigation of 9-10 years old children in the US. The primary outcomes were mean beta weights of n-back runs measuring PFC response to threating versus neutral face contrast in the following regions of interest (ROIs): left hemisphere-lateral orbito-frontal, left hemisphere -superior-frontal, right hemisphere -caudal middle frontal, and right hemisphere -superior frontal cortex. The independent variable was age. Covariates were sex, ethnicity, family socioeconomic status, and neighborhood socioeconomic status. Race was the focal moderator. To analyze the data, we used linear regression models without and with interactions and SES as covariates.

Results: We included 5,066 9-10 years old children. Age and race did not show direct effects on PFC response to threatening relative to neutral faces. While ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status were controlled, age and race showed a systematic interaction on PFC response to threatening relative to neutral faces.

Nucleus accumbens cytoarchitecture predicts weight gain in children

Rapuano KM, Laurent JS, Hagler Jr. DJ, Hatton SN, Thompson WK, Jernigan TL, Dale AM, Casey BJ, Watts R. (2020). Nucleus accumbens cytoarchitecture predicts weight gain in children. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020 Oct 12;202007918. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2007918117. Online ahead of print.

The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents worldwide has quadrupled since 1975 and is a key predictor of obesity later in life. Previous work has consistently observed relationships between macroscale measures of reward-related brain regions (e.g., the nucleus accumbens [NAcc]) and unhealthy eating behaviors and outcomes; however, the mechanisms underlying these associations remain unclear. Recent work has highlighted a potential role of neuroinflammation in the NAcc in animal models of diet-induced obesity. Here, we leverage a diffusion MRI technique, restriction spectrum imaging, to probe the microstructure (cellular density) of subcortical brain regions. More specifically, we test the hypothesis that the cell density of reward-related regions is associated with obesity-related metrics and early weight gain. In a large cohort of nine- and ten-year-olds enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we demonstrate that cellular density in the NAcc is related to individual differences in waist circumference at baseline and is predictive of increases in waist circumference after 1 y. These findings suggest a neurobiological mechanism for pediatric obesity consistent with rodent work showing that high saturated fat diets increase gliosis and neuroinflammation in reward-related brain regions, which in turn lead to further unhealthy eating and obesity.

 

Racial Variation in the Association between Suicidal History and Positive and Negative Urgency among American Children

Assari S. (2020). Racial Variation in the Association between Suicidal History and Positive and Negative Urgency among American Children. J Educ Cult Stud. 2020;4(4):39-53. doi: 10.22158/jecs.v4n4p39. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Background: Positive and negative urgency reflect specific facets of impulsivity and correlate with several health-related risk behaviors such as aggression, substance use, and suicide. Less is known about how positive and negative urgency are associated with suicidal behaviors of diverse racial groups.

Aim: To investigate racial differences in the positive associations between positive and negative urgency and suicide in children in US.

Materials and methods: This longitudinal study used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Participants were 10535 American children between ages 9 and 10 years old who were followed for up to one year. The independent variable was suicide history. The primary outcomes were the positive and negative urgency measured by the Urgency, Premeditation (lack of), Perseverance (lack of), Sensation Seeking, Positive Urgency, Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS-SS). Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis.

Results: In the overall sample, suicidality was associated with positive and negative urgency in children. Race showed a statistically significant interaction with suicidality on children’s positive and negative urgency, indicating stronger effects of suicidality on positive and negative urgency for White, compared to Black and Other/Mixed race children respectively.

Conclusion: The effects of positive and negative urgency for suicidality of American children depend on race. White American children show the strongest links between positive and negative urgency and risk of suicide, while the effects of positive and negative urgency on children suicide are weaker for Black and Other/Mixed race children.

Youth Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in the ABCD Study: Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Family Income

Assari S. (2020). Youth Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in the ABCD Study: Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Family Income. J Econ Public Finance. 2020;6(4):1-19. doi: 10.22158/jepf.v6n4p1. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Background:
To investigate ethnic differences in the protective effects of family income against youth social, emotional, and behavioral problems in the US. As proposed by the Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs), family income may generate fewer tangible outcomes for ethnic minority compared to NHW families. Our existing knowledge is minimal about diminished returns of family income on parental reports of youth social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

Aim:
To compare ethnic groups for the effects of family income on parental reports of youth social, emotional, and behavioral problems.

Materials and methods:
In this cross-sectional study, data from wave 1 of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study were included. The ABCD, an ongoing national cohort of American youth brain development, included 10,762 American youth between ages 8 and 11 years old. The independent variable was family income. The primary outcomes were 1) anxious and depressed mood, 2) withdrawn and depressed affect, 3) somatic complaints, 4) social and interpersonal problems, 5) thought problems, 6) rule-breaking behaviors, 7) attention problems, and 8) violent and aggressive behaviors. These outcomes were generated based on parent-reported behavioral problems measured using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

Results:
Overall, high family income was associated with lower levels of parental reports of youth social, emotional, and behavioral problems across all domains (p <0.05 for all beta coefficients across multivariable regression models). Ethnicity showed statistically significant interactions with family income on youth fewer social, emotional, and behavioral problems (all domains), net of all confounders (p <0.05 for all beta coefficients that reflected interaction terms across multivariable regression models), indicating smaller tangible gains from their family income for NHB and HW compared to NHW youth.

Conclusion:
The protective effects of family income against behavioral problems are systematically diminished for HW and NHB youth compared to NHW youth. To minimize the ethnic gap in youth social, behavioral, and emotional problems, diminished returns of family income should be addressed. There is a need for programs and interventions that equalize not only SES but also the marginal returns of SES for ethnic groups. Such efforts require addressing structural and societal barriers that hinder HW and NHB families from translating their SES resources into tangible outcomes. There is a need for studies that can minimize MDRs for NHB and HW families. Thus, SES can similarly secure tangible outcomes in the presence of SES resources.

Subjective Socioeconomic Status and Children’s Amygdala Volume: Minorities’ Diminished Returns

Assari S, Boyce S, and Bazargan M. (2020). Subjective Socioeconomic Status and Children’s Amygdala Volume: Minorities’ Diminished Returns. NeuroSci, October 5, 2020, 1(2), 59-74; https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci1020006.

Considerable research has suggested that low socioeconomic status (SES) negatively influences brain structure, including but not limited to decreased amygdala volume. Considering race and ethnicity as sociological rather than biological constructs, this study was built on minorities’ diminished returns (MDRs) to test if the effects of family SES on the total amygdala volume is weaker for black and Latino children than white and non-Latino children. We borrowed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a national multi-center brain imaging investigation of childhood brain development in the US. The total sample was 9380 9–10-year-old children. The independent variables were subjective family SES and parental education. The primary outcome was total amygdala volume. High subjective SES and parental education were independently associated with larger total amygdala size. The association between high subjective SES and larger total amygdala volume was less pronounced for black and Latino children than white and non-Latino children. For American children, family SES has unequal effects on amygdala size and function, a pattern that is consistent with MDRs. This result suggests that SES loses some of its expected effects for racial and ethnic minority families.

Suicide Ideation and Neurocognition Among 9- and 10-Year Old Children in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Huber RS, Sheth C, Renshaw PF, Yurgelun-Todd DA, McGlade EC. (2020). Suicide Ideation and Neurocognition Among 9- and 10-Year Old Children in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Archives of Suicide Research, Published online: 28 Sep 2020, https://doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2020.1818657

Objective
During the past decade, the pediatric suicide rate has nearly tripled. Yet, little is known about suicide behavior (SB) in children. Identification of risk factors associated with SB during childhood may be critical to preventing future attempts. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between neurocognitive performance and suicide ideation (SI) in children.

Method
The present study utilized baseline data from 11,875 participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a longitudinal study that follows 9- and 10-year-old children through late adolescence to examine factors that influence developmental trajectories. Suicidality was assessed by the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia (KSADS) suicide module completed by the parent. Neurocognitive ability was assessed using the NIH Toolbox Cognition measures administered to the youth.

Results
Children with a history of SI reported by their parent or concordant parent and youth report of SI demonstrated lower performance on the NIH Toolbox Picture Sequence Memory Test compared to children without SI. The difference in performance on the memory task remained significant when including demographic characteristics, family history of suicide, and internalizing symptoms in the model as covariates.

Conclusions
To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify decreased episodic memory in children with SI. These findings are similar to results from adult and adolescent studies which have reported decreased memory performance among suicide attempters. Deficits in episodic memory may impact a child’s ability to problem-solve and generate potential future outcomes, which may increase the risk for SB. Early identification of memory deficits in children may inform suicide prevention and intervention efforts.

Association of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure With Psychological, Behavioral, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Lees B, Mewton L, Jacobus J, Valadez EA, Stapinski LA Teesson M, Tapert SF, Squeglia LM. (2020). Association of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure With Psychological, Behavioral, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. The American Journal of Psychiatry, Published Online:25 Sep 2020. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20010086

Objective:
Data on the neurodevelopmental and associated behavioral effects of light to moderate in utero alcohol exposure are limited. This retrospective investigation tested for associations between reported maternal prenatal alcohol use and psychological, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental outcomes in substance-naive youths.

Methods:
Participants were 9,719 youths (ages 9.0 to 10.9 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Based on parental reports, 2,518 (25.9%) had been exposed to alcohol in utero. Generalized additive mixed models and multilevel cross-sectional and longitudinal mediation models were used to test whether prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with psychological, behavioral, and cognitive outcomes, and whether differences in brain structure and resting-state functional connectivity partially explained these associations at baseline and 1-year follow-up, after controlling for possible confounding factors.

Results:
Prenatal alcohol exposure of any severity was associated with greater psychopathology, attention deficits, and impulsiveness, with some effects showing a dose-dependent response. Children with prenatal alcohol exposure, compared with those without, displayed greater cerebral and regional volume and greater regional surface area. Resting-state functional connectivity was largely unaltered in children with in utero exposure. Some of the psychological and behavioral outcomes at baseline and at the 1-year follow-up were partially explained by differences in brain structure among youths who had been exposed to alcohol in utero.

Conclusions:
Any alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with subtle yet significant psychological and behavioral effects in children. Women should continue to be advised to abstain from alcohol consumption from conception throughout pregnancy.

Associations Between Prenatal Cannabis Exposure and Childhood Outcomes. Results From the ABCD Study.

Paul SE, Hatoum AS, Fine JD. (2020). Associations Between Prenatal Cannabis Exposure and Childhood Outcomes. Results From the ABCD Study. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online September 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2902.

Importance  In light of increasing cannabis use among pregnant women, the US Surgeon General recently issued an advisory against the use of marijuana during pregnancy.

Objective  To evaluate whether cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes among offspring.

Design, Setting, and Participants  In this cross-sectional study, data were obtained from the baseline session of the ongoing longitudinal Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, which recruited 11 875 children aged 9 to 11 years, as well as a parent or caregiver, from 22 sites across the United States between June 1, 2016, and October 15, 2018.

Exposure  Prenatal cannabis exposure prior to and after maternal knowledge of pregnancy.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Symptoms of psychopathology in children (ie, psychotic-like experiences [PLEs] and internalizing, externalizing, attention, thought, and social problems), cognition, sleep, birth weight, gestational age at birth, body mass index, and brain structure (ie, total intracranial volume, white matter volume, and gray matter volume). Covariates included familial (eg, income and familial psychopathology), pregnancy (eg, prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco), and child (eg, substance use) variables.

Results  Among 11 489 children (5997 boys [52.2%]; mean [SD] age, 9.9 [0.6] years) with nonmissing prenatal cannabis exposure data, 655 (5.7%) were exposed to cannabis prenatally. Relative to no exposure, cannabis exposure only before (413 [3.6%]) and after (242 [2.1%]) maternal knowledge of pregnancy were associated with greater offspring psychopathology characteristics (ie, PLEs and internalizing, externalizing, attention, thought and, social problems), sleep problems, and body mass index, as well as lower cognition and gray matter volume (all |β| > 0.02; all false discovery rate [FDR]–corrected P < .03). Only exposure after knowledge of pregnancy was associated with lower birth weight as well as total intracranial volume and white matter volumes relative to no exposure and exposure only before knowledge (all |β| > 0.02; all FDR-corrected P < .04). When including potentially confounding covariates, exposure after maternal knowledge of pregnancy remained associated with greater PLEs and externalizing, attention, thought, and social problems (all β > 0.02; FDR-corrected P < .02). Exposure only prior to maternal knowledge of pregnancy did not differ from no exposure on any outcomes when considering potentially confounding variables (all |β| < 0.02; FDR-corrected P > .70).

Conclusions and Relevance  This study suggests that prenatal cannabis exposure and its correlated factors are associated with greater risk for psychopathology during middle childhood. Cannabis use during pregnancy should be discouraged.

Associations Between Resting-State Functional Connectivity and a Hierarchical Dimensional Structure of Psychopathology in Middle Childhood

Karcher NR, Michelini G, Kotov R, Barch DM (2020). Associations Between Resting-State Functional Connectivity and a Hierarchical Dimensional Structure of Psychopathology in Middle Childhood. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging
. 2020 Sep 17;S2451-9022(20)30277-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.09.008. Online ahead of print.

Background: Previous research from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study delineated and validated a hierarchical 5-factor structure with a general psychopathology (p) factor at the apex and 5 specific factors (internalizing, somatoform, detachment, neurodevelopmental, externalizing) using parent-reported child symptoms. The present study is the first to examine associations between dimensions from a hierarchical structure and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) networks.

Methods: Using 9- to 11-year-old children from the ABCD Study baseline sample, we examined the variance explained by each hierarchical structure level (p-factor, 2-factor, 3-factor, 4-factor, and 5-factor models) in associations with RSFC. Analyses were first conducted in a discovery dataset (n = 3790), and significant associations were examined in a replication dataset (n = 3791).

Results: There were robust associations between the p-factor and lower connectivity within the default mode network, although stronger effects emerged for the neurodevelopmental factor. Neurodevelopmental impairments were also related to variation in RSFC networks associated with attention to internal states and external stimuli. Analyses revealed robust associations between the neurodevelopmental dimension and several RSFC metrics, including within the default mode network, between the default mode network with cingulo-opercular and “Other” (unassigned) networks, and between the dorsal attention network with the Other network.

Conclusions: The hierarchical structure of psychopathology showed replicable links to RSFC associations in middle childhood. The specific neurodevelopmental dimension showed robust associations with multiple RSFC metrics. These results show the utility of examining associations between intrinsic brain architecture and specific dimensions of psychopathology, revealing associations especially with neurodevelopmental impairments.

Altered Neurocognitive Functional Connectivity and Activation Patterns Underlie Psychopathology in Preadolescence

Lees B, Squeglia LM, McTeague LM, Forbes MK, Krueger RF, Sunderland M, Baillie AJ, Koch F, Teesson M, Mewton L (2020).  Altered Neurocognitive Functional Connectivity and Activation Patterns Underlie Psychopathology in Preadolescence.  Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, Available online 12 September 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.09.007

Background
Neurocognitive deficits are common among youth with mental disorders and patterns of aberrant brain function generally cross diagnostic boundaries. This study investigated associations between functional neurocircuitry and broad transdiagnostic psychopathology dimensions in the critical preadolescent period when psychopathology is emerging.

Methods
Participants were 9-10-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®. Factor scores of general psychopathology, externalizing, internalizing, and thought disorder dimensions were calculated from a higher-order model of psychopathology using confirmatory factor analysis (n=11,721) and entered as explanatory variables into linear mixed models to examine associations with resting state functional connectivity (n=9,074) and neural activation during the Emotional N-back task (n=6,146), when covarying for sex, race/ethnicity, parental education, and cognitive function.

Results
All dimensions of psychopathology were commonly characterized by: hypoconnectivity within the dorsal attention and retrosplenial-temporal networks; hyperconnectivity between the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks and between the dorsal attention network and amygdala; and hypoactivation of the caudal middle frontal gyrus. Externalizing pathology was uniquely associated with hyperconnectivity between the salience and ventral attention networks and hyperactivation of the cingulate and striatum. Internalizing pathology was uniquely characterized by hypoconnectivity between the default mode and cingulo-opercular networks. Connectivity between the cingulo-opercular network and putamen was uniquely higher for internalizing pathology and lower for thought disorder pathology.

Conclusions
These findings provide novel evidence that broad psychopathology dimensions are characterized by common and dissociable patterns, particularly for externalizing pathology, of functional connectivity and task-evoked activation throughout neurocognitive networks in preadolescence.

Neuroanatomical correlates of impulsive traits in children aged 9 to 10

Owens MM, Hyatt CS, Gray JC, Miller JD, Lynam DR, Hahn S, Allgaier N, Potter A, Garavan H. (2020). Neuroanatomical correlates of impulsive traits in children aged 9 to 10. J Abnorm Psychol. 2020 Sep 7. doi: 10.1037/abn0000627. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32897083

Impulsivity refers to a set of traits that are generally negatively related to critical domains of adaptive functioning and are core features of numerous psychiatric disorders. The current study examined the gray and white matter correlates of five impulsive traits measured using an abbreviated version of the UPPS-P (Urgency, (lack of) Premeditation, (lack of) Perseverance, Sensation-Seeking, Positive Urgency) impulsivity scale in children aged 9 to 10 (N = 11,052) from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Linear mixed effect models and elastic net regression were used to examine features of regional gray matter and white matter tractography most associated with each UPPS-P scale; intraclass correlations were computed to examine the similarity of the neuroanatomical correlates among the scales. Positive Urgency showed the most robust association with neuroanatomy, with similar but less robust associations found for Negative Urgency. Perseverance showed little association with neuroanatomy. Premeditation and Sensation Seeking showed intermediate associations with neuroanatomy. Critical regions across measures include the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, lateral temporal cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex; critical tracts included the superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Negative Urgency and Positive Urgency showed the greatest neuroanatomical similarity. Some UPPS-P traits share neuroanatomical correlates, while others have distinct correlates or essentially no relation to neuroanatomy. Neuroanatomy tended to account for relatively little variance in UPPS-P traits (i.e., Model R2 < 1%) and effects were spread throughout the brain, highlighting the importance of well powered samples.

Multivariate Patterns of Brain-Behavior-Environment Associations in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study

Modabbernia A, Janiri D, Doucet GE, Reichenberg A, Frangou S. (2020). Multivariate Patterns of Brain-Behavior-Environment Associations in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 24:S0006-3223(20)31846-1. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.08.014. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33109338

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 analysis 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 U.S. sample of 9623 individuals (aged 9-10 years, 49% female) participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

Results: These analyses identified 14 reliable modes of brain-behavior-environment covariation (canonical rdiscovery = .21 to .49, canonical rtest = .10 to .39, pfalse discovery rate corrected < .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 the complex and intertwined influences on brain organization and mental function during development and have the potential to inform public health policies aiming toward interventions to improve mental well-being.

Deep Learning Identifies Morphological Determinants of Sex Differences in the Pre-Adolescent Brain

Adeli E, Zhao Q, Zahr NM, Goldstone A, Pfefferbaum A, Sullivan EV, Pohl KM. (2020). Deep Learning Identifies Morphological Determinants of Sex Differences in the Pre-Adolescent Brain. Neuroimage. 2020 Aug 22:117293. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117293. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32841716

The application of data-driven deep learning to identify sex differences in developing brain structures of pre-adolescents has heretofore not been accomplished. Here, the approach identifies sex differences by analyzing the minimally processed MRIs of the first 8,144 participants (age 9 and 10 years) recruited by the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The identified pattern accounted for confounding factors (i.e., head size, age, puberty development, socioeconomic status) and comprised cerebellar (corpus medullare, lobules III, IV/V, and VI) and subcortical (pallidum, amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampus, insula, putamen) structures. While these have been individually linked to expressing sex differences, a novel discovery was that their grouping accurately predicted the sex in individual pre-adolescents. Another novelty was relating differences specific to the cerebellum to pubertal development. Finally, we found that reducing the pattern to a single score not only accurately predicted sex but also correlated with cognitive behavior linked to working memory. The predictive power of this score and the constellation of identified brain structures provide evidence for sex differences in pre-adolescent neurodevelopment and may augment understanding of sex-specific vulnerability or resilience to psychiatric disorders and presage sex-linked learning disabilities.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study: Impact of Changes From DSM-IV to DSM-5

Potter AS, Owens MM, Albaugh M, Garavan H, Sher KJ, Kaufman J, Barch DM. (2020). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study: Impact of Changes From DSM-IV to DSM-5.  J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 12;S0890-8567(20)31346-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2020.07.904. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2020.07.904

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), used to diagnose psychiatric disorders, was revised to DSM-5 in 2013. Changes were made to the criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 1% to 3% in children.1 Prior revisions to OCD criteria (from DSM-III to DSM-IV) resulted in lower reported prevalence rates,2 but this is not yet clear with DSM-5. In DSM-5, the definition of obsessions was broadened (Table 1), and the requirement that obsessions cause marked anxiety or distress was removed. Thus we examined rates of OCD within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study3 using both DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria.

Family Income Mediates the Effect of Parental Education on Adolescents’ Hippocampus Activation During an N-Back Memory Task

Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH (2020). Family Income Mediates the Effect of Parental Education on Adolescents’ Hippocampus Activation During an N-Back Memory Task. Brain Sci. 2020 Aug 5;10(8):E520. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10080520. PMID: 32764344, https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10080520

Introduction: Hippocampus, a medial temporal lobe structure, has significant implications in memory formation and learning. Although hippocampus activity is believed to be affected by socioeconomic status (SES), limited knowledge exists on which SES indicators influence hippocampus function.

Purpose: This study explored the separate and combined effects of three SES indicators, namely parental education, family income, and neighborhood income, on adolescents’ hippocampus activation during an N-Back memory task. As some of the effects of parental education may be through income, we also tested if the effect of parental education on hippocampus activation during our N-Back memory task is mediated by family or neighborhood income.

Methods: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is a national multi-center investigation of American adolescents’ brain development. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of a total sample of 3067 9–10-year-old adolescents were used. The primary outcome was left- hippocampus activation during the N-Back memory task (mean beta weight for N-Back run 1 2 back versus 0 back contrast in left hippocampus). The independent variable was parental education. Family income and neighborhood income were two possible mediators. Age, sex, and marital status were the covariates. To test mediation, we used hierarchical linear regression models first without and then with our mediators. Full mediation was defined according to Kenny. The Sobel test was used to confirm statistical mediation.

Results: In the absence of family and neighborhood income in the model, higher parental educational attainment was associated with lower level of left hippocampus activation during the N-Back memory task. This effect was significant while age, sex, and marital status were controlled. The association between parental educational attainment and hippocampus activation during the N-Back memory task was no more significant when we controlled for family and neighborhood income. Instead, family income was associated with hippocampus activation during the N-Back memory task. These findings suggested that family income fully mediates the effect of parental educational attainment on left hippocampus activation during the N-Back memory task.

Conclusions: The effect of parental educational attainment on adolescents’ hippocampus activation during an N-Back memory task is fully explained by family income. That means low family income is why adolescents with low-educated parents show highlighted hippocampus activation during an N-Back memory task. Given the central role of the hippocampus in learning and memory and as income is a modifiable factor by tax and economic policies, income-redistribution policies, fair taxation, and higher minimum wage may have implications for promotion of adolescent equality and social justice. There is a need to focus on family-level economic needs across all levels of neighborhood income.

Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Sex Hormones among Male and Female American Adolescents

Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH. (2020). Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Sex Hormones among Male and Female American Adolescents. Reprod Med (Basel). 2020 Sep;1(2):108-121. doi: 10.3390/reprodmed1020008. Epub 2020 Aug 3. PMID: 32832919

Although early sexual initiation and childbearing are major barriers against the upward social mobility of American adolescents, particularly those who belong to a low socioeconomic status (SES) and racial minorities such as Blacks, less is known on how SES and race correlate with adolescents’ sex hormones. An understanding of the associations between race and SES with adolescents’ sex hormones may help better understand why racial, and SES gaps exist in sexual risk behaviors and teen pregnancies. To extend the existing knowledge on social patterning of adolescents’ sex hormones, in the current study, we studied social patterning of sex hormones in a national sample of male and female American adolescents, with a particular interest in the role of race and SES. For this cross-sectional study, data came from the baseline data (wave 1) of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a national longitudinal prospective study of American adolescents. This analysis included 717 male and 576 female non-Hispanic White or Black adolescents ages 9-10. The dependent variables were sex hormones (testosterone for males and estradiol for females). Independent variables were age, race, family marital status, parental education, and financial difficulties. For data analysis, linear regression models were used. Age, race, parental education, and financial difficulties were associated with estradiol in female and testosterone levels in male adolescents. Associations were not identical for males and females, but the patterns were mainly similar. Low SES explained why race is associated with higher estradiol in female adolescents. Marital status of the family did not correlate with any of the sex hormones. Being Black and low SES were associated with a higher level of sex hormones in male and female adolescents. This information may help us understand the social patterning of sexual initiation and childbearing. Addressing racial and economic inequalities in early puberty, sexual initiation, and childbearing is an essential part of closing the racial and economic gaps in the US.

Reward Processing in Children With Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Callous-Unemotional Traits in the ABCD Study

Hawes SW, Waller R, Byrd AL, Bjork JM, Dick AS, Sutherland MT, Riedel MC, Tobia MJ, Thomson N, Laird AR, Gonzalez R. (2020). Reward Processing in Children With Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Callous-Unemotional Traits in the ABCD Study. The American Journal of Psychiatry, Published Online:31 Jul 2020https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.19101092

Objective:
Disrupted reward processing is implicated in the etiology of disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) and callous-unemotional traits. However, neuroimaging investigations of reward processing underlying these phenotypes remain sparse. The authors examined neural sensitivity in response to reward anticipation and receipt among youths with DBDs, with and without callous-unemotional traits.

Methods:
Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study (mean age=9.51 years [SD=0.50]; 49% female). Reward-related activation during the monetary incentive delay task was examined across 16 brain regions, including the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Latent variable modeling was used to examine network-level coactivation. The following diagnostic groups were compared: typically developing youths (N=693) and youths with DBDs (N=995), subdivided into those with callous-unemotional traits (DBD+CU, N=198) and without callous-unemotional traits (DBD only, N=276).

Results:
During reward anticipation, youths in the overall DBD group (with and without callous-unemotional traits) showed decreased dorsal ACC activation compared with typically developing youths. The DBD-only group exhibited reduced ventral and dorsal striatal activity compared with the DBD+CU and typically developing groups. During reward receipt, youths with DBDs showed increased cortical (e.g., OFC) and subcortical (e.g., NAcc) regional activation compared with typically developing youths. The DBD+CU group demonstrated greater activation in several regions compared with those in the typically developing (e.g., amygdala) and DBD-only (e.g., dorsal ACC) groups. At the network level, the DBD-only group showed reduced anticipatory reward activation compared with the typically developing and DBD+CU groups, whereas youths in the DBD+CU group showed increased activation during reward receipt compared with those in the typically developing group.

Conclusions:
These findings advance our understanding of unique neuroetiologic pathways to DBDs and callous-unemotional traits.

The Main and Interactive Associations between Demographic Factors and Psychopathology and Treatment Utilization in Youth: A Test of Intersectionality in the ABCD Study

Mennies RJ, Birk SL, Norris LA, Olino TM. (2020). The Main and Interactive Associations between Demographic Factors and Psychopathology and Treatment Utilization in Youth: A Test of Intersectionality in the ABCD Study.
J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2020 Jul 31. doi: 10.1007/s10802-020-00687-8. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32737734

Demographic factors may be associated with youth psychopathology due to social-contextual factors that may also pose barriers to intervention. Further, in line with intersectionality theory, youth with multiple non-dominant identities may be most likely to experience psychopathology and face barriers to care. This study examined rates of parent-reported psychopathology and mental health treatment utilization as a function of several demographic characteristics (in isolation and in concert) in a population-based, demographically diverse sample of 11,875 9- to 10-year-old youth. Results indicated most consistently that lower SES was associated with greater rates of psychopathology and greater likelihood of treatment utilization; that Asian American youth (relative to all other racial groups) and Hispanic/Latinx (relative to non-Hispanic/Latinx) youth were less likely to have a history of psychopathology or to have utilized treatment; and that male youth had greater rates of lifetime Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and were more likely to have utilized treatment. There was more modest support for interactive effects between demographic factors on psychopathology, which are discussed. The present study provides some support for differential rates of parent-reported psychopathology and treatment utilization as a function of demographic identities in youth. Potential explanations for these differences (e.g., cultural differences in symptom presentation; underreporting of symptoms) are discussed.

Association of prenatal alcohol exposure with preadolescent alcohol sipping in the ABCD study®

Lees B, Mewton L, Stapinski LA, Teesson M, Squeglia LM. (2020). Association of prenatal alcohol exposure with preadolescent alcohol sipping in the ABCD study®.  Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Sep 1;214:108187. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108187. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32731083

Background: Early alcohol use initiation is one of the strongest predictors of alcohol use disorders. Identifying modifiable risk factors for problematic alcohol use can guide prevention initiatives. Globally, approximately 10% of women consume alcohol during pregnancy, however the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) on offspring alcohol use patterns has been understudied. The aim of this study was to examine associations between PAE and preadolescent alcohol use behaviors.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were utilized from 10,119 children aged 9.0-10.9 years (M = 9.9, SD = 0.6) enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®, based in the United States. Linear mixed models tested associations between PAE and endorsement of non-religious alcohol sipping in offspring, when adjusting for confounding factors.

Results: In total, 2675 (26.4 %) youth were prenatally exposed to alcohol. Among PAE youth, total standard drinks consumed during pregnancy ranged from 0.4-90.0 drinks (M = 26.8, SD = 24.5). Compared to unexposed youth, those with any alcohol exposure during early pregnancy (∼0-7 weeks) were 1.7 times (95 % CI 1.4-2.0, p < .0001) more likely to endorse sipping alcohol by ages 9-10, while youth with low-level doses of alcohol throughout the entire pregnancy were 2.9 times (95 % CI 1.9-4.6, p < .0001) more likely to endorse sipping, when adjusting for confounding factors. A dose-dependent association between total standard drinks consumed during pregnancy and youth sipping endorsement was observed (β = 0.2, 95 % CI 0.1-0.2, p < .0001).

Conclusions: This study shows that any alcohol use during pregnancy may play an important role in very early alcohol use experimentation among offspring by ages 9-10.

Subjective Family Socioeconomic Status and Adolescents’ Attention: Blacks’ Diminished Returns

Assari S, Boyce S, Bazargan M. (2020). Subjective Family Socioeconomic Status and Adolescents’ Attention: Blacks’ Diminished Returns. Children (Basel). 2020 Jul 23;7(8):E80. doi: 10.3390/children7080080. PMID: 32718077

Background: Racial minorities, particularly non-Hispanic blacks (NHBs) in the US, experience weaker effects from their families’ socioeconomic status on tangible outcomes, a pattern called the Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) theory. These MDRs are frequently shown in the effects of the families’ socioeconomic status (SES) on NHB adolescents’ school performance. As a result of these MDRs, NHB adolescents from high SES families show a worse than expected school performance. The existing knowledge is, however, minimal about the role of attention in explaining the diminished returns of the families’ SES with regard to the adolescents’ outcomes. Aim: To investigate the racial differences in the effects of the subjective family SES on adolescents’ attention, we compared non-Hispanic white (NHW) and NHB adolescents to assess the effect of the subjective family SES on adolescents’ attention. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis that included 4188 adolescents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. The independent variable was the subjective family SES. The primary outcome was the adolescents’ attention to be measured by the stop-signal task (SST). The attention domain of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was also measured. Results: Overall, a high subjective family SES was associated with a higher task-based and CBCL-based attention. Race showed statistically significant interactions with subjective family SES in terms of adolescents’ attention outcomes. These interactions suggested that a high subjective family SES has smaller tangible effects on increasing the attention of NHB than NHW adolescents. Conclusion: The boosting effect of subjective family SES on attention is diminished for NHB rather than NHW adolescents. To minimize the racial gap in attention-related behaviors, such as school performance, we need to address the diminished returns of resources in the lives of NHB families. Not only should we equalize SES, but also increase the marginal returns of SES for racial minorities, particularly NHB families. Such efforts require public policies that empower NHB families to better leverage their SES resources and turn them into tangible outcomes. In addition, social policies should directly aim to alter the societal barriers that limit NHB families’ ability to effectively utilize their resources. Discrimination, segregation, and racism should be targets of our policy solutions.

Criterion validity and relationships between alternative hierarchical dimensional models of general and specific psychopathology

Moore TM, Kaczkurkin AN, Durham EL, Jeong HJ, McDowell MG, Dupont RM, Applegate B, Tackett JL, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Kardan O, Akcelik GN, Stier AJ, Rosenberg MD, Hedeker D, Berman MG, Lahey BB. (2020). Criterion validity and relationships between alternative hierarchical dimensional models of general and specific psychopathology. J Abnorm Psychol. 2020 Jul 16. doi: 10.1037/abn0000601. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32672986

Psychopathology can be viewed as a hierarchy of correlated dimensions. Many studies have supported this conceptualization, but they have used alternative statistical models with differing interpretations. In bifactor models, every symptom loads on both the general factor and 1 specific factor (e.g., internalizing), which partitions the total explained variance in each symptom between these orthogonal factors. In second-order models, symptoms load on one of several correlated lower-order factors. These lower-order factors load on a second-order general factor, which is defined by the variance shared by the lower-order factors. Thus, the factors in second-order models are not orthogonal. Choosing between these valid statistical models depends on the hypothesis being tested. Because bifactor models define orthogonal phenotypes with distinct sources of variance, they are optimal for studies of shared and unique associations of the dimensions of psychopathology with external variables putatively relevant to etiology and mechanisms. Concerns have been raised, however, about the reliability of the orthogonal specific factors in bifactor models. We evaluated this concern using parent symptom ratings of 9-10 year olds in the ABCD Study. Psychometric indices indicated that all factors in both bifactor and second-order models exhibited at least adequate construct reliability and estimated replicability. The factors defined in bifactor and second-order models were highly to moderately correlated across models, but have different interpretations. All factors in both models demonstrated significant associations with external criterion variables of theoretical and clinical importance, but the interpretation of such associations in second-order models was ambiguous due to shared variance among factors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Environmental Risk Factors and Psychotic-Like Symptoms in Children Aged 9-11

Karcher, NR, Shiffman, JE, Barch, DM (2020). Environmental Risk Factors and Psychotic-Like Symptoms in Children Aged 9-11.  July 15, 2020, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2020.07.003

Objective
Research implicates environmental risk factors, including correlates of urbanicity, deprivation, and environmental toxins, in psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). The current study examined associations between several types of environmental risk factors and PLEs in school-age children, whether these associations were specific to PLEs or generalized to other psychopathology, and examined possible neural mechanisms for significant associations.

Method

The current study used cross-sectional data from 10,328 9-11-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ℠ study. Hierarchical linear models examined associations between PLEs and geocoded environmental risk factors, and whether associations generalized to internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Mediation models examined evidence of structural MRI abnormalities (e.g., intracranial volume) potentially mediating associations between PLEs and environmental risk factors.

Results
The results found specific types of environmental risk factors, namely measures of urbanicity (e.g., drug offense exposure, less perception of neighborhood safety), deprivation (e.g., overall deprivation, poverty rate), and lead exposure risk, were associated with PLEs. These associations showed evidence of stronger associations with PLEs than internalizing/externalizing symptoms (especially overall deprivation, poverty, drug offense exposure, and lead exposure risk). There was evidence that brain volume mediated between 11-25% of associations between poverty, perception of neighborhood safety, and lead exposure risk with PLEs.

Conclusion
Although in the context of cross-sectional analyses, this evidence is consistent with neural measures partially mediating the association between PLEs and environmental exposures. This study also replicated and extended recent findings of associations between PLEs and environmental exposures, finding evidence for specific associations with correlates of urbanicity, deprivation, and lead exposure risk.

Callous-unemotional traits and reduced default mode network connectivity within a community sample of children

Umbach RH, Tottenham N. (2020). Callous-unemotional traits and reduced default mode network connectivity within a community sample of children. Dev Psychopathol. 2020 Jul 13:1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0954579420000401. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 32654667

Callous-unemotional (CU) traits characterize a subset of youth at risk for persistent and serious antisocial behavior. Differences in resting state connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) have been associated with CU traits in forensic and clinical samples of adolescents and with deficient interpersonal/affective traits (often operationalized as Factor 1 psychopathy traits) in adults. It is unclear whether these brain-behavior associations extend to community-based children. Using mixed model analyses, we tested the associations between CU traits and within-network resting-state connectivity of seven task-activated networks and the DMN using data from 9,636 9-11-year-olds in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Even after accounting for comorbid externalizing problems, higher levels of CU traits were associated with reduced connectivity within the DMN. This finding is consistent with prior literature surrounding psychopathy and CU traits in clinically and forensically based populations, suggesting the correlation likely exists on a spectrum, can be detected in childhood, and is not restricted to children with significant antisocial behavior

Fine particulate matter exposure during childhood relates to hemispheric-specific differences in brain structure

Cserbik, D., Chen, J-C, McConnell, R., Berhane, K., Sowell, H.R., Schwartz, J., Hackman, D.A., Kan, E., Fan, C.C., Herting, M.M. (2020). Fine particulate matter exposure during childhood relates to hemispheric-specific differences in brain structure. Environment International, vol. 143, Oct. 2020, 105933. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105933

Background
Emerging findings have increased concern that exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution (aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm; PM2.5) may be neurotoxic, even at lower levels of exposure. Yet, additional studies are needed to determine if exposure to current PM2.5 levels may be linked to hemispheric and regional patterns of brain development in children across the United States.

Objectives
We examined the cross-sectional associations between geocoded measures of concurrent annual average outdoor PM2.5 exposure, regional- and hemisphere-specific differences in brain morphometry and cognition in 10,343 9- and 10- year-old children.

Methods
High-resolution structural T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and NIH Toolbox measures of cognition were collected from children at ages 9–10 years. FreeSurfer was used to quantify cortical surface area, cortical thickness, as well as subcortical and cerebellum volumes in each hemisphere. PM2.5 concentrations were estimated using an ensemble-based model approach and assigned to each child’s primary residential address collected at the study visit. We used mixed-effects models to examine regional- and hemispheric- effects of PM2.5 exposure on brain estimates and cognition after considering nesting of participants by familial relationships and study site, adjustment for socio-demographic factors and multiple comparisons.

Results
Annual residential PM2.5 exposure (7.63 ± 1.57 µg/m3) was associated with hemispheric specific differences in gray matter across cortical regions of the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as subcortical and cerebellum brain regions. There were hemispheric-specific associations between PM2.5 exposures and cortical surface area in 9/31 regions; cortical thickness in 22/27 regions; and volumes of the thalamus, pallidum, and nucleus accumbens. We found neither significant associations between PM2.5 and task performance on individual measures of neurocognition nor evidence that sex moderated the observed associations.

Discussion
Even at relatively low-levels, current PM2.5 exposure across the U.S. may be an important environmental factor influencing patterns of structural brain development in childhood. Prospective follow-up of this cohort will help determine how current levels of PM2.5 exposure may affect brain development and subsequent risk for cognitive and emotional problems across adolescence.

Incipient Alcohol Use in Childhood: Early Alcohol Sipping and Its Relations With Psychopathology and Personality

Watts AL, Wood PK, Jackson KM, Lisdahl KM, Heitzeg MM, Gonzalez R, Tapert SF, Barch DM, Sher KJ (2020). Incipient Alcohol Use in Childhood: Early Alcohol Sipping and Its Relations With Psychopathology and Personality. Dev Psychopathol [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32522303 https://psyarxiv.com/bpu4r/

Prior research has shown that sipping of alcohol begins to emerge during childhood and is potentially etiologically significant for later substance use problems. Using a large, community sample of 9- and 10-year olds (N = 11,872; 53% female), we examined individual differences in precocious alcohol use in the form of alcohol sipping. We focused explicitly on features that are robust and well-demonstrated correlates of, and antecedents to, alcohol excess and related problems later in the lifespan, including youth- and parent-reported externalizing traits (i.e., impulsivity, behavioral inhibition and activation) and psychopathology. Seventeen percent of the sample reported sipping alcohol outside of a religiously sanctioned activity by age 9 or 10. Several aspects of psychopathology and personality emerged as small but reliable correlates of sipping. Nonreligious sipping was related to youth-reported impulsigenic traits, aspects behavioral activation, prodromal psychotic-like symptoms, and mood disorder diagnoses, as well as parent-reported externalizing disorder diagnoses. Religious sipping was unexpectedly associated with certain aspects of impulsivity. Together, our findings point to the potential importance of impulsivity and other transdiagnostic indicators of psychopathology (e.g., emotion dysregulation, novelty seeking) in the earliest forms of drinking behavior.

African American Children’s Diminished Returns of Subjective Family Socioeconomic Status on Fun Seeking

Assari S, Akhlaghipour G, Boyce S, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH. (2020). African American Children’s Diminished Returns of Subjective Family Socioeconomic Status on Fun Seeking. Children (Basel). 2020 Jul 9;7(7):75. doi: 10.3390/children7070075. PMID: 32660094

Background: Reward sensitivity (fun-seeking) is a risk factor for a wide range of high-risk behaviors. While high socioeconomic status (SES) is known to reduce reward sensitivity and associated high-risk behaviors, less is known about the differential effects of SES on reward sensitivity. It is plausible to expect weaker protective effects of family SES on reward sensitivity in racial minorities, a pattern called Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs). Aim: We compared Caucasian and African American (AA) children for the effects of subjective family SES on children’s fun-seeking. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of 7061 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was subjective family SES. The main outcome was children’s fun-seeking measured by the behavioral approach system (BAS) and behavioral avoidance system (BIS). Age, gender, marital status, and household size were the covariates. Results: In the overall sample, high subjective family SES was associated with lower levels of fun-seeking. We also found a statistically significant interaction between race and subjective family SES on children’s fun-seeking in the overall sample, suggesting that high subjective family SES is associated with a weaker effect on reducing fun-seeking among AA than Caucasian children. In race-stratified models, high subjective family SES was protective against fun-seeking of Caucasian but not AA children. Conclusion: Subjective family SES reduces the fun-seeking for Caucasian but not AA children.

Neighborhood Deprivation, Prefrontal Morphology and Neurocognition in Late Childhood to Early Adolescence

Vargas T, Damme KSF, Mittal VA (2020). Neighborhood Deprivation, Prefrontal Morphology and Neurocognition in Late Childhood to Early Adolescence. Neuroimage [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32593800 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811920305723?via%3Dihub

Background
Neighborhood deprivation adversely effects neurodevelopment and cognitive function; however, mechanisms remain unexplored. Neighborhood deprivation could be particularly impactful in late childhood/early adolescence, in neural regions with protracted developmental trajectories, e.g., prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Methods
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study recruited 10,205 youth. Geocoded residential history was used to extract individual neighborhood characteristics. A general cognitive ability index and MRI scans were completed. Associations with neurocognition were examined. The relation of PFC surface area and cortical thickness to neighborhood deprivation was tested. PFC subregions and asymmetry, with putative differential environmental susceptibility during key developmental periods, were explored. Analyses tested PFC area as a possible mediating mechanism.

Results
Neighborhood deprivation predicted neurocognitive performance (β ​= ​−0.11), even after accounting for parental education and household income (β ​= ​−0.07). Higher neighborhood deprivation related to greater overall PFC surface area (ηp2 ​= ​0.003), and differences in leftward asymmetry were observed for area (ηp2 ​= ​0.001), and thickness (ηp2 ​= ​0.003). Subregion analyses highlighted differences among critical areas that are actively developing in late childhood/early adolescence and are essential to modulating high order cognitive function. These included orbitofrontal, superior frontal, rostral middle frontal, and frontal pole regions (Cohen’s d ​= ​0.03–0.09). PFC surface area partially mediated the relation between neighborhood deprivation and neurocognition.

Discussion
Neighborhood deprivation related to cognitive function (a foundational skill tied to a range of lifetime outcomes) and PFC morphology, with evidence found for partial mediation of PFC on neurocognitive function. Results inform public health conceptualizations of development and environmental vulnerability.

Social Determinants of Delayed Gratification among American Children

Assari S. (2020). Social Determinants of Delayed Gratification among American Children. Casp J Neurol Sci. Summer 2020;6(3):181-189. doi: 10.32598/cjns.6.22.2.

Background: A wide array of socioeconomic status (SES) indicators tend to show differential effects for members of diverse social groups. Limited knowledge exists on ethnic variation in the effects of family income on delay discounting which is predictor of risk behaviors.

Objectives: This study tested whether the effect of family income on delayed gratification differs between Latino and non-Latino children.

Methods and materials: In this cross-sectional analytical study, data came from wave one of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study which included 3903 non-Latino or Latino Black or White American children between ages 9 and 10 years old. The predictor was family income. Data were collected in 21 sits in the US in 2018. The outcome was children’s delay discounting. We measured delay discounting, which reflected individuals’ tendency to assign less value to remote outcomes and rewards (inversely correlated with delayed gratification). Using SPSS 22.0, linear regression was used for data analysis.

Results: According to our pooled sample regression, higher family income was associated with lower children delay discounting (Beta= -0.05, p = .021). We found a significant interaction between family income and ethnicity, suggesting that the association between family income and delay discounting is stronger for Latino than non-Latino children (Beta= -0.09, p = .043).

Conclusions: Not all ethnic disparities are due to SES gaps; differential returns of socioeconomic status indicators, such as family income, across diverse social groups also contribute to ethnic disparities in health.

Neighborhood Deprivation Shapes Motivational-Neurocircuit Recruitment in Children

Mullins TS, Campbell EM, Hogeveen J (2020). Neighborhood Deprivation Shapes Motivational-Neurocircuit Recruitment in Children. Psychol Sci. 2020 Jul;31(7):881-889. doi: 10.1177/0956797620929299. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Implementing motivated behaviors on the basis of prior reward is central to adaptive human functioning, but aberrant reward-motivated behavior is a core feature of neuropsychiatric illness. Children from disadvantaged neighborhoods have decreased access to rewards, which may shape motivational neurocircuits and risk for psychopathology. Here, we leveraged the unprecedented neuroimaging data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study to test the hypothesis that neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage shapes the functional recruitment of motivational neurocircuits in children. Specifically, via the ABCD study’s monetary-incentive-delay task (N = 6,396 children; age: 9–10 years), we found that children from zip codes with a high Area Deprivation Index demonstrate blunted recruitment of striatum (dorsal and ventral nuclei) and pallidum during reward anticipation. In fact, blunted dorsal striatal recruitment during reward anticipation mediated the association between Area Deprivation Index and increased attention problems. These data reveal a candidate mechanism driving elevated risk for psychopathology in children from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Caffeine intake and cognitive functions in children

Zhang H, Zu Lee X, Qiu A (2020). Caffeine Intake and Cognitive Functions in Children. Psychopharmacology (Berl) [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32601990 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-020-05596-8

Rationale
There is a growing concern over excessive caffeine use and development of caffeine use disorder in children.

Objectives
This study aimed to identify the association between caffeine intake and cognitive functioning in children.

Methods
This study included 11,718 youths aged 9–10 years with cognitive and caffeine intake information that were extracted from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The ABCD study is a longitudinal cohort study started in 2017 that aims to understand the relationships between substance use and neurocognition in youths living in the USA. Cognitive measures were obtained through the 7 core cognitive instruments from the NIH toolbox (vocabulary comprehension, reading decoding, inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and episodic memory). Associations between caffeine intake and the seven cognitive functions were examined using multiple regression models.

Results
Our study revealed that caffeine intake negatively correlated with all the seven cognitive measures. After adjustment for age, gender, sleep, and socioeconomic status (SES), caffeine intake was still found to be negatively associated with most of the cognitive functions, such as vocabulary comprehension, working memory, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and episodic memory, except reading decoding, and inhibitory control.

Conclusions
As beverages with caffeine are consumed frequently, controlling their intake may reduce a risk for nonoptimal cognitive development in children.

Prenatal cannabis exposure and sleep outcomes in children 9–10 years of age in the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Winiger, E.A. & Hewitt, J.K. (2020). Prenatal cannabis exposure and sleep outcomes in children 9–10 years of age in the adolescent brain cognitive development study. Sleep Health, Available online 28 June 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2020.05.006

Objectives
Analyze the associations between prenatal cannabis exposure and child sleep outcomes.

Methods
Data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study®) was used to determine whether maternal reports of prenatal cannabis use were associated with child sleep outcomes among 11,875 children ages 9–10 controlling for covariates including prenatal substance exposure, mother’s education, combined household income, parental marital status, race, child sex, and child age.

Results
Endorsement of any prenatal cannabis use was associated with symptoms of disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep, disorders of arousal, sleep wake disorders, disorders of excessive somnolence, and a summed sleep disorder score (all β > 0.10 and p < 0.03) while frequency of prenatal daily cannabis use was significantly associated with disorders of excessive somnolence (β = 0.29, p = 0.03).

Conclusions
Although causality is not established, the results suggest potential long-term effects of prenatal cannabis exposure on sleep and the prudence of abstinence from cannabis use while pregnant.

The importance of social factors in the association between physical activity and depression in children

Conley, M.I., Hindley, I., Baskin-Sommers, A., Gee, D.G., Casey, B.J., and Rosenberg, M.D. (2020). The importance of social factors in the association between physical activity and depression in children. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health (2020) 14:28.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-020-00335-5

Background: Physical activity is associated with reduced depression in youth and adults. However, our understanding
of how different aspects of youth activities—specifically, the degree to which they are social, team-oriented, and
physical—relate to mental health in children is less clear.

Methods: Here we use a data-driven approach to characterize the degree to which physical and non-physical youth
activities are social and team-oriented. We then examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and participation
in different clusters of youth activities using mixed effect models and causal mediation analyses in 11,875 children
from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. We test our hypotheses in an original sample
(n = 4520, NDA release 1.1) and replication sample of participants (n = 7355, NDA release 2.0.1).

Results: We show and replicate that social–physical activities are associated with lower depressive symptoms. Next,
we demonstrate that social connections, measured by number of close friends, partially mediate the association
between social–physical activities and lower depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Our results provide a rubric for using data-driven techniques to investigate different aspects of youth
activities and highlight the social dynamics of physical activities as a possible protective factor against depression in
childhood.

Keywords: Childhood, Depression, Development, Physical activity, Friendships

Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Working Memory in Childhood

Rosenberg MD, Martinez SA, Rapuano KM, Conley MI, Cohen AO, Cornejo MD, Hagler Jr DJ, Meredith WJ, Anderson KM, Wager TD, Feczko E, Earl E, Fair DA, Barch DM, Watts R and Casey BJ (2020). Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Working Memory in Childhood. Journal of Neuroscience 24 June 2020, 40 (26) 5090-5104; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2841-19.2020

Working memory function changes across development and varies across individuals. The patterns of behavior and brain function that track individual differences in working memory during human development, however, are not well understood. Here, we establish associations between working memory, other cognitive abilities, and functional MRI (fMRI) activation in data from over 11,500 9- to 10-year-old children (both sexes) enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, an ongoing longitudinal study in the United States. Behavioral analyses reveal robust relationships between working memory, short-term memory, language skills, and fluid intelligence. Analyses relating out-of-scanner working memory performance to memory-related fMRI activation in an emotional n-back task demonstrate that frontoparietal activity during a working memory challenge indexes working memory performance. This relationship is domain specific, such that fMRI activation related to emotion processing during the emotional n-back task, inhibitory control during a stop-signal task (SST), and reward processing during a monetary incentive delay (MID) task does not track memory abilities. Together, these results inform our understanding of individual differences in working memory in childhood and lay the groundwork for characterizing the ways in which they change across adolescence.

Reward Responsiveness in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: African Americans’ Diminished Returns of Parental Education

Assari S, Boyce S, Akhlaghipour G, Bazargan M, Caldwell CH (2020). Reward Responsiveness in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: African Americans’ Diminished Returns of Parental Education. Brain Sci [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32575523 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3425/10/6/391

(1) Background: Reward responsiveness (RR) is a risk factor for high-risk behaviors such as aggressive behaviors and early sexual initiation, which are all reported to be higher in African American and low socioeconomic status adolescents. At the same time, parental education is one of the main drivers of reward responsiveness among adolescents. It is still unknown if some of this racial and economic gap is attributed to weaker effects of parental education for African Americans, a pattern also called minorities’ diminished returns (MDRs). (2) Aim: We compared non-Hispanic White and African American adolescents for the effects of parent education on adolescents RR, a psychological and cognitive construct that is closely associated with high-risk behaviors such as the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. (3) Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis that included 7072 adolescents from the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parent education. The main outcome as adolescents’ RR measured by the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral activation system (BAS) measure. (4) Results: In the overall sample, high parent education was associated with lower levels of RR. In the overall sample, we found a statistically significant interaction between race and parent education on adolescents’ RR. The observed statistical interaction term suggested that high parent education is associated with a weaker effect on RR for African American than non-Hispanic White adolescents. In race-stratified models, high parent education was only associated with lower RR for non-Hispanic White but not African American adolescents. (5) Conclusion: Parent education reduces RR for non-Hispanic White but not African American adolescents. To minimize the racial gap in brain development and risk-taking behaviors, we need to address societal barriers that diminish the returns of parent education and resources in African American families. We need public and social policies that target structural and societal barriers, such as the unequal distribution of opportunities and resources. To meet such an aim, we need to reduce the negative effects of social stratification, segregation, racism, and discrimination in the daily lives of African American parents and families. Through an approach like this, African American families and parents can effectively mobilize their resources and utilize their human capital to secure the best possible tangible outcomes for their adolescents.

African Americans’ Diminished Returns of Parental Education on Adolescents’ Depression and Suicide in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Assari, S.; Boyce, S.; Bazargan, M.; Caldwell, C.H. (2020). African Americans’ Diminished Returns of Parental Education on Adolescents’ Depression and Suicide in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2020, 10, 656-668. doi: 10.3390/ejihpe10020048.

To investigate racial and ethnic differences in the protective effects of parental education and marital status against adolescents’ depressed mood and suicidal attempts in the U.S. As proposed by the Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs), parental education generates fewer tangible outcomes for non-White compared to White families. Our existing knowledge is very limited regarding diminished returns of parental education and marital status on adolescents’ depressed mood and suicidal attempts. To compare racial groups for the effects of parental education and marital status on adolescents’ depressed mood and suicidal attempt. This cross-sectional study included 7076 non-Hispanic White or African American 8-11 years old adolescents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variables were parental education and marital status. The main outcomes were depressed mood and suicidal attempts based on parents’ reports using the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). Age and gender were the covariates. Race was the moderator. Logistic regression was used to analyze the ABCD data. Overall, parental education was associated with lower odds of depressed mood (OR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.67–0.99; p = 0.037) and having married parents was associated with lower odds of suicidal attempts (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.28–0.91; p = 0.022). In the pooled sample, we found interaction terms between race with parental education and marital status on the outcomes, suggesting that the protective effect of having married parents against depressed mood (OR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.00–2.37; p = 0.048) and the protective effect of having married parents against suicidal attempts (OR = 6.62; 95% CI = 2.21–19.86; p = 0.001) are weaker for African Americans when compared to Whites. The protective effects of parent education and marital status against depressed mood and suicidal attempts are diminished for African American adolescents compared to White adolescents. There is a need for programs and interventions that equalize not only socioeconomic status (SES) but also the marginal returns of SES for racial minority groups. Such efforts require addressing structural and societal barriers that hinder African American families from translating their SES resources and human capital into tangible outcomes. There is a need for studies that can minimize MDRs for African American families, so that every individual and every family can benefit from their resources regardless of their skin color. To achieve such a goal, we need to help middle-class African American families secure tangible outcomes in the presence of SES resources.

The ABCD study: understanding the development of risk for mental and physical health outcomes

Karcher NR, Barch DM. (2020). The ABCD study: understanding the development of risk for mental and physical health outcomes. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020 Jun 15:1-12. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0736-6. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32541809 Free PMC article. Review.

Following in the footsteps of other large “population neuroscience” studies, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ (ABCD) study is the largest in the U.S. assessing brain development. The study is examining approximately 11,875 youth from 21 sites from age 9 to 10 for approximately ten years into young adulthood. The ABCD Study® has completed recruitment for the baseline sample generally using a multi-stage probability sample including a stratified random sample of schools. The dataset has a wealth of measured attributes of youths and their environment, including neuroimaging, cognitive, biospecimen, behavioral, youth self-report and parent self-report metrics, and environmental measures. The initial goal of the ABCD Study was to examine risk and resiliency factors associated with the development of substance use, but the project has expanded far beyond this initial set of questions and will also greatly inform our understanding of the contributions of biospecimens (e.g., pubertal hormones), neural alterations, and environmental factors to the development of both healthy behavior and brain function as well as risk for poor mental and physical outcomes. This review outlines how the ABCD Study was designed to elucidate factors associated with the development of negative mental and physical health outcomes and will provide a selective overview of results emerging from the ABCD Study. Such emerging data includes initial validation of new instruments, important new information about the prevalence and correlates of mental health challenges in middle childhood, and promising data regarding neural correlates of both healthy and disordered behavior. In addition, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities to understanding both healthy development and the emergence of risk from ABCD Study data. Finally, we will overview the future directions of this large undertaking and the ways in which it will shape our understanding of the development of risk for poor mental and physical health outcomes.

Examining Specificity of Neural Correlates of Childhood Psychotic-like Experiences During an Emotional n-Back Task

O’Brien KJ, Barch DM, Kandala S,Karcher NR (2020).  Examining Specificity of Neural Correlates of Childhood Psychotic-like Experiences During an Emotional n-Back Task. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging.  [Epub ahead of print] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.02.012

Background
Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) during childhood are associated with greater risk of developing a psychotic disorder in adulthood, highlighting the importance of identifying neural correlates of childhood PLEs. Furthermore, impairment of cognitive functions, such as working memory and emotion regulation, has also been linked to psychosis risk as well as to disruptions in several brain regions. However, impairments in these domains have also been linked to other disorders, including depression. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine whether neural impairments in regions associated with working memory and implicit emotion regulation impairments are specific to PLEs versus depression.

Methods
The current study used an emotional n-back task to examine the relationship between childhood PLEs and neural activation of regions involved in both working memory and implicit emotion regulation using data from 8805 9- to 11-year-olds in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study 2.0 release. To examine specificity, we also analyzed associations with depressive symptoms.

Results
Our results indicated that increased PLEs during middle childhood were associated with decreased activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, striatum, and pallidum during trials requiring working memory. In contrast, increased activation of the parahippocampus, caudate, nucleus accumbens, and rostral anterior cingulate during face-viewing trials was associated with increased depressive symptoms.

Conclusions
These results support the dimensional view of psychosis across the lifespan, providing evidence that neural correlates of PLEs, such as decreased activation during working memory, are present during middle childhood. Furthermore, these correlates are specific to psychotic-like symptoms as compared with depressive symptoms.

Adverse childhood experiences and psychotic-like experiences are associated above and beyond shared correlates: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Karcher, N.R., Niendam, T.A., Barch, D.M. (2020). Adverse childhood experiences and psychotic-like experiences are associated above and beyond shared correlates: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study. Schizophrenia Research, Available online 8 June 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.05.045.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with increased risk for psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). However, ACEs and PLEs are also both associated with several shared factors (e.g., internalizing symptoms, suicidality). Few studies have explicitly examined whether the association between ACEs and PLEs remains over and above shared correlates. To address this question, using 10,800 9–11-year-olds, we examined whether ACEs and school-aged PLEs were associated when accounting for shared correlates, and whether there was evidence of mediation in associations between PLEs, ACEs, and these shared factors. Greater number of ACEs were associated with greater PLEs, including several specific ACEs (e.g., bullying). Importantly, ACEs and PLEs were related even when accounting for shared correlates. Further, PLEs partially mediated the relationships between ACEs and both internalizing symptoms and suicidality, including suicidal behavior. The current study helps clarify the nature of the associations between PLEs and ACE and has important clinical implications for addressing PLEs.

Association of Prenatal Opioid Exposure With Precentral Gyrus Volume in Children

Hartwell ML, Croff JM, Sheffield Morris A, Breslin FJ, Dunn K (2020). Association of Prenatal Opioid Exposure With Precentral Gyrus Volume in Children. JAMA Pediatr. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32511674 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2766305.

Prenatal opioid exposure is associated with delayed locomotor performance at multiple stages of early child development and with smaller neuroanatomical structures, such as the basal ganglia. The motor cortex, which controls speech and motor skills, may also be vulnerable to drug exposure, but to our knowledge, this has yet to be assessed. Identifying risks of exposure associated with brain structures is critical for prevention and intervention strategies for cognitive effects that can last long after conception.

Family Socioeconomic Status and Exposure to Childhood Trauma: Racial Differences

Assari, S. (2020). Family Socioeconomic Status and Exposure to Childhood Trauma: Racial Differences. Children 2020, 7, 57.
DOI:10.3390/children7060057

Background: Minorities’ diminished returns (MDRs) refer to weaker effects of socioeconomic status (SES) indicators such as parental educational attainment and family income in generating tangible childhood outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities compared to the majority group, a pattern prevalent in the US. Our existing knowledge is minimal, however, about diminished returns of family SES on reducing exposure to childhood trauma. Aim: To determine if there was a difference between non-Hispanic whites (NHW) and non-Hispanic blacks (NHB) in the effect of SES on exposure to childhood trauma among children ages 8–11 years old. Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from 4696 NHW or NHB American 8–11-year-old children who were participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. The independent variables were parental educational attainment and family income. The primary outcome was exposure to 1 or 2+ childhood traumas, measured by the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS) semi-structured interview. Polynomial regression was used for data analysis. Results: Parental education and family income had statistically significant protective (negative) effects on childhood trauma, indicating children from high income and highly educated families were exposed to a lower level of childhood trauma. However, race/ethnicity showed statistically significant interactions with parental education and family income on exposure to childhood trauma, indicating weaker protective effects of parental education and family income on reducing exposure to trauma for NHB compared to NHW children. Race-specific models showed protective effects of parental education and family income on exposure to childhood trauma for NHW but not NHB children. Conclusion: The protective effects of parental education and family income against exposure to childhood trauma are systematically diminished for NHBs compared to NHWs. To minimize the racial/ethnic health gaps, diminished returns of parental education and family income should be addressed. There is a need for programs and interventions that equalize not only SES but also the marginal returns of SES for ethnic groups. Such efforts require addressing structural and societal barriers that hinder NHB families from translating their SES resources into tangible outcomes. There is a need for studies that can minimize MDRs for NHB families, such that SES can similarly secure tangible outcomes in the presence of SES resources.

Early Adolescent Gender Diversity and Mental Health in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Potter A, Dube S, Allgaier N, Loso H, Ivanova M, Barrios LC, Bookheimer S, Chaarani B, Dumas J, Feldstein-Ewing S, Freedman EG, Garavan H, Hoffman E, McGlade E, Robin L, Johns MM (2020). Early Adolescent Gender Diversity and Mental Health in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32463952 https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.13248

Background
There are known associations between mental health symptoms and transgender identity among adults. Whether this relationship extends to early adolescents and to gender domains other than identity is unclear. This study measured dimensions of gender in a large, diverse, sample of youth, and examined associations between diverse gender experiences and mental health.

Methods
The ABCD study is an ongoing, longitudinal, US cohort study. Baseline data (release 2.0) include 11,873 youth age 9/10 (48% female); and the 4,951 1‐year follow‐up visits (age 10/11; 48% female) completed prior to data release. A novel gender survey at the 1‐year visit assessed felt‐gender, gender noncontentedness, and gender nonconformity using a 5‐point scale. Mental health measures included youth‐ and parent‐reports.

Results
Roughly half a percent of 9/10‐year‐olds (n = 58) responded ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked, ‘Are you transgender’ at baseline. Recurrent thoughts of death were more prevalent among these youth compared to the rest of the cohort (19.6% vs. 6.4%, χ2 = 16.0, p < .001). At the 1‐year visit, when asked about the three dimensions of gender on a 5‐point scale, 33.2% (n = 1,605) provided responses that were not exclusively and totally aligned with one gender. Significant relationships were observed between mental health symptoms and gender diversity for all dimensions assessed.

Conclusions
Similar to adult studies, early adolescents identifying as transgender reported increased mental health symptoms. Results also point to considerable diversity in other dimensions of gender (felt‐gender, gender noncontentedness, gender nonconformity) among 10/11‐year‐olds, and find this diversity to be related to critical mental health symptoms. These findings add to our limited understanding of the relationship between dimensions of gender and wellness for youth.

Behavioral and neural signatures of working memory in childhood

Rosenberg, M.D., Martinez, S.A., Rapuano, K., Conley, M.I., Cohen, A.O., Cornejo, M.D., Hagler Jr., D.J., Meredith, W.J., Anderson, K.M., Wager, T.D., Feczko, E., Earl, E., Fair, D.A., Barch, D.M., Watts, R., & Casey, BJ. (2020). Behavioral and neural signatures of working memory in childhood. Journal of Neuroscience 25 May 2020, JN-RM-2841-19; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2841-19.2020.

Working memory function changes across development and varies across individuals. The patterns of behavior and brain function that track individual differences in working memory during human development, however, are not well understood. Here we establish associations between working memory, cognitive abilities, and functional MRI activation in data from over 11,500 9–11-year-old children (both sexes) enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, an ongoing longitudinal study in the United States. Behavioral analyses reveal robust relationships between working memory, short-term memory, language skills, and fluid intelligence. Analyses relating out-of-scanner working memory performance to memory-related fMRI activation in an emotional n-back task demonstrate that frontoparietal activity specifically during a working memory challenge indexes working memory performance. This relationship is domain-specific, such that fMRI activation related to emotion processing during the emotional n-back task, inhibitory control during a stop-signal task, and reward processing during a monetary incentive delay task does not track memory abilities. Together these results inform our understanding of individual differences in working memory in childhood and lay the groundwork for characterizing the ways in which they change across adolescence.

Parental Education on Youth Inhibitory Control in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: Blacks’ Diminished Returns

Assari, S. (2020). Parental Education on Youth Inhibitory Control in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: Blacks’ Diminished Returns. Brain Sci. 2020, 10(5), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10050312.

Background: Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) youth are at a higher risk of high-risk behaviors compared to non-Hispanic White (NHW) youth. Some of this racial gap is shown to be due to weaker effects of parental educational attainment on reducing the prevalence of behavioral risk factors such as impulsivity, substance use, aggression, obesity, and poor school performance for NHBs, a pattern called Minorities’ Diminished Returns. These diminishing returns may be due to lower than expected effects of parental education on inhibitory control. Aim: We compared NHW and NHB youth for the effect of parental educational attainment on youth inhibitory control, a psychological and cognitive construct that closely predicts high-risk behaviors such as the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis that included 4188 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parental educational attainment. The main outcome was youth inhibitory control measured by the stop-signal task (SST), which was validated by parent reports on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: In race/ethnicity-stratified models, high parental educational attainment was associated with a higher level of inhibitory control for NHB than NHW youth. In the pooled sample, race/ethnicity showed a statistically significant interaction with parental educational attainment on youth inhibitory control suggesting that high parental educational attainment has a smaller boosting effect on inhibitory control for NHB than NHW youth. Conclusion: Parental educational attainment boosts inhibitory control for NHW but not NHB youth. To minimize the racial gap in youth brain development, we need to address societal barriers that diminish the returns of family economic and human resources, particularly parental educational attainment, for racial and ethnic minority youth. Social and public policies should address structural and societal barriers such as social stratification, segregation, racism, and discrimination that hinder NHB parents’ abilities to effectively mobilize their human resources and secure tangible outcomes for their developing youth.

Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Parental Educational Attainment on Adolescents’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems

Assari S, Boyce B, Caldwell CH, Bazargan M (2020). Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Parental Educational Attainment on Adolescents’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems. Children (Basel) 7(5). PMID: 32443584 https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/7/5/49

Aim: To compare racial groups for the effect of parental educational attainment on adolescents’ social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 10,762 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study were included. The independent variable was parental educational attainment. The main outcomes were (1) anxious and depressed mood, (2) withdrawn and depressed affect, (3) somatic complaints, (4) social and interpersonal problems, (5) thought problems, (6) rule-breaking behaviors, (7) attention problems, and (8) violent and aggressive behaviors. These scores were generated based on parent-reported behavioral problems measured using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Race and ethnicity were the moderators. Linear regression was used to analyze the ABCD data. Results: Overall, high parental educational attainment was associated with lower scores across all domains. Race and ethnicity showed statistically significant interactions with parental educational attainment on adolescents’ fewer social, emotional, and behavioral problems (all domains), net of all confounders, indicating smaller tangible gains from their parental educational attainment for Black and Hispanic compared to non-Hispanic White adolescents. Conclusions: The protective effects of parental education against social, emotional, and behavioral problems are systematically diminished for Hispanic and Black than non-Hispanic White adolescents.

Sleep Disturbance Predicts Depression Symptoms in Early Adolescence: Initial Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Goldstone A, Javitz HS, Claudatos SA, Buysse DJ, Hasler BP, de Zambotti M, Clark DB, Franzen PL, Prouty DE, Colrain IM, Baker FC (2020). Sleep Disturbance Predicts Depression Symptoms in Early Adolescence: Initial Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. J Adolesc Health 66(5):567-574. PMID: 32046896.

Purpose
The aim of the study was to investigate associations between sleep disturbances and mental health in adolescents.

Methods
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.

Results
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).

Conclusions
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.

Unique longitudinal relationships between symptoms of psychopathology in youth: A cross-lagged panel network analysis in the ABCD study

Funkhouser CJ, Chacko AA, Correa KA, Kaiser AJE, Shankman SA (2020). Unique longitudinal relationships between symptoms of psychopathology in youth: A cross-lagged panel network analysis in the ABCD study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32399985 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.13256

Background
The network theory suggests that psychopathology may reflect causal relationships between individual symptoms. Several studies have examined cross‐sectional relationships between individual symptoms in youth. However, these studies cannot address the directionality of the temporal relationships hypothesized by the network theory. Therefore, we estimated the longitudinal relationships between individual internalizing, externalizing, and attention symptoms in youth.

Methods
Data from 4,093 youth participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study were used. Symptoms were assessed using the Brief Problem Monitor, which was administered at three time points spaced six months apart. Unique longitudinal relationships between symptoms at T1 and T2 were estimated using cross‐lagged panel network modeling. Network replicability was assessed by comparing this network to an identically estimated replication network of symptoms at T2 predicting symptoms at T3.

Results
After controlling for all other symptoms and demographic covariates, depressed mood, inattention, and worry at T1 were most predictive of other symptoms at T2. In contrast, threats of violence and destructiveness at T2 were most prospectively predicted by other symptoms at T1. The reciprocal associations between depressed mood and worthlessness were among the strongest bivariate relationships in the network. Comparisons between the original network and the replication network (correlation between edge lists = .61; individual edge replicability = 64%–84%) suggested moderate replicability.

Conclusions
Although causal inferences are precluded by the observational design and methodological considerations, these findings demonstrate the directionality of relationships between individual symptoms in youth and highlight depressed mood, inattention, and worry as potential influencers of other symptoms.

Disruptive Behavior Problems, Callous-Unemotional Traits, and Regional Gray Matter Volume in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study

Waller R, Hawes SW, Byrd AL, Dick AS, Sutherland MT, Riedel MC, Tobia MJ, Bottenhorn KL, Laird AR, Gonzalez R (2020). Disruptive Behavior Problems, Callous-Unemotional Traits, and Regional Gray Matter Volume in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32144045 https://www.biologicalpsychiatrycnni.org/article/S2451-9022(20)30020-3/fulltext

Background
Neurobiological differences linked to socioemotional and cognitive processing are well documented in youths with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs), especially youths with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. The current study expanded this literature by examining gray matter volume (GMV) differences among youths with DBD with CU traits (DBDCU+), youths with DBD without CU traits (DBD-only), and youths that were typically developing (TD).

Methods
Data were from the first full sample release of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study (mean age = 9.49 years; 49% female). We tested whether the GMVs of 11 regions of interest selected a priori differentiated between our 3 groups: DBDCU+ ( n = 288), DBD-only ( n = 362), and TD ( n = 915). Models accounted for demographic confounders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and intracranial volume. We examined two potential moderators of the relationship between GMVs and group membership: sex and clinically significant anxiety (i.e., primary vs. secondary CU traits subtype).

Results
Youths in the DBDCU+ group had lower right amygdala GMV, and youths in the DBD-only group had lower bilateral amygdala GMV relative to TD youths. Youths in the DBDCU+ group had lower bilateral hippocampal GMV, and youths in the DBD-only group had lower left hippocampal GMV relative to TD youths. Youths in the DBDCU+ group evidenced lower left insula GMV relative to TD youths. Finally, youths in the DBD-only group had lower left superior frontal gyrus and lower right caudal anterior cingulate cortex GMVs relative to TD youths. There was no moderation of associations between GMV and group membership by sex.

Conclusions
Our findings implicate structural aberrations in both the amygdala and hippocampus in the etiology of DBDs, with minimal evidence for differences based on the presence or absence of CU traits.

Parent versus child report of children’s sexual orientation: associations with psychiatric morbidity in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study

Clark, K.A., Mennies, R.J., Olino, T.M., Dougherty, L.R., Pachankis, J.E. (2020). Parent versus child report of children’s sexual orientation: associations with psychiatric morbidity in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Annals of Epidemiology
Volume 45, May 2020, Pages 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.03.009.

Purpose
We sought to document the association between parent’s report and their child’s report of the child’s sexual orientation and associations between this agreement/disagreement and the child’s psychiatric morbidity.

Methods
Data were drawn from 11,565 parent–child dyads who completed the baseline assessment of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (2016-2018; children ages 9-10 years). Whether the child was “gay or bisexual” was asked separately of parent and child. We created four categories: (1) Concordant No; (2) Discordant: Parent Yes/Maybe, Child No/Unclear; (3) Discordant: Parent No, Child Yes/Maybe; (4) Concordant Yes/Maybe. Parents reported their child’s lifetime psychiatric morbidity (i.e., depression, anxiety, ADHD, ODD, OCD, PTSD, eating disorder, and conduct disorder).

Results
Of parent–child dyads, 960 (7.9%) disagreed about the child’s sexual orientation; the Concordant No dyads reported the lowest psychiatric morbidity compared with the other three dyad groups. Child psychiatric morbidity among the Discordant: Parent Yes/Maybe dyads compared with the Concordant No dyads was elevated across all disorders except PTSD (e.g., depression [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.20, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.51-3.21], anxiety [aOR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.38-1.92], and eating disorder [aOR = 2.63, 95% CI: 1.39-4.68]).

Conclusions
The sexual orientation disparity in psychiatric morbidity begins in childhood. Parent–child agreement/disagreement of children’s sexual orientation represents a potential marker of this early vulnerability.

Parental family history of alcohol use disorder and neural correlates of response inhibition in children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Lees B, Aguinaldo L, Squeglia LM, Infante MA, Wade NE, Hernandez Mejia M, Jacobus J (2020). Parental family history of alcohol use disorder and neural correlates of response inhibition in children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020 Apr 25. doi: 10.1111/acer.14343. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32333792. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.14343

Background
Youth whose parents have alcohol use disorder (AUD) are at higher risk for earlier initiation and greater magnitude of alcohol use, and have a higher likelihood of developing an AUD than their peers without parental history of AUD. This increased risk may be partly attributable to altered development of inhibitory control and related neural circuitry. This study examined neural activation during a motor response inhibition Stop Signal Task (SST) in substance‐naïve youth aged 9 to 10 years with and without parental family history of AUD.

Methods
Baseline cross‐sectional survey and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were drawn from 6,898 youth in the US‐based Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Generalized additive mixed models were conducted to examine the association between maternal, paternal, and parental (both mother and father) family history of AUD with neural activation during successful and failed response inhibition. Family history interactions with sex and stratification by ethnicity were explored.

Results
Of 6,898 participants, 951 (14%) were family history positive for any parental AUD. Paternal history of AUD was associated with greater activation for successful inhibition in the right medial orbital frontal gyrus, compared to youth with no family history. Maternal history of AUD was associated with greater activation for failed response inhibition among females in the cerebellum, compared to females with no such history. Parental history (both mother and father) of AUD was associated with greater activation during successful inhibition in the left paracentral gyri and left superior parietal lobule. Maternal history and parental history of AUD findings were accounted for by a family history of substance use disorder in general. All effect sizes were relatively small.

Conclusions
Substance‐naïve children with a parental family history of AUD exhibit greater neural activation in some regions of the fronto‐basal ganglia and cerebellar networks when they successfully or unsuccessfully inhibit a response as compared to children with no such family history. This unique neural response pattern could reflect a compensatory response and may represent an inherent neurobiological vulnerability to risk‐related behaviors in these youth which will be examined in future longitudinal analyses of this cohort.

Childhood Obesity, Cortical Structure, and Executive Function in Healthy Children

Ronan L, Alexander-Bloch A, Fletcher PC. (2020). Childhood Obesity, Cortical Structure, and Executive Function in Healthy Children. Cereb Cortex. 2020 Apr 14;30(4):2519-2528. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz257. PMID: 31646343

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.

Risk and protective factors for childhood suicidality: a US population-based study

Delfina Janiri, MD, Gaelle E Doucet, PhD, Maurizio Pompili, MD, Gabriele Sani, MD, Beatriz Luna, PhD, David A Brent, MD, Sophia Frangou, MD (2020). Risk and protective factors for childhood suicidality: a US population-based study. The Lancet Psychiatry, March 12, 2020. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30049-3

Background
Childhood suicidal ideation and behaviours are poorly understood. We examined correlates of suicidality in a US population-based sample of children participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The ABCD study aims to examine trajectories of mental health from childhood to adulthood and collects information on multiple domains, including mental and physical wellbeing, brain imaging, behavioural and cognitive characteristics, and social and family environment. We sought to identify and rank risk and protective factors for childhood suicidal thoughts and behaviours across these multiple domains and evaluate their association with self-agreement and caregiver agreement in reporting suicidality.

Methods
The ABCD sample comprises a cohort of 11 875 children aged 9–10 years. The sociodemographic factors on which the sample was recruited were age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, and urbanicity. Participants were enrolled at 22 sites, the catchment area of which encompassed over 20% of the entire US population in this age group. Multistage sampling was used to ensure both local randomisation and representativeness of sociodemographic variation of the ABCD sample. The data used in this study were accessed from the ABCD Study Curated Annual Release 2.0. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours (suicidality) in each child were evaluated through independent child and caregiver reports based on the computerized Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for DSM-5 (KSADS-5). We used bootstrapped logistic regression to quantify the association between suicidal ideation and behaviours, with measures of mental and physical wellbeing, behaviour, cognition, and social and family environment in participants from the ABCD study.

Findings
Our study sample comprised 7994 unrelated children (mean age 9·9 years [SD 0·5]; 4234 [53%] male participants) with complete data on child-reported and caregiver-reported suicidal ideas and behaviours. Overall, 673 (8·4%) children reported any past or current suicidal ideation, 75 (0·9%) had any past or current suicidal plans, and 107 (1·3%) had any past or current suicidal attempts. According to caregivers, 650 (8·1%) of the children reported any past or current suicidal ideation, 46 (0·6%) reported any past or current suicidal plans, and 39 (0·5%) reported past or current suicidal attempts. However, inter-informant agreement was low (Cohen’s κ range 0·0–0·2). Regardless of informant, child psychopathology (odds ratio [OR] 1·7–4·8, 95% CI 1·5–7·4) and child-reported family conflict (OR 1·4–1·8, 95% CI 1·1–2·5) were the most robust risk factors for suicidality. The risk of child-reported suicidality increased with higher weekend screen use time (OR 1·3, 95% CI 1·2–1·7) and reduced with greater parental supervision and positive school involvement (for both OR 0·8, 95% CI 0·7–0·9). Additionally, caregiver-reported suicidality was positively associated with caregiver educational level (OR 1·3, 95% CI 1·1–1·5) and male sex in children (1·5, 1·1–2·0), and inversely associated with the number of household cohabitants (0·8, 0·7–1·0).

Interpretation
We identified risk and protective factors that show robust and generalisable associations with childhood suicidality. These factors provide actionable targets for optimising prevention and intervention strategies, support the need to identify and treat psychopathology in school-age children, and underscore the importance of school and family interventions for childhood suicidality.

Parental and social factors in relation to child psychopathology, behavior, and cognitive function

Zhang H, Lee ZX, White T, Qiu A (2020). Parental and social factors in relation to child psychopathology, behavior, and cognitive function. Transl Psych Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32102994 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-020-0761-6

Parental and social factors have long-term impact on the neurodevelopment of offspring, but tend to highly covary with each other. Thus, it is difficult to parse out which parental and social factor contributes most to neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study aimed to assess clusters of parental and social factors associated with child psychopathology, behavioral problems, and cognition. This study employed the data of 11,875 children (9 to 11 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on 39 environmental measures and 30 child behavior and cognitive measures separately to identify clusters of parental and social factors and clusters of child psychopathology, behaviour, and cognition. Regression analysis was used to examine independent effects of each cluster of parental and social factors on child psychopathology, behavioral problems, and cognition. Greater Parent Psychopathology cluster was associated with greater Child Psychopathology cluster. Moreover, greater Socioeconomic Status cluster was associated with greater child General Cognition and Executive Function but less Behavioral Inhibition clusters. Greater Proximal Social Environment and Interaction cluster were associated with less child Impulsive Behavior and Behavioral Inhibition, but greater Behavioral Activation cluster. The environmental clusters related to birth outcomes, maternal tobacco, and drug use were not significantly related to child psychopathology, behavior, and cognition. Our findings suggest that socioeconomic status, parental psychopathology, and social environment and interactions are the strongest risks for behavioral problems and cognitive performance in a general child population. Intervention programs should target modifiable factors within these domains.

Prevalence and correlates of maladaptive guilt in middle childhood

Donohue MR, Tillman R, Perino MT, Whalen D2, Luby J, Barch DM (2020). Prevalence and correlates of maladaptive guilt in middle childhood. J Affect Disord 263: 64-71. PMID: 31818798 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016503271930655X?via%3Dihub

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Limitations
Maladaptive guilt was assessed through one item, though many studies of maladaptive guilt measure the symptom in this manner.

Conclusions
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.

Prevalence and Family-Related Factors Associated With Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Attempts, and Self-injury in Children Aged 9 to 10 Years

Danielle C. DeVille, MA; Diana Whalen, PhD; Florence J. Breslin, MS; Amanda S. Morris, PhD; Sahib S. Khalsa, MD, Ph; Martin P. Paulus, MD; Deanna M. Barch, PhD (2020). Prevalence and Family-Related Factors Associated With Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Attempts, and Self-injury in Children Aged 9 to 10 Years. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(2):e1920956. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.20956

Importance  Although suicide is a leading cause of death for children in the United States, and the rate of suicide in childhood has steadily increased, little is known about suicidal ideation and behaviors in children.

Objective  To assess the overall prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and nonsuicidal self-injury, as well as family-related factors associated with suicidality and self-injury among preadolescent children.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional study using retrospective analysis of the baseline sample from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. This multicenter investigation used an epidemiologically informed school-based recruitment strategy, with consideration of the demographic composition of the 21 ABCD sites and the United States as a whole. The sample included children aged 9 to 10 years and their caregivers.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Lifetime suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and nonsuicidal self-injury as reported by children and their caregivers in a computerized version of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia.

Results  A total of 11 814 children aged 9 to 10 years (47.8% girls; 52.0% white) and their caregivers were included. After poststratification sociodemographic weighting, the approximate prevalence rates were 6.4% (95% CI, 5.7%-7.3%) for lifetime history of passive suicidal ideation; 4.4% (95% CI, 3.9%-5.0%) for nonspecific active suicidal ideation; 2.4% (95% CI, 2.1%-2.7%) for active ideation with method, intent, or plan; 1.3% (95% CI, 1.0%-1.6%) for suicide attempts; and 9.1% (95% CI, 8.1-10.3) for nonsuicidal self-injury. After covarying by sex, family history, internalizing and externalizing problems, and relevant psychosocial variables, high family conflict was significantly associated with suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% CI, 1.07-1.16) and nonsuicidal self-injury (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05-1.14), and low parental monitoring was significantly associated with ideation (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.98), attempts (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86-0.97), and nonsuicidal self-injury (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98); these findings were consistent after internal replication. Most of children’s reports of suicidality and self-injury were either unknown or not reported by their caregivers.

Conclusions and Relevance  This study demonstrates the association of family factors, including high family conflict and low parental monitoring, with suicidality and self-injury in children. Future research and ongoing prevention and intervention efforts may benefit from the examination of family factors.

Sleep duration, brain structure, and psychiatric and cognitive problems in children

Wei Cheng, Edmund Rolls, Weikang Gong, Jingnan Du, Jie Zhang, Xiao-Yong Zhang, Fei Li, Jianfeng Feng (2020). Sleep duration, brain structure, and psychiatric and cognitive problems in children. Molecular Psychiatry, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41380-020-0663-2.

Low sleep duration in adults is correlated with psychiatric and cognitive problems. We performed for the first time a large-scale analysis of sleep duration in children, and how this relates to psychiatric problems including depression, to cognition, and to brain structure. Structural MRI was analyzed in relation to sleep duration, and psychiatric and cognitive measures in 11,067 9–11-year-old children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, using a linear mixed model, mediation analysis, and structural equation methods in a longitudinal analysis. Dimensional psychopathology (including depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior) in the children was negatively correlated with sleep duration. Dimensional psychopathology in the parents was also correlated with short sleep duration in their children. The brain areas in which higher volume was correlated with longer sleep duration included the orbitofrontal cortex, prefrontal and temporal cortex, precuneus, and supramarginal gyrus. Longitudinal data analysis showed that the psychiatric problems, especially the depressive problems, were significantly associated with short sleep duration 1 year later. Further, mediation analysis showed that depressive problems significantly mediate the effect of these brain regions on sleep. Higher cognitive scores were associated with higher volume of the prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and medial orbitofrontal cortex. Public health implications are that psychopathology in the parents should be considered in relation to sleep problems in children. Moreover, we show that brain structure is associated with sleep problems in children, and that this is related to whether or not the child has depressive problems.

White Matter Tract Integrity, Involvement in Sports, and Depressive Symptoms in Children

Gorham LS, Barch DM (2020). White Matter Tract Integrity, Involvement in Sports, and Depressive Symptoms in Children. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 51(3):490-501.  PMID: 31983035 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10578-020-00960-3

White matter tract integrity, measured via fractional anisotropy (FA), may serve as a mediating variable between exercise and depression. To study this, we examined data from 3973 children participating in the ABCD study. Parents of children completed the Sports and Activities questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist, and children completed a diffusion MRI scan, providing information about the FA of the parahippocampal cingulum and fornix. Results showed that involvement in sports was associated with reduced depression in boys. The number of activities and sports that a child was involved in was negatively related to FA of the left fornix but was unrelated to FA of other tracts. FA of these white matter tracts was also unrelated to depressive symptoms. This suggests that while white matter tract integrity is associated with exercise, it may not be part of a pathway linking exercise to depression levels in preadolescent boys.

Association of lead-exposure risk and family income with childhood brain outcomes

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.

Editorial: Family History of Depression and Child Striatal Volumes in the ABCD Study: Promise and Perils of Neuroimaging Research With Large Samples

Beauchaine TP (2020). Editorial: Family History of Depression and Child Striatal Volumes in the ABCD Study: Promise and Perils of Neuroimaging Research With Large Samples. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 10:S0890-8567(20)30003-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2020.01.002. Online ahead of print. PMID: 31931163

Every generation of psychopathologists is confronted with critical issues that, if left unaddressed, impede progress in both science and practice. As just one example, progress in psychiatry was hindered for many years by problems with diagnostic validity. Surmounting these problems required painstaking efforts to operationalize diagnostic criteria and to formulate effective structured interviews. More recently, critical issues facing psychiatry include tackling the so-called replication crisis, and mapping the overwhelming etiological complexity of psychopathology-two interrelated challenges. Many highly cited findings from past decades have failed to replicate, have not been subjected to replication, or have overestimated effect sizes considerably. Such findings apply to virtually all areas of psychiatric research, spanning genetics, central and peripheral biomarkers, and interventions.1,2.

Correction of respiratory artifacts in MRI head motion estimates

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 (2020) 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.

Replication of Associations With Psychotic-Like Experiences in Middle Childhood From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Karcher NR, Loewy RL, Savill M, Avenevoli S, Huber RS, Simon TJ, Leckliter IN, Sher KJ, Barch DM (2020). Replication of Associations With Psychotic-Like Experiences in Middle Childhood From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.  Schizophr Bull Open. 2020 Jan;1(1):sgaa009. doi: 10.1093/schizbullopen/sgaa009. Epub 2020 Jun 12. PMID: 32803159

The fields of psychology and psychiatry are increasingly recognizing the importance of replication efforts. The current study aimed to replicate previous findings examining the construct validity and psychometric properties of a psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) measure in middle childhood using an independent subset of the baseline Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) sample. Using a remainder baseline sample of 7013 nine- to eleven-year-old children with complete data, we examined measurement invariance across race/ethnicity and sex, and examined the associations between the Prodromal Questionnaire Brief-Child Version (PQ-BC) and other measures of PLEs, internalizing symptoms, neuropsychological test performance, and developmental milestones, to determine whether previously obtained results replicated in this nonoverlapping baseline sample subset. The results replicated measurement invariance across ethnicity and sex, and analyses again found higher PQ-BC scores for African American (β = .364, 95% CI = 0.292, 0.435) and Hispanic (β = .255, 95% CI = 0.185, 0.324) groups. We also replicated that higher PQ-BC scores were associated with psychosis risk measures, higher rates of child-reported internalizing symptoms (Distress: β = .378, 95% CI = 0.357,0.398), neuropsychological test performance deficits (eg, working memory; Distress: β = -.069, 95% CI = -0.096, -0.042), and motor (Distress: β = .026, 95% CI = 0.003, 0.049) and speech (Distress: β = .042, 95% CI = 0.018, 0.065) developmental milestone delays. The current results replicated many findings from the original study examining the PQ-BC. We replicated evidence for mean differences in race/ethnicity, and associations with other PLE measures, greater internalizing symptoms, cognitive impairments, and developmental milestone delays. These findings indicate robust and reliable associations between PLEs and hypothesized correlates can be found in middle childhood nonclinical samples.

2019
Factor structure, measurement and structural invariance, and external validity of an abbreviated youth version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale

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.

Associations Among Body Mass Index, Cortical Thickness, and Executive Function in Children

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

Importance
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.

Objective
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.

Results
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.

Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research

Wilson S, Haroian K, Iacono WG, Krueger RF, Lee JJ, Luciana M, Malone SM, McGue M, Roisman GI, Vrieze S. (2020). Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2019 Dec;22(6):746-752. doi: 10.1017/thg.2019.107. Epub 2019 Dec 3. PMID: 31796137

The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR) comprises multiple longitudinal, community-representative investigations of twin and adoptive families that focus on psychological adjustment, personality, cognitive ability and brain function, with a special emphasis on substance use and related psychopathology. The MCTFR includes the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), a cohort of twins who have completed assessments in middle and older adulthood; the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS) of twins assessed from childhood and adolescence into middle adulthood; the Enrichment Study (ES) of twins oversampled for high risk for substance-use disorders assessed from childhood into young adulthood; the Adolescent Brain (AdBrain) study, a neuroimaging study of adolescent twins; and the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS), a study of adoptive and nonadoptive families assessed from adolescence into young adulthood. Here we provide a brief overview of key features of these established studies and describe new MCTFR investigations that follow up and expand upon existing studies or recruit and assess new samples, including the MTR Study of Relationships, Personality, and Health (MTR-RPH); the Colorado-Minnesota (COMN) Marijuana Study; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study; the Colorado Online Twins (CoTwins) study and the Children of Twins (CoT) study.

Identifying reproducible individual differences in childhood functional brain networks: An ABCD study

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.

Screen Time and Problem Behaviors in Children: Exploring the Mediating Role of Sleep Duration

Guerrero MD, Barnes JD, Chaput J-P, Tremblay MS (2019). Screen Time and Problem Behaviors in Children: Exploring the Mediating Role of Sleep Duration. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 16 (1), 105. PMID: 31727084 https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-019-0862-x

Background
Previous research examining the relationship between screen time (ST) and psychological health outcomes have primarily focused on one type of ST (i.e., television), while little research has considered other types of screens (e.g., videos, movies, social media), screen content (e.g., violent video games), or potential mediating variables. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to assess ST types and content and their association with problem behaviors, and to determine whether these relationships were mediated by sleep duration.

Methods
Parents and children provided cross-sectional baseline data (2016–18) as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, a broadly US representative sample of 11,875 children aged 9 to 10 years. Parents self-reported their children’s emotional and behavioral syndromes via the Child Behavior Checklist and sleep duration using one item from the Parent Sleep Disturbance Scale. Children self-reported their ST behavior, which comprised ST types (television/movies, videos, video games, and social media) and content (mature-rated video games and R-rated movies).

Results
Time spent in various ST types was positively associated with problem behaviors: watching television/movies was associated with a 5.9% increase in rule-breaking behavior (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.059), 5% increase in social problems (IRR = 1.050), 4% increase in aggressive behavior (IRR = 1.040), and 3.7% increase in thought problems (IRR = 1.037). Greater time spent playing mature-rated video games was associated with greater somatic complaints (IRR = 1.041), aggressive behavior (IRR = 1.039), and reduced sleep duration (IRR = .938). Sleep duration mediated the relationship between ST (type and content) and problem behaviors, albeit the effect sizes were small. The largest effects were observed between sleep duration and all problem behaviors, with greater sleep duration predicting an 8.8–16.6% decrease in problem behaviors (IRRs ranging from .834 to .905).

Conclusion
Greater time spent in ST behavior was associated with greater problem behaviors among children. There was strong evidence that longer sleep duration was associated with reduced problem behaviors. While sleep duration mediated the effects of ST on problem behaviors, other potential mediating variables need to be investigated in future research.

Prevalence and correlates of maladaptive guilt in middle childhood

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Limitations
Maladaptive guilt was assessed through one item, though many studies of maladaptive guilt measure the symptom in this manner.

Conclusions
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.

Author Correction: No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the ABCD study

Dick AS, Garcia NL, Pruden SM, Thompson WK, Hawes SW, Sutherland MT, Riedel MC, Laird AR, Gonzalez R. (2019). Author Correction: No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the ABCD study. Nat Hum Behav. 2019 Oct;3(10):1124. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0756-6. PMID: 31554938

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

Childhood Obesity, Cortical Structure, and Executive Function in Healthy Children

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.

Brain Volume Abnormalities in Youth at High Risk for Depression: Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study

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.

Delineating and validating higher-order dimensions of psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study

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.

Author Correction: No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the nationally representative ABCD study

Dick AS, Garcia NL, Pruden SM, Thompson WK, Hawes SW, Sutherland MT, Riedel MC, Laird AR, Gonzalez R. (2019). Author Correction: No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the nationally representative ABCD study. Nat Hum Behav. 2019 Sep;3(9):999. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0709-0. PMID: 31384026

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

Prediction of neurocognition in youth from resting state fMRI

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.

24-Hour Movement Behaviors and Impulsivity

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.

Image processing and analysis methods for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

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.

Ensuring the Best Use of Data. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development 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.

Demographic, psychological, behavioral,and cognitive correlates of BMI in youth: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study

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.

No evidence for a bilingual executive function advantage in the nationally representative ABCD study

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.

Differential Relationships of Child Anxiety and Depression to Child Report and Parent Report of Electronic Media Use

Fors PQ, Barch DM2 (2019). Differential Relationships of Child Anxiety and Depression to Child Report and Parent Report of Electronic Media Use. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev.50(6):907-917. PMID: 31062126 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10578-019-00892-7

Child depression and anxiety have been associated with electronic media use, but the comorbidity between the two has rarely been accounted for in analyses. We examined both child and parent reports of electronic media use in relation to parent-reported child depression and anxiety. Using survey and interview data collected for 9- to 11-year-olds from the 21-site adolescent brain cognitive development study, we conducted generalized linear mixed models. Our results demonstrated that electronic media use was more strongly associated with depression than anxiety, and that accounting for depression significantly reduced the relationship between electronic media use and anxiety. Different categories of electronic media showed differential relationships to anxiety and depression, with video gaming and video chatting related to anxiety, but video watching related to depression. These findings provide important data to ground theories of the mechanisms that contribute to these associations.

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

Thompson, W.K., Barch, D.M., Bjork, J.M., Gonzalez, R., Nagel, B.J., Nixon, S.J., Luciana, M. (2019). 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.

Association of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure With Psychosis Proneness Among Children in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

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

Stress exposures, neurodevelopment and health measures in the ABCD study

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.

Association Between Childhood Anhedonia and Alterations in Large-scale Resting-State Networks and Task-Evoked Activation

Pornpattananangkul, N., Leibenluft, E., Pine, D.S., Stringaris, A. (2019). Association Between Childhood Anhedonia and Alterations in Large-scale Resting-State Networks and Task-Evoked Activation. 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.

Assessing callous-unemotional traits: development of a brief, reliable measure in a large and diverse sample of preadolescent youth

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
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.

Involvement in Sports, Hippocampal Volume, and Depressive Symptoms in Children

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
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.

Sexual minority children: Mood disorders and suicidality disparities

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.

Resting-State Functional Connectivity and Psychotic-like Experiences in Childhood: Results From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
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.

Screen media activity and brain structure in youth: Evidence for diverse structural correlation networks from the ABCD study

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. (2019). 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.

2018
Prevalence of Eating Disorders Among US Children Aged 9 to 10 Years

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.

Child Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Cohort Study

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.

Associations between 24 hour movement behaviours and global cognition in US children: a cross-sectional observational study

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.

Convergent influences of lifestyle behaviour on neurocognitive development in children

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.

NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

NIH’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews Editorial Staff. Alcohol Res. 2018;39(1):97. PMID: 30557152

Implications of the ABCD study for developmental neuroscience

Feldstein Ewing SW, Bjork JM, Luciana M. (2018). Implications of the ABCD study for developmental neuroscience. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Aug;32:161-164. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.05.003. PMID: 29773510

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD) will capture a breadth of multi-faceted biobehavioral, environmental, familial, and genetic longitudinal developmental open-access data from over 11,000 9–10 year olds throughout the United States of America (USA) for an envisioned ten-year span. This will subsequently represent the largest study ever attempted with this level of brain phenotypic detail. This study holds the opportunity for exciting advances in the understanding of typical adolescent neurodevelopment, discovery of neurodevelopmental underpinnings of mental illness, as well as the neurodevelopmental influences of (and on) social factors, substance use, and critically – their interaction. This project will certainly take unprecedented steps in informing the nature of adolescence and the developing brain. The scale and open-access features of ABCD also necessarily entail areas for consideration to enhance the integrity of the ABCD study, and protect against potential misuse and misinterpretation of ABCD data. Ultimately, with the open-source data, all scientists in the broader community have as much responsibility as the investigators within the Consortium to treat these data with care. It will be fascinating to see what dynamic data these paths generate. ABCD is poised to exemplify how large-scale longitudinal developmental neuroscientific studies can be designed and efficiently conducted.

Approaching Retention within the ABCD Study

Feldstein Ewing SW, Chang L, Cottler LB, Tapert SF, Dowling GJ, Brown SA. (2018). Approaching Retention within the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 130-137. 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.

Assessment of the Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief Child Version for Measurement of Self-reported Psychoticlike Experiences in Childhood

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.

Recruiting the ABCD Sample: Design Considerations and Procedures

Garavan, H., Bartsch, H., Conway, K., Decastro, A., Goldstein, R.Z., Heeringa, S., Jernigan, T., Potter, A., Thompson, W., Zahs, D. (2018). Recruiting the ABCD Sample: Design Considerations and Procedures. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 16-22. 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.

Outreach and innovation: Communication strategies for the ABCD Study

Hoffman, E.A., Howlett, K.D., Breslin, F., Dowling, G.J. (2018). Outreach and innovation: Communication strategies for the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 138-142. 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.

A description of the ABCD organizational structure and communication framework

Auchter, A.M., Mejia, M.H., Heyser, C.J., Shilling, P.D., Jernigan, T.L., Brown, S.A., Tapert, S.F., Dowling, G.J. (2018). A description of the ABCD organizational structure and communication framework. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (2018), Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 8-15. 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.

A brief validated screen to identify boys and girls at risk for early marijuana use

Loeber, R., Clark, D.B., Ahonen, L., FitzGerald, D., Trucco, E.M., Zucker, R.A. (2018). A brief validated screen to identify boys and girls at risk for early marijuana use. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 23-29. 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.

Adolescent Brain Development: Implications for Understanding Risk and Resilience Processes Through Neuroimaging Research

Morris AS, Squeglia LM, Jacobus J, Silk JS. (2018). Adolescent Brain Development: Implications for Understanding Risk and Resilience Processes Through Neuroimaging Research. J Res Adolesc. 2018 Mar;28(1):4-9. doi: 10.1111/jora.12379. PMID: 29460349

This special section focuses on research that utilizes neuroimaging methods to examine the impact of social relationships and socioemotional development on adolescent brain function. Studies include novel neuroimaging methods that further our understanding of adolescent brain development. This special section has a particular focus on how study findings add to our understanding of risk and resilience. In this introduction to the special section, we discuss the role of neuroimaging in developmental science and provide a brief review of neuroimaging methods. We present key themes that are covered in the special section articles including: (1) emerging methods in developmental neuroscience, (2) emotion-cognition interaction, and (3) the role of social relationships in brain function. We conclude our introduction with future directions for integrating developmental neuroscience into the study of adolescence, and highlight key points from the special section’s commentaries which include information on the landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

Current, future and potential use of mobile and wearable technologies and social media data in the ABCD study to increase understanding of contributors to child health

Bagot KS, Matthews SA, Mason M, Squeglia LM, Fowler J, Gray K, Herting M, May A, Colrain I, Godino J, Tapert S, Brown S, Patrick K. (2018). Current, future and potential use of mobile and wearable technologies and social media data in the ABCD study to increase understanding of contributors to child health. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Aug;32:121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.008. Epub 2018 Mar 28. PMID: 29636283

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.

Assessment of culture and environment in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Rationale, description of measures, and early data

Zucker, R.A., Gonzalez, R., Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Paulus, M.P., Arroyo, J., Fuligni, A., Sheffield Morris, A., Sanchez, M., Wills, T. (2018). Assessment of culture and environment in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Rationale, description of measures, and early data. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 107-120. 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.

Biospecimens and the ABCD study: Rationale, methods of collection, measurement and early data

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. (2018). Biospecimens and the ABCD study: Rationale, methods of collection, measurement and early data. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 97-106. 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.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study: Imaging acquisition across 21 sites

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. (2018). The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study: Imaging acquisition across 21 sites. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 43-54. 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.

Adolescent neurocognitive development and impacts of substance use: Overview of the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) baseline neurocognition battery

Luciana, M., Bjork, J.M., Nagel, B.J., Barch, D.M., Gonzalez, R., Nixon, S.J., Banich, M.T. (2018). Adolescent neurocognitive development and impacts of substance use: Overview of the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) baseline neurocognition battery. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 67-79. 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.

Adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study: Overview of substance use assessment methods

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. (2018). Adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study: Overview of substance use assessment methods. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 80-96. 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.

Introduction

Jernigan, T.L., Brown, S.A., ABCD Consortium Coordinators. (2018). Introduction. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 1-3. 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.

2017
The adolescent brain cognitive development study external advisory board

Charness, M.D. (2017). The adolescent brain cognitive development study external advisory board. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 155-160. 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.

Approaching Retention within the ABCD Study

Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Chang, L., Cottler, L.B., Tapert, S.F., Dowling G.J., Brown, S.A. (2017). Approaching Retention within the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 130-137. 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.

Demographic, physical and mental health assessments in the adolescent brain and cognitive development study: Rationale and description

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. (2017). Demographic, physical and mental health assessments in the adolescent brain and cognitive development study: Rationale and description. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 55-66. 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.

The conception of the ABCD study: From substance use to a broad NIH collaboration

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. (2017). The conception of the ABCD study: From substance use to a broad NIH collaboration. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 4-7. 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.

The utility of twins in developmental cognitive neuroscience research: How twins strengthen the ABCD research design

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. (2017). The utility of twins in developmental cognitive neuroscience research: How twins strengthen the ABCD research design. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 30-42. 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.

Biomedical ethics and clinical oversight in multisite observational neuroimaging studies with children and adolescents: The ABCD experience

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. (2017). Biomedical ethics and clinical oversight in multisite observational neuroimaging studies with children and adolescents: The ABCD experience. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 32, August 2018, Pages 143-154. 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.

The ABCD study of neurodevelopment: Identifying neurocircuit targets for prevention and treatment of adolescent substance abuse

Bjork JM, Straub LK, Provost RG, Neale MC. (2017). The ABCD study of neurodevelopment: Identifying neurocircuit targets for prevention and treatment of adolescent substance abuse. Curr Treat Options Psychiatry. 2017;4(2):196-209. doi:10.1007/s40501-017-0108-y

Substance use disorders (SUD) can be considered developmental disorders in light of their frequent origins in substance initiation during adolescence. Cross-sectional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of adolescent substance users or adolescents with SUD have indicated aberrations in brain structures or circuits implicated in motivation, self-control, and mood-regulation. However, attributing these differences to the neurotoxicological effects of chronic substance use has been problematic in that these circuits are also aberrant in at-risk children, such as those with prenatal substance exposure, externalizing disorders (such as conduct disorder), or prodromal internalizing disorders such as depression. To better isolate the effects of substance exposure on the adolescent brain, the newly-launched Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will follow the neurodevelopmental trajectories of over 11,000 American 9/10-year-olds for 10 years, into emerging adulthood. This study will provide a rich open-access dataset on longitudinal interactions of neurodevelopment, environmental exposures, and childhood psychopathology that confer addiction risk. The ABCD twin study will further clarify genetic versus experiential influences (e.g., substance use) on neurodevelopmental and psychosocial outcomes. Neurocircuitry thought to regulate mood and behavior has been directly normalized by administration of psychoactive medications and by cognitive therapies in adults. Because of this, we contend that ABCD project data will be a crucial resource for prevention and treatment of SUD in adolescence because its cutting-edge neuroimaging and childhood assessments hold potential for discovery of additional targetable brain differences earlier in development that are prognostic of (or aberrant in) SUD. The ABCD sample size will also have the power to illuminate how sex differences, environmental interactions and other individual differences interact with neurodevelopment to inform treatment in different groups of adolescents.