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®.

2022
Association between mild traumatic brain injury, brain structure, and mental health outcomes in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Lopez DA, Christensen ZP, Foxe JJ, Ziemer LR, Nicklas PR, Freedman EG. Association between mild traumatic brain injury, brain structure, and mental health outcomes in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. NeuroImage. Volume 263, November 2022, 119626. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119626

Background
Children that experience a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are at an increased risk of neural alterations that can deteriorate mental health. We test the hypothesis that mTBI is associated with psychopathology and that structural brain metrics (e.g., volume, area) meaningfully mediate the relation in an adolescent population.

Methods
We analyzed behavioral and brain MRI data from 11,876 children who participated in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Mixed-effects models were used to examine the longitudinal association between mTBI and mental health outcomes. Bayesian methods were used to investigate brain regions that are intermediate between mTBI and symptoms of poor mental health.

Results
There were 199 children with mTBI and 527 with possible mTBI across the three ABCD Study visits. There was a 7% (IRR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.13) and 15% (IRR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.26) increased risk of emotional or behavioral problems in children that experienced possible mTBI or mTBI, respectively. Possible mTBI was associated with a 17% (IRR: 1.17, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.40) increased risk of experiencing distress following a psychotic-like experience. We did not find any brain regions that meaningfully mediated the relationship between mTBI and mental health outcomes. Analysis of volumetric measures found that approximately 2% to 5% of the total effect of mTBI on mental health outcomes operated through total cortical volume. Image intensity measure analyses determined that approximately 2% to 5% of the total effect was mediated through the left-hemisphere of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Conclusion
Results indicate an increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems in children that experienced possible mTBI or mTBI. Mediation analyses did not elucidate the mechanisms underlying the association between mTBI and mental health outcomes.

Explaining the Association Between Fetal Growth and Childhood ADHD Symptoms: Cross-cohort Replication

Dooley N, Healy C, Brannigan R, Cotter D, Clarke M, Cannon M. Explaining the Association Between Fetal Growth and Childhood ADHD Symptoms: Cross-cohort Replication. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol. 2022 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s10802-022-00971-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36114937.

The association between restricted fetal growth and symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood is well-replicated and robust. However, fetal growth is determined by many prenatal factors and associations with mental health may be confounded by familial and social context. In this study, we sought to quantify the relative contributions of prenatal factors and familial confounds to the association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms. Two independent cohorts were analyzed, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD; United States) and the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study. ADHD symptoms were measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (ABCD) and the Strengths & Difficulties questionnaire (GUI) at age 9-10. Using sequential regression models, we assessed the change-in-association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms after controlling for sex, familial factors (socioeconomic/demographic factors & family psychiatric history) and prenatal factors (pregnancy complications & maternal substance-use during pregnancy). Converging findings from cohorts suggested that over a quarter of the association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms is attributable to familial confounds. The degree to which the association was explained by prenatal factors differed by cohort-pregnancy complications explained a larger proportion of the effect in ABCD (7.9%) than GUI (2.7%), and maternal substance-use explained a larger proportion of the effect in GUI (22.7%) compared to ABCD (4.8%). Different explanations of the fetal growth-ADHD association across cohorts suggests cohort-specific, and potentially nationally-specific, risk factors for fetal growth and related neurodevelopmental outcomes. The evidence suggests early prevention of ADHD in Ireland should focus on minimizing maternal smoking during pregnancy. In the US, prevention and treatment of pregnancy complications are highlighted as viable targets for intervention.

Comparison of individualized behavioral predictions across anatomical, diffusion and functional connectivity MRI

Ooi LQR, Chen J, Shaoshi Z, Kong R, Tam A, Li J, Dhamala E, Zhou JH, Holmes AJ, Yeo BTT. Comparison of individualized behavioral predictions across anatomical, diffusion and functional connectivity MRI. Neuroimage. 2022 Sep 15:119636. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119636. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36116616.

A fundamental goal across the neurosciences is the characterization of relationships linking brain anatomy, functioning, and behavior. Although various MRI modalities have been developed to probe these relationships, direct comparisons of their ability to predict behavior have been lacking. Here, we compared the ability of anatomical T1, diffusion and functional MRI (fMRI) to predict behavior at an individual level. Cortical thickness, area and volume were extracted from anatomical T1 images. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and approximate Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI) models were fitted to the diffusion images. The resulting metrics were projected to the Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) skeleton. We also ran probabilistic tractography for the diffusion images, from which we extracted the stream count, average stream length, and the average of each DTI and NODDI metric across tracts connecting each pair of brain regions. Functional connectivity (FC) was extracted from both task and resting-state fMRI. Individualized prediction of a wide range of behavioral measures were performed using kernel ridge regression, linear ridge regression and elastic net regression. Consistency of the results were investigated with the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) datasets. In both datasets, FC-based models gave the best prediction performance, regardless of regression model or behavioral measure. This was especially true for the cognitive component. Furthermore, all modalities were able to predict cognition better than other behavioral components. Combining all modalities improved prediction of cognition, but not other behavioral components. Finally, across all behaviors, combining resting and task FC yielded prediction performance similar to combining all modalities. Overall, our study suggests that in the case of healthy children and young adults, behaviorally-relevant information in T1 and diffusion features might reflect a subset of the variance captured by FC.

Generalization of Cortical MOSTest Genome-Wide Associations Within and Across Samples

Loughnan RJ, Shadrin AA, Frei O, van der Meer D, Zhao W, Palmer CE, Thompson WK, Makowski C, Jernigan TL, Andreassen OA, Fan CC, Dale AM. Generalization of Cortical MOSTest Genome-Wide Associations Within and Across Samples. Neuroimage. 2022 Sep 14:119632. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119632. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36115590.

Genome-Wide Association studies have typically been limited to univariate analysis in which a single outcome measure is tested against millions of variants. Recent work demonstrates that a Multivariate Omnibus Statistic Test (MOSTest) is well powered to discover genomic effects distributed across multiple phenotypes. Applied to cortical brain MRI morphology measures, MOSTest has resulted in a drastic improvement in power to discover loci when compared to established approaches (min-P). One question that arises is how well these discovered loci replicate in independent data. Here we perform 10 times cross validation within 34,973 individuals from UK Biobank for imaging measures of cortical area, thickness and sulcal depth (>1,000 dimensionality for each). By deploying a replication method that aggregates discovered effects distributed across multiple phenotypes, termed PolyVertex Score (MOSTest-PVS), we demonstrate a higher replication yield and comparable replication rate of discovered loci for MOSTest (# replicated loci: 242-496, replication rate: 96-97%) in independent data when compared with the established min-P approach (# replicated loci: 26-55, replication rate: 91-93%). An out-of-sample replication of discovered loci was conducted with a sample of 4,069 individuals from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Developmentࣨ (ABCD) study, who are on average 50 years younger than UK Biobank individuals. We observe a higher replication yield and comparable replication rate of MOSTest-PVS compared to min-P. This finding underscores the importance of using well-powered multivariate techniques for both discovery and replication of high dimensional phenotypes in Genome-Wide Association studies.

Evidence from “big data” for the default-mode hypothesis of ADHD: a mega-analysis of multiple large samples

Norman LJ, Sudre G, Price J, Shastri GG, Shaw P. Evidence from “big data” for the default-mode hypothesis of ADHD: a mega-analysis of multiple large samples. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2022 Sep 13. doi: 10.1038/s41386-022-01408-z. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36100657.

We sought to identify resting-state characteristics related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, both as a categorical diagnosis and as a trait feature, using large-scale samples which were processed according to a standardized pipeline. In categorical analyses, we considered 1301 subjects with diagnosed ADHD, contrasted against 1301 unaffected controls (total N = 2602; 1710 males (65.72%); mean age = 10.86 years, sd = 2.05). Cases and controls were 1:1 nearest neighbor matched on in-scanner motion and key demographic variables and drawn from multiple large cohorts. Associations between ADHD-traits and resting-state connectivity were also assessed in a large multi-cohort sample (N = 10,113). ADHD diagnosis was associated with less anticorrelation between the default mode and salience/ventral attention (B = 0.009, t = 3.45, p-FDR = 0.004, d = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.004, 0.014), somatomotor (B = 0.008, t = 3.49, p-FDR = 0.004, d = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.004, 0.013), and dorsal attention networks (B = 0.01, t = 4.28, p-FDR < 0.001, d = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.006, 0.015). These results were robust to sensitivity analyses considering comorbid internalizing problems, externalizing problems and psychostimulant medication. Similar findings were observed when examining ADHD traits, with the largest effect size observed for connectivity between the default mode network and the dorsal attention network (B = 0.0006, t = 5.57, p-FDR < 0.001, partial-r = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.0004, 0.0008). We report significant ADHD-related differences in interactions between the default mode network and task-positive networks, in line with default mode interference models of ADHD. Effect sizes (Cohen’s d and partial-r, estimated from the mega-analytic models) were small, indicating subtle group differences. The overlap between the affected brain networks in the clinical and general population samples supports the notion of brain phenotypes operating along an ADHD continuum.

Estimating Parental Demand for Children’s Screen Time in a Model of Family Labor Supply

Oh, S.E., Vukina, T. Estimating Parental Demand for Children’s Screen Time in a Model of Family Labor Supply. Int Adv Econ Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11294-022-09854-7

In a novel approach to model the demand for the children’s screen time as the result of a parent’s optimal labor-leisure choice, the study used a simple model of parental utility maximization subject to the money and time budget constraints to derive Marshallian parental demand functions for two types of child upbringing activities: time-intensive (violin lesson) and time-saving (video games). After the Slutsky decomposition, parental demand for children’s screen time was shown to be similar to a Giffen good. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development data, the wage equation was first estimated based on Heckman’s two-step correction procedure. Then, the total effect of an increase in wage rate on the parental demand for screen time was empirically decomposed into the substitution effect and the income effect. The study findings indicate that the substitution effect is positive, the income effect is negative, and the negative income effect dominates the substitution effect. We add to the existing literature by showing that the empirical findings in the public health and psychology literature can be reconciled with the theoretical predictions of the standard economic labor-leisure trade-off paradigm.

Association of Mental Health Burden With Prenatal Cannabis Exposure From Childhood to Early Adolescence: Longitudinal Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Baranger DAA, Paul SE, Colbert SMC, et al. Association of Mental Health Burden With Prenatal Cannabis Exposure From Childhood to Early Adolescence: Longitudinal Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 12, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3191

Dramatic increases in cannabis use during pregnancy are alarming because of evidence that prenatal exposure may be associated with a host of adverse outcomes. We previously found that prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) following maternal knowledge of pregnancy is associated with increased psychopathology during middle childhood using baseline data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Here, leveraging longitudinal ABCD study data (data release 4.0), we examined whether associations with psychopathology persist into early adolescence.

Sensory Over-Responsivity: A Feature of Childhood Psychiatric Illness Associated with Altered Functional Connectivity of Sensory Networks

Schwarzlose RF, Tillman R, Hoyniak CP, Luby J, Barch DM (In Press, 2022). Sensory Over-Responsivity: A Feature of Childhood Psychiatric Illness Associated with Altered Functional Connectivity of Sensory Networks. Biological Psychiatry. Available online 8 September 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.09.004

Background
Sensory over-responsivity (SOR) is recognized as a common feature of autism spectrum disorder. Yet SOR is also common among typically developing children, where it is associated with elevated psychiatric symptoms. The clinical significance and neurocognitive bases of SOR in these children remains poorly understood and actively debated.

Methods
The current study used linear mixed-effects models to identify psychiatric symptoms and network-level functional connectivity (FC) differences associated with parent-reported SOR in the ABCD study®, a large community sample (ages 9 to 12 years; N=11,210).

Results
Children with SOR constituted 18% of the overall sample but comprised more than half of children with internalizing or externalizing scores in the clinical range. Controlling for autistic traits, both mild and severe SOR were associated with greater concurrent symptoms of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Controlling for psychiatric symptoms and autistic traits, SOR predicted increased anxiety, ADHD, and prodromal psychosis symptoms one year later and was associated with FC differences of brain networks supporting sensory and salience processing in datasets collected two years apart. Differences included reduced FC within and between sensorimotor networks, enhanced sensorimotor-salience FC, and altered FC between sensory networks and bilateral hippocampi.

Conclusions
SOR is a common, clinically relevant feature of childhood psychiatric illness that provides unique predictive information about risk. It is associated with differences in brain networks that subserve tactile processing, implicating a neural basis for sensory differences in affected children.

Youth screen use in the ABCD® study

Bagot KS, Tomko RL, Marshall AT, Hermann J, Cummins K, Ksinan A, Kakalis M, Breslin F, Lisdahl KM, Mason M, Redhead JN, Squeglia LM, Thompson WK, Wade T, Tapert SF, Fuemmeler BF, Baker FC. Youth screen use in the ABCD® study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 57, October 2022, 101150, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101150

Adolescent screen usage is ubiquitous and influences development and behavior. Longitudinal screen usage data coupled with psychometrically valid constructs of problematic behaviors can provide insights into these relationships. We describe methods by which the screen usage questionnaire was developed in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, demonstrate longitudinal changes in screen usage via child report and describe data harmonization baseline-year 2. We further include psychometric analyses of adapted social media and video game addiction scales completed by youth. Nearly 12,000 children ages 9–10 years at baseline and their parents were included in the analyses. The social media addiction questionnaire (SMAQ) showed similar factor structure and item loadings across sex and race/ethnicities, but that item intercepts varied across both sex and race/ethnicity. The videogame addiction questionnaire (VGAQ) demonstrated the same configural, metric and scalar invariance across racial and ethnic groups, however differed across sex. Video gaming and online social activity increased over ages 9/10–11/12 (p’s < 0.001). Compared with boys, girls engaged in greater social media use (p < .001) and demonstrated higher ratings on the SMAQ (p < .001). Compared with girls, boys played more video games (p < .001) and demonstrated higher ratings on the VGAQ (p < .001). Time spent playing video games increased more steeply for boys than girls from age 9/10–11/12 years (p < .001). Black youth demonstrated significantly higher SMAQ and VGAQ scores compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. These data show the importance of considering different screen modalities beyond total screen use and point towards clear demographic differences in use patterns. With these comprehensive data, ABCD is poised to address critical questions about screen usage changes across adolescence.

Distinguish bipolar and major depressive disorder in adolescents based on multimodal neuroimaging: Results from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study®

Liu Y, Chen K, Luo Y, Wu J, Xiang Q, Peng L, Zhang J, Zhao W, Li M, Zhou X. Distinguish bipolar and major depressive disorder in adolescents based on multimodal neuroimaging: Results from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study®. Digit Health. 2022 Sep 5;8:20552076221123705. doi: 10.1177/20552076221123705. PMID: 36090673; PMCID: PMC9452797.

Background: Major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder in adolescents are prevalent and are associated with cognitive impairment, executive dysfunction, and increased mortality. Early intervention in the initial stages of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder can significantly improve personal health.

Methods: We collected 309 samples from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, including 116 adolescents with bipolar disorder, 64 adolescents with major depressive disorder, and 129 healthy adolescents, and employed a support vector machine to develop classification models for identification. We developed a multimodal model, which combined functional connectivity of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and four anatomical measures of structural magnetic resonance imaging (cortical thickness, area, volume, and sulcal depth). We measured the performances of both multimodal and single modality classifiers.

Results: The multimodal classifiers showed outstanding performance compared with all five single modalities, and they are 100% for major depressive disorder versus healthy controls, 100% for bipolar disorder versus healthy control, 98.5% (95% CI: 95.4-100%) for major depressive disorder versus bipolar disorder, 100% for major depressive disorder versus depressed bipolar disorder and the leave-one-site-out analysis results are 77.4%, 63.3%, 79.4%, and 81.7%, separately.

Conclusions: The study shows that multimodal classifiers show high classification performances. Moreover, cuneus may be a potential biomarker to differentiate major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and healthy adolescents. Overall, this study can form multimodal diagnostic prediction workflows for clinically feasible to make more precise diagnose at the early stage and potentially reduce loss of personal pain and public society.

Associations Between Genetic Risk for Adult Suicide Attempt and Suicidal Behaviors in Young Children in the US

Lee PH, Doyle AE, Silberstein M, Jung JY, Liu R, Perlis RH, Roffman J, Smoller JW, Fava M, Kessler RC. Associations Between Genetic Risk for Adult Suicide Attempt and Suicidal Behaviors in Young Children in the US. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 31. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.2379. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36044238.

Importance: Suicide rates have been increasing among youth in the US. While the heritability of suicide risk is well established, there is limited understanding of how genetic risk is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young children.

Objective: To examine whether genetic susceptibility to suicide attempts (SAs) is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children.

Design, setting, and participants: This case-control study examined data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a population-based longitudinal study of 11 878 US children enrolled at age 9 and 10 years from September 2016 to November 2018. Youth reports of suicidal ideation (SI) and SAs were obtained from the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia at baseline and 2 subsequent years. After conservative quality control of genotype data, this analysis focused on 4344 unrelated individuals of European ancestry. Data analysis was conducted from November 2020 to February 2022.

Main outcomes and measures: Children’s lifetime experiences of SI and SAs were assessed each year from ages 9 to 10 years to ages 11 to 12 years. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for SAs were calculated for ABCD study participants based on the largest genome-wide association study of SA cases and controls of European ancestry (total sample n = 518 612).

Results: Of 4344 children of European ancestry (2045 [47.08%] female; mean [SD] age, 9.93 [0.62] years), significant associations were found between children’s SA PRSs and their lifetime SAs with the most robust association in the follow-up year 2 (odds ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.18-1.75]; corrected P = 1.85 × 10-3; Nagelkerke pseudo R2 = 1.51%). These associations remained significant after accounting for children’s sociodemographic backgrounds, psychopathology symptoms, parental histories of suicide and mental health, and PRSs for major depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (likelihood ratio test P < .05). Children’s depressive mood and aggressive behavior were the most significant partial mediators of SA genetic risk on SAs (mediation analysis P < 1 × 10-16). Children’s behavioral problems, such as attention problems, rule-breaking behavior, and social problems, also partially mediated the association of SA PRSs with SAs (mediation analysis false discover rate < 0.05).

Conclusions and relevance: This study’s findings indicate that there may be genetic factors associated with SA risk across the life span and suggest behaviors and conditions through which the risk could be mediated in childhood. Further research is warranted to examine whether incorporating genetic data could improve the identification of children at risk for suicide.

Examining reaction time variability on the stop-signal task in the ABCD study

Epstein JN, Karalunas SL, Tamm L, Dudley JA, Lynch JD, Altaye M, Simon JO, Maloney TC, Atluri G. Examining reaction time variability on the stop-signal task in the ABCD study. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2022 Aug 31:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S1355617722000431. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36043323.

Objective: Reaction time variability (RTV) has been estimated using Gaussian, ex-Gaussian, and diffusion model (DM) indices. Rarely have studies examined interrelationships among these performance indices in childhood, and the use of reaction time (RT) computational models has been slow to take hold in the developmental psychopathology literature. Here, we extend prior work in adults by examining the interrelationships among different model parameters in the ABCD sample and demonstrate how computational models of RT can clarify mechanisms of time-on-task effects and sex differences in RTs.

Method: This study utilized trial-level data from the stop signal task from 8916 children (9-10 years old) to examine Gaussian, ex-Gaussian, and DM indicators of RTV. In addition to describing RTV patterns, we examined interrelations among these indicators, temporal patterns, and sex differences.

Results: There was no one-to-one correspondence between DM and ex-Gaussian parameters. Nonetheless, drift rate was most strongly associated with standard deviation of RT and tau, while nondecisional processes were most strongly associated with RT, mu, and sigma. Performance worsened across time with changes driven primarily by decreasing drift rate. Boys were faster and less variable than girls, likely attributable to girls’ wide boundary separation.

Conclusions: Intercorrelations among model parameters are similar in children as has been observed in adults. Computational approaches play a crucial role in understanding performance changes over time and can also clarify mechanisms of group differences. For example, standard RT models may incorrectly suggest slowed processing speed in girls that is actually attributable to other factors.

Fairness-related performance and explainability effects in deep learning models for brain image analysis

Stanley EAM, Wilms M, Mouches P, Forkert ND. Fairness-related performance and explainability effects in deep learning models for brain image analysis. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2022 Nov;9(6):061102. doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.9.6.061102. Epub 2022 Aug 26. PMID: 36046104; PMCID: PMC9412191.

Purpose: Explainability and fairness are two key factors for the effective and ethical clinical implementation of deep learning-based machine learning models in healthcare settings. However, there has been limited work on investigating how unfair performance manifests in explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) methods, and how XAI can be used to investigate potential reasons for unfairness. Thus, the aim of this work was to analyze the effects of previously established sociodemographic-related confounders on classifier performance and explainability methods.

Approach
: A convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained to predict biological sex from T1-weighted brain MRI datasets of 4547 9- to 10-year-old adolescents from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Performance disparities of the trained CNN between White and Black subjects were analyzed and saliency maps were generated for each subgroup at the intersection of sex and race.

Results
: The classification model demonstrated a significant difference in the percentage of correctly classified White male (90.3%±1.7%) and Black male (81.1%±4.5%) children. Conversely, slightly higher performance was found for Black female (89.3%±4.8%) compared with White female (86.5%±2.0%) children. Saliency maps showed subgroup-specific differences, corresponding to brain regions previously associated with pubertal development. In line with this finding, average pubertal development scores of subjects used in this study were significantly different between Black and White females (p<0.001) and males (p<0.001).

Conclusions
: We demonstrate that a CNN with significantly different sex classification performance between Black and White adolescents can identify different important brain regions when comparing subgroup saliency maps. Importance scores vary substantially between subgroups within brain structures associated with pubertal development, a race-associated confounder for predicting sex. We illustrate that unfair models can produce different XAI results between subgroups and that these results may explain potential reasons for biased performance.

Sex-specific genetic association between psychiatric disorders and cognition, behavior and brain imaging in children and adults

Gui Y, Zhou X, Wang Z, Zhang Y, Wang Z, Zhou G, Zhao Y, Liu M, Lu H, Zhao H. Sex-specific genetic association between psychiatric disorders and cognition, behavior and brain imaging in children and adults. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 26;12(1):347. doi: 10.1038/s41398-022-02041-6. PMID: 36028495.

Although there are pronounced sex differences for psychiatric disorders, relatively little has been published on the heterogeneity of sex-specific genetic effects for these traits until very recently for adults. Much less is known about children because most psychiatric disorders will not manifest until later in life and existing studies for children on psychiatric traits such as cognitive functions are underpowered. We used results from publicly available genome-wide association studies for six psychiatric disorders and individual-level data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study and the UK Biobank (UKB) study to evaluate the associations between the predicted polygenic risk scores (PRS) of these six disorders and observed cognitive functions, behavioral and brain imaging traits. We further investigated the mediation effects of the brain structure and function, which showed heterogeneity between males and females on the correlation between genetic risk of schizophrenia and fluid intelligence. There was significant heterogeneity in genetic associations between the cognitive traits and psychiatric disorders between sexes. Specifically, the PRSs of schizophrenia of boys showed stronger correlation with eight of the ten cognitive functions in the ABCD data set; whereas the PRSs of autism of females showed a stronger correlation with fluid intelligence in the UKB data set. Besides cognitive traits, we also found significant sexual heterogeneity in genetic associations between psychiatric disorders and behavior and brain imaging. These results demonstrate the underlying early etiology of psychiatric disease and reveal a shared and unique genetic basis between the disorders and cognition traits involved in brain functions between the sexes.

Adolescent Mental Health and Family Economic Hardships: The Roles of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Family Conflict

Barnhart S, Garcia AR, Karcher NR. Adolescent Mental Health and Family Economic Hardships: The Roles of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Family Conflict. J Youth Adolesc. 2022 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s10964-022-01671-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35997913.

Rising and economically disproportionate rates of adverse mental health outcomes among children and youth warrant research investigating the complex pathways stemming from socioeconomic status. While adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been considered a possible mechanism linking socioeconomic status (SES) and child and youth psychopathology in previous studies, less is understood about how family environments might condition these pathways. Using data from a longitudinal, multiple-wave study, the present study addresses this gap by examining the direct relationships between family economic status and youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms, if ACEs mediate these relationships, and if conflictual family environments moderate these direct and indirect relationships. The data were obtained from 5510 youth participants [mean age at baseline = 9.52 (SD = 0.50), 47.7% female, 2.1% Asian, 10.3% Black, 17.6% Hispanic, 9.8% Multiracial/Multiethnic, 60.2% White] and their caretakers from the baseline, 1-year, and 2-year follow up waves. Conditional process analysis assessed the direct, indirect, and moderated relationships in separate, equivalent models based on youth- versus caregiver-raters of ACEs and youth psychopathology to capture potential differences based on the rater. The results of both the youth- and caregiver-rated models indicated that lower family economic status directly predicted higher levels of externalizing symptoms, and ACEs indirectly accounted for higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Additionally, family conflict moderated some, but not all, of these relationships. The study’s findings highlight that lower family economic status and ACEs, directly and indirectly, contribute to early adolescent psychopathology, and conflictual family environments can further intensify these relationships. Implementing empirically supported policies and interventions that target ACEs and family environments may disrupt deleterious pathways between SES and youth psychopathology.

The ABCD stop signal data: Response to Bissett et al. Dev Cogn Neurosci

Garavan H, Chaarani B, Hahn S, Allgaier N, Juliano A, Yuan DK, Orr C, Watts R, Wager TD, Ruiz de Leon O, Hagler DJ Jr, Potter A. The ABCD stop signal data: Response to Bissett et al. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2022 Aug 11;57:101144. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101144. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35987133.

This paper responds to a recent critique by Bissett et al. of the fMRI Stop task used in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ Study (ABCD Study®). The critique focuses primarily on a task design feature related to race model assumptions (i.e., that the Go and Stop processes are fully independent). In response, we note that the race model is quite robust against violations of its assumptions. Most importantly, while Bissett raises conceptual concerns with the task we focus here on analyzes of the task data and conclude that the concerns appear to have minimal impact on the neuroimaging data (the validity of which do not rely on race model assumptions) and have far less of an impact on the performance data than the critique suggests. We note that Bissett did not apply any performance-based exclusions to the data they analyzed, a number of the trial coding errors they flagged were already identified and corrected in ABCD annual data releases, a number of their secondary concerns reflect sensible design decisions and, indeed, their own computational modeling of the ABCD Stop task suggests the problems they identify have just a modest impact on the rank ordering of individual differences in subject performance.

Adolescent-specific memory effects: evidence from working memory, immediate and long-term recognition memory performance in 8-30 yr olds

Skalaban LJ, Cohen AO, Conley MI, Lin Q, Schwartz GN, Ruiz-Huidobro NAM, Cannonier T, Martinez SA, Casey BJ. Adolescent-specific memory effects: evidence from working memory, immediate and long-term recognition memory performance in 8-30 yr olds. Learn Mem. 2022 Aug 11;29(8):223-233. doi: 10.1101/lm.053539.121. PMID: 35953104.

Working memory and recognition memory develop across adolescence, but the relationship between them is not fully understood. We investigated associations between n-back task performance and subsequent recognition memory in a community sample (8-30 yr, n = 150) using tasks from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study) to cross-sectionally assess memory in an age range that will be sampled longitudinally. We added a 24-h delay condition to assess long-term recognition. Overall working memory, immediate and long-term recognition performance peaked in adolescence. Age effects in recognition memory varied by items (old targets, old distractors, and new items) and delay (0 and 24 h). For immediate recognition, accuracy was higher for targets and new items than for distractors, with accuracy for targets peaking in adulthood and accuracy for new items peaking during adolescence. For long-term recognition, adolescents’ accuracy was higher for targets than distractors, while adults showed similarly high accuracy for targets and distractors and children showed low accuracy for both. This pattern appeared to be specific to recognition of items from the high working memory load condition. The results suggest that working memory may facilitate long-term recognition of task-relevant over irrelevant items and may benefit the detection of new information during adolescence.

Longitudinal Assessments of Neurocognitive Performance and Brain Structure Associated With Initiation of Tobacco Use in Children

Dai HD, Doucet GE, Wang Y, Puga T, Samson K, Xiao P, Khan AS. Longitudinal Assessments of Neurocognitive Performance and Brain Structure Associated With Initiation of Tobacco Use in Children, 2016 to 2021. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2225991. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25991

Importance  The landscape of tobacco use is changing. However, information about the association between early-age tobacco use and cognitive performances is limited, especially for emerging tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

Objective  To assess the association between early-age initiation of tobacco use and cognitive performances measured by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox Cognitive Battery and to examine whether initiation is associated with differences in brain morphometry.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This observational cohort study examined the longitudinal associations of initiation of tobacco use with neurocognition using multivariate linear mixed models. Children aged 9 to 10 years from 21 US sites were enrolled in wave 1 (October 1, 2016, to October 31, 2018 [n = 11 729]) and the 2-year follow-up (August 1, 2018, to January 31, 2021 [n = 10 081]) of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

Exposures  Ever use (vs none) of any tobacco products at wave 1, including e-cigarettes, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, pipes, and nicotine replacement.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Neurocognition measured by the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery and morphometric measures of brain structure and region of interest analysis for the cortex from structural magnetic resonance imaging.

Results  Among 11 729 participants at wave 1 (mean [SE] age, 9.9 [0.6] years; 47.9% girls and 52.1% boys; 20.3% Hispanic; 14.9% non-Hispanic Black; and 52.1% non-Hispanic White), 116 children reported ever use of tobacco products. Controlling for confounders, tobacco ever users vs nonusers exhibited lower scores in the Picture Vocabulary Tests at wave 1 (b [SE] = −2.9 [0.6]; P < .001) and 2-year follow-up (b [SE] = −3.0 [0.7]; P < .001). The crystalized cognition composite score was lower among tobacco ever users than nonusers both at wave 1 (b [SE] = −2.4 [0.5]; P < .001) and 2-year follow-up (b [SE] = −2.7 [0.8]; P = .005). In structural magnetic resonance imaging, the whole-brain measures in cortical area and volume were significantly lower among tobacco users than nonusers, including cortical area (b [SE] = −5014.8 [1739.8] mm2P = .004) at wave 1 and cortical volume at wave 1 (b [SE] = −174 621.0 [5857.7] mm3P = .003) and follow-up (b [SE] = −21 790.8 [7043.9] mm3P = .002). Further region of interest analysis revealed smaller cortical area and volume in multiple regions across frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes at both waves.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this cohort study, initiating tobacco use in late childhood was associated with inferior cognitive performance and reduced brain structure with sustained effects at 2-year follow-up. These findings suggest that youths vulnerable to e-cigarettes and tobacco products should be treated as a priority population in tobacco prevention.

Integrative analysis of genomic and exposomic influences on youth mental health

Choi KW, Wilson M, Ge T, Kandola A, Patel CJ, Lee SH, Smoller JW. Integrative analysis of genomic and exposomic influences on youth mental health. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 10. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13664. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35946823.

Background: Understanding complex influences on mental health problems in young people is needed to inform early prevention strategies. Both genetic and environmental factors are known to influence youth mental health, but a more comprehensive picture of their interplay, including wide-ranging environmental exposures – that is, the exposome – is needed. We perform an integrative analysis of genomic and exposomic data in relation to internalizing and externalizing symptoms in a cohort of 4,314 unrelated youth from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

Methods: Using novel GREML-based approaches, we model the variance in internalizing and externalizing symptoms explained by additive and interactive influences from the genome (G) and modeled exposome (E) consisting of up to 133 variables at the family, peer, school, neighborhood, life event, and broader environmental levels, including genome-by-exposome (G × E) and exposome-by-exposome (E × E) effects.

Results: A best-fitting integrative model with G, E, and G × E components explained 35% and 63% of variance in youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms, respectively. Youth in the top quintile of model-predicted risk accounted for the majority of individuals with clinically elevated symptoms at follow-up (60% for internalizing; 72% for externalizing). Of note, different domains of environmental exposures were most impactful for internalizing (life events) and externalizing (contextual including family, school, and peer-level factors) symptoms. In addition, variance explained by G × E contributions was substantially larger for externalizing (33%) than internalizing (13%) symptoms.

Conclusions: Advanced statistical genetic methods in a longitudinal cohort of youth can be leveraged to address fundamental questions about the role of ‘nature and nurture’ in developmental psychopathology.

Impact of Childhood Trauma Exposure, Genetic Variation in Endocannabinoid Signaling, and Anxiety on Frontolimbic Pathways in Children

Marusak HA, Evanski J, Desai S, Rabinak CA. Impact of Childhood Trauma Exposure, Genetic Variation in Endocannabinoid Signaling, and Anxiety on Frontolimbic Pathways in Children. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Aug 9. doi: 10.1089/can.2022.0144. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35944262.

Introduction: The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays a key role in modulating brain development, including myelination processes. Recent studies link a common variant (C385A, rs324420) in the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) gene to higher circulating eCB levels, lower anxiety, and altered frontolimbic development. Frontolimbic pathways, which demonstrate a protracted maturational course across childhood and adolescence, are associated with anxiety, and are vulnerable to environmental stressors such as trauma exposure. Here, we examined the impact of trauma exposure, FAAH genotype, and anxiety on frontolimbic white matter microstructure in children. Materials and Methods: We leveraged baseline data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (n=9969; mean±standard deviation age=9.92±0.62 years; 47.1% female). Saliva samples were used for genotyping, and caregivers reported on their child’s anxiety symptoms and trauma exposure. Fractional anisotropy (FA), a nonspecific measure of white matter integrity, was estimated for frontolimbic tracts. Results: Thirty-six percent of youth experienced one or more potentially traumatic events according to DSM-5 Criterion A (64% controls), and 45% were FAAH A-allele carriers (55% noncarriers). Relative to controls, trauma-exposed youth demonstrated higher anxiety and higher FA of the left uncinate. The FAAH A-allele (vs. CC) was associated with lower FA in the left fornix and left parahippocampal cingulum, and there was an indirect effect of FAAH genotype on anxiety through FA of the left fornix. Moreover, genotype moderated the association between FA of the left cingulum and anxiety. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate distinct effects of trauma exposure and the FAAH C385A variant on frontolimbic pathways and subsequent anxiety risk in preadolescent children. This line of work may provide important insights into neurodevelopmental mechanisms leading to anxiety risk, and potential targets for intervention.

Location matters: Regional variation in association of community burden of COVID-19 with caregiver and youth worry

Marshall AT, Hackman DA, Kan E, Abad S, Baker FC, Baskin-Sommers A, Dowling GJ, Gonzalez MR, Guillaume M, Kiss O, McCabe CJ, McCandliss BD, Pelham WE 3rd, Tapert SF, Van Rinsveld A, Sowell ER. Location matters: Regional variation in association of community burden of COVID-19 with caregiver and youth worry. Health Place. 2022 Aug 9;77:102885. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102885. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35963164; PMCID: PMC9359938.

Our study characterized associations between three indicators of COVID-19’s community-level impact in 20 geographically diverse metropolitan regions and how worried youth and their caregivers in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ Study have been about COVID-19. County-level COVID-19 case/death rates and monthly unemployment rates were geocoded to participants’ addresses. Caregivers’ (vs. youths’) COVID-19-related worry was more strongly associated with COVID-19’s community impact, independent of sociodemographics and pre-pandemic anxiety levels, with these associations varying by location. Public-health agencies and healthcare providers should avoid adopting uniform “one-size-fits-all” approaches to addressing COVID-19-related emotional distress and must consider specific communities’ needs, challenges, and strengths.

A prospective investigation of youth alcohol experimentation and reward responsivity in the ABCD study

May AC, Jacobus J, Simmons AN, Tapert SF. A prospective investigation of youth alcohol experimentation and reward responsivity in the ABCD study. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 8;13:886848. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.886848. PMID: 36003980; PMCID: PMC9393480.

Rationale: Greater risk-taking behaviors, such as alcohol experimentation, are associated with different patterns of brain functioning in regions implicated in reward (nucleus accumbens, NA) and cognitive control (inferior frontal gyrus, IFG). These neural features have been observed in youth with greater risk-taking tendencies prior to substance use initiation, suggesting NA-IFG disruption may serve as an early marker for subsequent substance use disorders. Prospective studies are needed to determine if NA-IFG neural disruption predicts future substance use in school-age children, including those with minimal use of alcohol (e.g., sipping). The present large-sample prospective study sought to use machine learning to: (1) examine alcohol sipping at ages 9, 10 as a potential behavioral indicator of concurrent underlying altered neural responsivity to reward, and (2) determine if alcohol sipping and NA-IFG activation at ages 9, 10 can be used to predict which youth reported increased alcohol use at ages 11, 12. Additionally, low-level alcohol use and brain functioning at ages 9, 10 were examined as predictors of substance use and brain functioning at ages 11, 12.

Design and methods: This project used data from the baseline (Time 1) and two-year follow-up (Time 2) assessments of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (Release 3.0). Support Vector Machine (SVM) learning determined if: (1) NA-IFG neural activity could correctly identify youth who reported alcohol sipping at Time 1 (n = 7409, mean age = 119.34 months, SD = 7.53; 50.27% female), and (2) NA-IFG and alcohol sipping frequency at Time 1 could correctly identify youth who reported drinking alcohol at Time 2 (n = 4000, mean age = 143.25 months, SD = 7.63; 47.53% female). Linear regression was also used to examine the relationship between alcohol sipping and NA-IFG activity at Time 1 and substance use and NA-IFG activity at Time 2. Data were also examined to characterize the environmental context in which youth first tried sips of alcohol (e.g., with or without parental permission, as part of a religious experience).

Results: Approximately 24% of the sample reported having tried sips of alcohol by ages 9, 10. On average, youth reported trying sips of alcohol 4.87 times (SD = 23.19) with age of first sip occurring at 7.36 years old (SD = 1.91). The first SVM model classified youth according to alcohol sipping status at Time 1 no better than chance with an accuracy of 0.35 (balanced accuracy = 0.52, sensitivity = 0.24, specificity = 0.80). The second SVM model classified youth according to alcohol drinking status at Time 2 with an accuracy of 0.76 (balanced accuracy = 0.56, sensitivity = 0.21, specificity = 0.91). Linear regression demonstrated that frequency of alcohol sipping at Time 1 predicted frequency of alcohol use at Time 2 (p < 0.001, adjusted R 2 = 0.075). Alcohol sipping at Time 1 was not linearly associated with NA or IFG activity at Time 2 (all ps > 0.05), and NA activity at Time 1 and Time 2 were not related (all ps > 0.05). Activity in the three subsections of the IFG at Time 1 predicted activity in those same regions at Time 2 (all ps < 0.02).

Conclusions and implications: Early sips of alcohol appear to predict alcohol use in early adolescence. Findings do not provide strong evidence for minimal early alcohol use (sipping) as a behavioral marker of underlying alterations in NA-IFG neural responsivity to reward. Improving our understanding of the neural and behavioral factors that indicate a greater propensity for future substance use is crucial for identifying at-risk youth and potential targets for preventative efforts.

Atypical Functional Network Properties and Associated Dimensions of Youth Psychopathology During Rest and Task Performance

Reimann GE, Stier AJ, Moore TM, et al. (In Press, 2022). Atypical Functional Network Properties and Associated Dimensions of Youth Psychopathology During Rest and Task Performance. Biological Psychiatry, Published: August 06, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2022.07.007

Background
When brain networks deviate from typical development, this is thought to contribute to varying forms of psychopathology. However, research has been limited by the reliance on discrete diagnostic categories that overlook the potential for psychological comorbidity and the dimensional nature of symptoms.

Methods
The present study examined the topology of functional networks in association with four bifactor-defined psychopathology dimensions—general psychopathology, internalizing symptoms, conduct problems, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms—via the Child Behavioral Checklist in a sample of 3,568 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). Local and global graph theory metrics were calculated at rest and during tasks of reward processing, inhibition, and working memory.

Results
Greater ADHD symptoms were associated with reduced modularity across rest and tasks, as well as reduced local efficiency in motor networks at rest. Results survive sensitivity analyses for medication and socioeconomic status. Greater conduct problem symptoms were associated with reduced modularity on working memory and reward processing tasks; however, these results did not persist after sensitivity analyses. General psychopathology and internalizing symptoms showed no significant network associations.

Conclusions
Our findings suggest reduced efficiency in topology in those with greater ADHD symptoms across four critical cognitive states, with conduct problems also showing network deficits, although less consistently. This may suggest modularity deficits are a neurobiological marker of externalizing behavior in youth. Such specificity has not been demonstrated before using graph theory metrics and has the potential to redefine our understanding of network deficits in children with psychopathology symptoms.

Big or Little Data for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research in Psychiatry?

Talati A, van Dijk MT, Weissman MM (In Press, 2022). Big or Little Data for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research in Psychiatry? Biological Psychiatry, Published: August 04, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.06.007

In recent years, there has been an impetus for larger magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of brain function and disease to obtain more robust findings. A recent article by Marek et al. in Nature concluded that brain-wide association studies—studies “testing associations between individual variability in brain structure and function and cognitive or psychiatric symptoms”are currently underpowered and that casts of thousands are needed to obtain reproducible results. The study received considerable attention in the scientific community and an article in The New York Times Magazine. The implications touched the work of many psychiatric researchers who see MRI as a tool to finally understand brain function and mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Prediction of fluid intelligence from T1-w MRI images: A precise two-step deep learning framework

Li M, Jiang M, Zhang G, Liu Y, Zhou X. Prediction of fluid intelligence from T1-w MRI images: A precise two-step deep learning framework. PLoS One. 2022 Aug 2;17(8):e0268707. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268707. PMID: 35917308.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Neurocognitive Prediction Challenge (ABCD-NP-Challenge) is a community-driven competition that challenges competitors to develop algorithms to predict fluid intelligence scores from T1-w MRI images. In this work, a two-step deep learning pipeline is proposed to improve the prediction accuracy of fluid intelligence scores. In terms of the first step, the main contributions of this study include the following: (1) the concepts of the residual network (ResNet) and the squeeze-and-excitation network (SENet) are utilized to improve the original 3D U-Net; (2) in the segmentation process, the pixels in symmetrical brain regions are assigned the same label; (3) to remove redundant background information from the segmented regions of interest (ROIs), a minimum bounding cube (MBC) is used to enclose the ROIs. This new segmentation structure can greatly improve the segmentation performance of the ROIs in the brain as compared with the classical convolutional neural network (CNN), which yields a Dice coefficient of 0.8920. In the second stage, MBCs are used to train neural network regression models for enhanced nonlinearity. The fluid intelligence score prediction results of the proposed method are found to be superior to those of current state-of-the-art approaches, and the proposed method achieves a mean square error (MSE) of 82.56 on a test data set, which reflects a very competitive performance.

Using Explainable Artificial Intelligence to Discover Interactions in an Ecological Model for Obesity

Allen B, Lane M, Steeves EA, Raynor H. Using Explainable Artificial Intelligence to Discover Interactions in an Ecological Model for Obesity. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 2;19(15):9447. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159447. PMID: 35954804.

Ecological theories suggest that environmental, social, and individual factors interact to cause obesity. Yet, many analytic techniques, such as multilevel modeling, require manual specification of interacting factors, making them inept in their ability to search for interactions. This paper shows evidence that an explainable artificial intelligence approach, commonly employed in genomics research, can address this problem. The method entails using random intersection trees to decode interactions learned by random forest models. Here, this approach is used to extract interactions between features of a multi-level environment from random forest models of waist-to-height ratios using 11,112 participants from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. This study shows that methods used to discover interactions between genes can also discover interacting features of the environment that impact obesity. This new approach to modeling ecosystems may help shine a spotlight on combinations of environmental features that are important to obesity, as well as other health outcomes.

Prevalence of disordered eating and associations with sex, pubertal maturation, and weight in children in the US

Murray SB, Blashill AJ, Calzo JP. Prevalence of disordered eating and associations with sex, pubertal maturation, and weight in children in the US. JAMA Pediatrics (2022). Published online August 1, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.2490, DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.2490.

Eating disorders often begin in adolescence, affecting more than 28 million people in the US,1 although the prevalence of disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) is even greater.1,2 Data on DEBs among children younger than age 12 years are scant. Ascertaining the prevalence of DEBs in children is critical because rapid maturational and weight-related changes in puberty are independently associated with DEBs,3 and some youth may experience different rates of growth and weight gain vs their peers. We sought to characterize DEB prevalence in US children aged 9 to 10 years and the associations of DEBs with sex, pubertal maturation, and weight.

Assessment of Parent Income and Education, Neighborhood Disadvantage, and Child Brain Structure

Rakesh D, Zalesky A, Whittle S. Assessment of Parent Income and Education, Neighborhood Disadvantage, and Child Brain Structure. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2226208. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.26208. PMID: 35980639.

Importance: Although different aspects of socioeconomic status (SES) may represent distinct risk factors for poor mental health in children, knowledge of their differential and synergistic associations with the brain is limited.

Objective: To examine the independent associations between distinct SES factors and child brain structure.

Design, setting, and participants: We used baseline data from participants aged 9 to 10 years in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. These data were collected from 21 US sites between September 2017 and August 2018. Study participants were recruited from schools to create a participant sample that closely reflects the US population.

Exposures: Neighborhood disadvantage was measured using the area deprivation index. We also used data on total parent or caregiver educational attainment (in years) and household income-to-needs ratio.

Main outcomes and measures: T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess measures of cortical thickness, surface area, and subcortical volume.

Results: Data from 8862 ABCD participants aged 9 to 10 years were analyzed. The mean (SD) age was 119.1 (7.5) months; there were 4243 girls (47.9%) and 4619 boys (52.1%). Data on race or ethnicity were available for 8857 of 8862 participants: 173 (2.0%) were Asian, 1099 (12.4%) were Black or African American, 1688 (19.1%) were Hispanic, 4967 (56.1%) were White, and 930 (10.5%) reported multiple races or ethnicities. Using 10-fold, within-sample split-half replication, we found that neighborhood disadvantage was associated with lower cortical thickness in the following brain regions (η2 = 0.004-0.009): cuneus (B [SE] = -0.099 [0.013]; P < .001), lateral occipital (B [SE] = -0.088 [0.011]; P < .001), lateral orbitofrontal (B [SE] = -0.072 [0.012]; P < .001), lingual (B [SE] = -0.104 [0.012]; P < .001), paracentral (B [SE] = -0.086 [0.012]; P < .001), pericalcarine (B [SE] = -0.077 [0.012]; P < .001), postcentral (B [SE] = -0.069 [0.012]; P < .001), precentral (B [SE] = -0.059 [0.011]; P < .001), rostral middle frontal (B [SE] = -0.076 [0.011]; P < .001), and superior parietal (B [SE] = -0.060 [0.011]; P < .001). Exploratory analyses showed that the associations of low educational attainment or neighborhood disadvantage and low cortical thickness were attenuated in the presence of a high income-to-needs ratio (η2 = 0.003-0.007).

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that different SES indicators have distinct associations with children’s brain structure. A high income-to-needs ratio may play a protective role in the context of neighborhood disadvantage and low parent or caregiver educational attainment. This study highlights the importance of considering the joint associations of different SES indicators in future work.

‘Harmless’ adversarial network harmonization approach for removing site effects and improving reproducibility in neuroimaging studies

Yan W, Fu Z, Sui J, Calhoun VD. ‘Harmless’ adversarial network harmonization approach for removing site effects and improving reproducibility in neuroimaging studies. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul;2022:1859-1862. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871061. PMID: 36086519.

Multi-site collaboration, which gathers together samples from multiple sites, is a powerful way to overcome the small-sample problem in the neuroimaging field and has the potential to discover more robust and reproducible biomarkers. However, confounds among the datasets caused by various site-specific factors may dramatically reduce the cross-site reproducibility performance. To properly remove confounds while improving cross-site task performances, we propose a maximum classifier discrepancy generative adversarial network (MCD-GAN) that combines the advantages of generative models and maximum discrepancy theory. The mechanisms of MCD-GAN and how it harmonizes the dataset are visualized using simulated data. The performance of MCD-GAN was also compared with state-of-the-art methods (e.g., ComBat, cycle-GAN) within Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset. Result demonstrates that the proposed MCD-GAN can effectively improve the cross-site gender classification performance by harmonizing site effects. Our proposed framework is also suitable for various classification/prediction tasks and is promising to facilitate the cross-site reproducibility of neuroimaging studies. Clinical Relevance- This work provides an efficient method for removing sites effects and improving reproducibility in large-cohort neuroimaging studies.

Functional Connectivity Stability: A Signature of Neurocognitive Development and Psychiatric Problems in Children

Fu Z, Salman MS, Liu J, Calhoun VD. Functional Connectivity Stability: A Signature of Neurocognitive Development and Psychiatric Problems in Children. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul;2022:251-254. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871390. PMID: 36085708.

Brain functional connectivity has been shown to provide a type of fingerprint for adult subjects. However, most studies tend to focus on the connectivity strength rather than its stability across scans. In this study, we performed for the first time a large-scale analysis of within-individual stability of functional connectivity (FC) using 9071 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development database. Functional network connectivity (FNC) was extracted via a fully automated independent component analysis framework. We found that children’s FNC is robust and stable with high similarity across scans and serves as a fingerprint that can identify an individual child from a large group. The robustness of this finding is supported by replicating the identification in the two-year follow-up session and between longitudinal sessions. More interestingly, we discovered that the within-individual FNC stability was predictive of cognitive performance and psychiatric problems in children, with higher FNC stability correlating with better cognitive performance and fewer dimensional psychopathology. The overall results indicate that the FNC of children also shows reliable within-individual stability, acting as a fingerprint for distinguishing participants, regardless of significant growth and development in the children’s brain. FC stability can be a valuable imaging marker to predict early cognitive and psychiatric behaviors in children. Clinical Relevance—The stability of functional connectivity can be used to identify children from a large group and to draw inferences on early-age cognitive and psychiatric behaviors.

Deep Learning Prediction and Visualization of Gender Related Brain Changes from Longitudinal Structural MRI Data in the ABCD Study

Bi Y, Abrol A, Fu Z, Calhoun V. Deep Learning Prediction and Visualization of Gender Related Brain Changes from Longitudinal Structural MRI Data in the ABCD Study. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul;2022:3814-3817. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871150. PMID: 36086576.

Deep learning algorithms for predicting from neuroimaging data have shown considerable promise. Deep learning models that take advantage of the data’s 3D structure have been proven to outperform ordinary machine learning on a number of learning tasks[1]. The majority of past research in this area, however, has focused on data from adults. Within the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset, a major longitudinal development research, we examine the use of structural MRI data to predict gender and to identify gender related changes in brain structure. The results demonstrate that gender prediction accuracy is extremely high (>94%), and that this accuracy increases with age. Brain regions identified as the most discriminative in the task under study include predominantly frontal regions in addition to temporal lobe. When evaluating gender predictive changes specific to a two year increase in age, a broader set of visual, cingulate, and insular regions are revealed. Overall, our findings show a robust pattern of gender related structural brain changes, even over a small age range. This suggests the potential for evaluating the relationship of these changes to various behavioral and environmental factors to further study how the brain develops during adolescence. Clinical relevance- These results are not focused on clinical relevance currently, but in the future may be useful to characterize interactions between gender and potentially clinically relevant measures in adolescents.

Socioeconomic disadvantage and episodic memory ability in the ABCD sample: Contributions of hippocampal subregion and subfield volumes

Botdorf M, Dunstan J, Sorcher L, Dougherty LR, Riggins T. Socioeconomic disadvantage and episodic memory ability in the ABCD sample: Contributions of hippocampal subregion and subfield volumes. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 57, October 2022, 101138, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101138.

Socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with volumetric differences in stress-sensitive neural structures, including the hippocampus, and deficits in episodic memory. Rodent studies provide evidence that memory deficits arise via stress-related structural differences in hippocampal subdivisions; however, human studies have only provided limited evidence to support this notion. We used a sample of 10,695 9–13-year-old participants from two timepoints of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to assess whether socioeconomic disadvantage relates to episodic memory performance through hippocampal volumes. We explored associations among socioeconomic disadvantage, measured via the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), concurrent subregion (anterior, posterior) and subfield volumes (CA1, CA3, CA4/DG, subiculum), and episodic memory, assessed via the NIH Toolbox Picture Sequence Memory Test at baseline and 2-year follow-up (Time 2). Results showed that higher baseline ADI related to smaller concurrent anterior, CA1, CA4/DG, and subiculum volumes and poorer Time 2 memory performance controlling for baseline memory. Moreover, anterior, CA1, and subiculum volumes mediated the longitudinal association between the ADI and memory. Results suggest that greater socioeconomic disadvantage relates to smaller hippocampal subregion and subfield volumes and less age-related improvement in memory. These findings shed light on the neural mechanisms linking socioeconomic disadvantage and cognitive ability in childhood.

Effects of sleep duration on neurocognitive development in early adolescents in the USA: a propensity score matched, longitudinal, observational study

Yang FN, Xie W, Wang Z. Effects of sleep duration on neurocognitive development in early adolescents in the USA: a propensity score matched, longitudinal, observational study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health (2022), Published:July 29, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00188-2.

Background
Although the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests at least 9 h of sleep per day for 6–12-year-olds, children in recent generations often report sleeping less than this amount. Because early adolescence is a crucial period for neurocognitive development, we aimed to investigate how insufficient sleep affects children’s mental health, cognition, brain function, and brain structure over 2 years.

Methods
In this propensity score matched, longitudinal, observational cohort study, we obtained data from a population-based sample of 9–10-year-olds from 21 US study sites in the ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Participants were categorised as having sufficient sleep or insufficient sleep on the basis of a cutoff of 9 h sleep per day. Using propensity score matching, we matched these two groups of participants on 11 key covariates, including sex, socioeconomic status, and puberty status. Participants were excluded from our analysis if they did not pass a baseline resting-state functional MRI quality check or had missing data for the covariates involved in propensity score matching. Outcome measures retrieved from the ABCD study were behavioural problems, mental health, cognition, and structural and resting-state functional brain measures, assessed at baseline and at 2-year follow-up. We examined group differences on these outcomes over those 2 years among all eligible participants. We then did mediation analyses of the neural correlates of behavioural changes induced by insufficient sleep.

Findings

Between Sept 1, 2016, and Oct 15, 2018, 11 878 individuals had baseline data collected for the ABCD study, of whom 8323 were eligible and included in this study (4142 participants in the sufficient sleep group and 4181 in the insufficient sleep group). Follow-up data were collected from July 30, 2018, to Jan 15, 2020. We identified 3021 matched sufficient sleep–insufficient sleep pairs at baseline and 749 matched pairs at 2-year follow-up, and observed similar differences between the groups in behaviour and neural measures at both timepoints; the effect sizes of between-group differences in behavioural measures at these two timepoints were significantly correlated with each other (r=0·85, 95% CI 0·73–0·92; p<0·0001). A similar pattern was observed in resting-state functional connectivity (r=0·54, 0·45–0·61; p<0·0001) and in structural measures (eg, in grey matter volume r=0·61, 0·51–0·69; p<0·0001). We found that cortico–basal ganglia functional connections mediate the effects of insufficient sleep on depression, thought problems, and crystallised intelligence, and that structural properties of the anterior temporal lobe mediate the effect of insufficient sleep on crystallised intelligence.

Interpretation

These results provide population-level evidence for the long-lasting effect of insufficient sleep on neurocognitive development in early adolescence. These findings highlight the value of early sleep intervention to improve early adolescents’ long-term developmental outcomes.

Longitudinally stable, brain-based predictive models mediate the relationships between childhood cognition and socio-demographic, psychological and genetic factors

Pat N, Wang Y, Anney R, Riglin L, Thapar A, Stringaris A. Longitudinally stable, brain-based predictive models mediate the relationships between childhood cognition and socio-demographic, psychological and genetic factors. Hum Brain Mapp. 2022 Jul 28. doi: 10.1002/hbm.26027. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35903877.

Cognitive abilities are one of the major transdiagnostic domains in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). Following RDoC’s integrative approach, we aimed to develop brain-based predictive models for cognitive abilities that (a) are developmentally stable over years during adolescence and (b) account for the relationships between cognitive abilities and socio-demographic, psychological and genetic factors. For this, we leveraged the unique power of the large-scale, longitudinal data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (n ~ 11 k) and combined MRI data across modalities (task-fMRI from three tasks: resting-state fMRI, structural MRI and DTI) using machine-learning. Our brain-based, predictive models for cognitive abilities were stable across 2 years during young adolescence and generalisable to different sites, partially predicting childhood cognition at around 20% of the variance. Moreover, our use of ‘opportunistic stacking’ allowed the model to handle missing values, reducing the exclusion from around 80% to around 5% of the data. We found fronto-parietal networks during a working-memory task to drive childhood-cognition prediction. The brain-based, predictive models significantly, albeit partially, accounted for variance in childhood cognition due to (1) key socio-demographic and psychological factors (proportion mediated = 18.65% [17.29%-20.12%]) and (2) genetic variation, as reflected by the polygenic score of cognition (proportion mediated = 15.6% [11%-20.7%]). Thus, our brain-based predictive models for cognitive abilities facilitate the development of a robust, transdiagnostic research tool for cognition at the neural level in keeping with the RDoC’s integrative framework.

Contemporary screen time modalities and disruptive behavior disorders in children: a prospective cohort study

Nagata JM, Chu J, Ganson KT, Murray SB, Iyer P, Gabriel KP, Garber AK, Bibbins-Domingo K, Baker FC. Contemporary screen time modalities and disruptive behavior disorders in children: a prospective cohort study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 26. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13673. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35881083.

Background: Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated associations between screen time and disruptive behavior disorders (conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder); however, prospective associations remain unknown. This study’s objective was to determine the prospective associations of contemporary screen time modalities with conduct and oppositional defiant disorder in a national cohort of 9-11-year-old children.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11,875). Modified Poisson regression analyses were conducted to estimate the associations between baseline child-reported screen time (total and by modality) and parent-reported conduct or oppositional defiant disorder based on the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS-5) at 1-year follow-up, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Participants reported an average of 4 hr of total screen time per day at baseline. Each hour of total screen time per day was prospectively associated with a 7% higher prevalence of conduct disorder (95% CI 1.03-1.11) and a 5% higher prevalence of oppositional defiant disorder (95% CI 1.03-1.08) at 1-year follow-up. Each hour of social media per day was associated with a 62% higher prevalence of conduct disorder (95% CI 1.39-1.87). Each hour of video chat (prevalence ratio [PR] 1.21, 95% CI 1.06-1.37), texting (PR 1.19, 95% CI 1.07-1.33), television/movies (PR 1.17, 95% CI 1.10-1.25), and video games (PR 1.14, 95% CI 1.07-1.21) per day was associated with a higher prevalence of the oppositional defiant disorder. When examining thresholds, exposure to >4 hr of total screen time per day was associated with a higher prevalence of conduct disorder (69%) and oppositional defiant disorder (46%).

Conclusions: Higher screen time was prospectively associated with a higher prevalence of new-onset disruptive behavior disorders. The strongest association was between social media and conduct disorder, indicating that future research and interventions may focus on social media platforms to prevent conduct disorder.

Prevalence of Mental Health Problems in Transgender Children Aged 9 to 10 Years in the US, 2018

Russell DH, Hoq M, Coghill D, Pang KC (2022). Prevalence of Mental Health Problems in Transgender Children Aged 9 to 10 Years in the US, 2018. Research Letter, Research Letter, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(7):e2223389. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23389

Discussion

Previous research using clinical samples of transgender children aged 5 to 11 years reported lower rates of depression and anxiety than we observed in this cohort study. Apart from methodological differences in assessing mental health, a possible reason for this disparity is that transgender children attending specialist gender clinics are likely to have support from their families (a key protective factor for the mental health of transgender young people); in comparison, many transgender children in the general population lack parental support for their gender.

Previous studies using clinical and convenience samples of transgender adolescents had higher rates of depression and anxiety compared with our sample. This is consistent with earlier clinic-based observations that transgender children have lower rates of anxiety and depression compared with transgender adolescents, which may be explained by observations from the general population that depression and anxiety more frequently develop during adolescence.

The small number of transgender participants is a limitation of our study, as is the exclusion of many children who did not understand the question on gender identity. Nevertheless, this is, to our knowledge, the first study to report rates of DSM-5–related problems using a representative population sample of transgender children. Our findings suggest that by 9 to 10 years of age transgender children already show increased susceptibility to mental health problems compared with their cisgender peers, which has important public health implications. Whether this is due to stigma, minority stress, discrimination, or gender dysphoria is unclear, but providing appropriate mental health supports to this vulnerable group is paramount.

Effect of exposure to maternal diabetes during pregnancy on offspring’s brain cortical thickness and neurocognitive functioning

Ahmed S, Cano MA, Sánchez M, Hu N, Ibañez G. Effect of exposure to maternal diabetes during pregnancy on offspring’s brain cortical thickness and neurocognitive functioning. Child Neuropsychology, Published online: 22 Jul 2022.

Little is known about the long-term effects of maternal diabetes during pregnancy (DP), either gestational diabetes or preexisting diabetes (type 1 or type 2), on offspring’s brain morphometry and neurocognitive functioning (NCF). This study examined the effect of prenatal exposure to maternal DP on the brain structure and NCF in children between 9 and 10 years of age. This study used cross-sectional neuroimaging and NCF data from the baseline wave of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development® study. Exposure to maternal DP was assigned from the developmental history questionnaire. Differences in the brain cortical thickness (CTh) and five cognitive abilities (executive function, working and episodic memory, processing speed, and language abilities) were examined in diabetes-exposed and diabetes-unexposed children. Linear mixed effect models and generalized linear models were used to adjust for the effect of confounding variables. A total of 9,967 children (718 diabetes-exposed and 9249 unexposed) were included in the analysis. Diabetes-exposed children had lower whole-brain CTh [mean: exposed vs unexposed = 2.725 mm vs 2.732 mm; difference (95%CI): −0.007 mm (−0.013, −0.001)] compared to unexposed children after adjusting for confounding variables. Diabetes-exposed children had lower CTh in most part of the occipital lobe of both hemispheres, right postcentral gyrus, and left superior parietal cortex. Diabetes-exposed children also had lower scores in processing speed task [mean difference (95%CI): −1.7 (−2.8, −0.6)] and total cognition [mean difference (95%CI): −0.6 (−1.2, −0.02)]. Diabetes-exposed children have reduced CTh and NCF during preadolescence, which might have implications for psychomotor development during later life. Prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings.

Disparities in sleep duration among American children: effects of race and ethnicity, income, age, and sex

Giddens NT, Juneau P, Manza P, Volkow ND (2022). Disparities in sleep duration among American children: effects of race and ethnicity, income, age, and sex. PNAS, July 18, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2120009119

Significance
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to a child’s health. Access to actigraphy measures enabled us to assess racial/ethnic and income group differences in sleep in a large data set from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (4,207 children ages 9 to 13). This method relies on the closed algorithm of the commercial Fitbit device. Our analyses revealed that black children and low-income children slept significantly less than children from other groups. These findings indicate that disparities in sleep time among children are driven in part by socioeconomic factors.

Abstract

Children in the United States sleep less than the recommended amount and sleep deficiencies may be worse among disadvantaged children. Prior studies that compared sleep time in children of different race/ethnic groups mostly relied on questionnaires or were limited to small sample sizes. Our study takes advantage of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study to compare total sleep time using a week of actigraphy data among American children (n = 4,207, 9 to 13 y old) of different racial/ethnic and income groups. We also assessed the effects of neighborhood deprivation, experience of discrimination, parent’s age at child’s birth, body mass index (BMI), and time the child fell asleep on sleep times. Daily total sleep time for the sample was 7.45 h and race/ethnicity, income, sex, age, BMI, were all significant predictors of total sleep time. Black children slept less than White children (∼34 min; Cohen’s d = 0.95), children from lower income families slept less than those from higher incomes (∼16 min; Cohen’s d = 0.44), boys slept less than girls (∼7 min; Cohen’s d = 0.18), and older children slept less than younger ones (∼32 min; Cohen’s d = 0.91); mostly due to later sleep times. Children with higher BMI also had shorter sleep times. Neither area deprivation index, experience of discrimination, or parent’s age at child’s birth significantly contributed to sleep time. Our findings indicate that children in the United States sleep significantly less than the recommended amount for healthy development and identifies significant racial and income disparities. Interventions to improve sleep hygiene in children will help improve health and ameliorate racial disparities in health outcomes.

Genetic Association of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Major Depression With Suicidal Ideation and Attempts in Children: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Lee PH, Doyle AE, Li X, Silberstein M, Jung JY, Gollub RL, Nierenberg AA, Liu RT, Kessler RC, Perlis RH, Fava M. Genetic Association of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Major Depression With Suicidal Ideation and Attempts in Children: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2022 Aug 1;92(3):236-245. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.11.026. Epub 2021 Dec 22.

Background: Suicide is among the leading causes of death in children and adolescents. There are well-known risk factors of suicide, including childhood abuse, family conflicts, social adversity, and psychopathology. While suicide risk is also known to be heritable, few studies have investigated genetic risk in younger individuals.

Methods: Using polygenic risk score analysis, we examined whether genetic susceptibility to major psychiatric disorders is associated with suicidal behaviors among 11,878 children enrolled in the ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) Study. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempt data were assessed using the youth report of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for DSM-5. After performing robust quality control of genotype data, unrelated individuals of European descent were included in analyses (n = 4344).

Results: Among 8 psychiatric disorders we examined, depression polygenic risk scores were associated with lifetime suicide attempts both in the baseline (odds ratio = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.10-2.18, p = 1.27 × 10-2) and in the follow-up year (odds ratio = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.08-1.77, p = 1.05 × 10-2), after adjusting for children’s age, sex, socioeconomic backgrounds, family history of suicide, and psychopathology. In contrast, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder polygenic risk scores were associated with lifetime suicidal ideation (odds ratio = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.05-1.26, p = 3.71 × 10-3), suggesting a distinct contribution of the genetic risk underlying attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression on suicidal behaviors of children.

Conclusions: The largest genetic sample of suicide risk data in U.S. children suggests a significant genetic basis of suicide risk related to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression. Further research is warranted to examine whether incorporation of genomic risk may facilitate more targeted screening and intervention efforts.

Application of the RDoC Framework to Predict Alcohol Use and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Early Adolescents in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Aguinaldo LD, Coronado C, Gomes DA, Courtney KE, Jacobus J. Application of the RDoC Framework to Predict Alcohol Use and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Early Adolescents in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) StudyBrain Sciences. 2022; 12(7):935. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12070935

Alcohol use confers risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (ideation, attempt) in early adolescents. The Research Domain Criteria provides a framework for examination of multidimensional and modifiable risk factors. We examined distinct latent profiles based on patterns of positive valence (reward responsivity) and cognitive systems (neurocognition) from the ABCD Study (age 9–10, N = 10,414) at baseline enrollment. Longitudinal associations were determined between baseline positive valence and cognitive profiles and group classification (alcohol use, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or their co-occurrence) two-years after initial assessment (ages 11–12). Three unique profiles of positive valence, cognition, alcohol use, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors were identified. Two baseline profiles predicted alcohol use and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, two-years after initial assessment. Low positive valence with high cognition (but low impulsivity) predicted alcohol use (OR = 1.414, p< 0.001), while high positive valence with low cognition (but high impulsivity) predicted suicidal thoughts and behaviors (OR = 1.25, p = 0.038), compared to average positive valence and cognition. Unique profiles of positive valence and cognitive systems among 9–12-year-olds may be predictive of alcohol use and suicidal thoughts and behaviors over a two-year period. Findings underscore the potential for trajectory research on positive valence and cognitive profiles to enhance prevention for early-adolescents.

Associations Between Adverse Childhood Experiences, Adolescent Screen Time and Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Raney J, Testa A, Jackson DB, Ganson KT, Nagata J. Associations Between Adverse Childhood Experiences, Adolescent Screen Time and Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Acad Pediatr. 2022 Jul 16:S1876-2859(22)00352-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2022.07.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35853601; PMCID: PMC9288265.

Objective: To determine the associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), adolescent screen time, and physical activity during the early COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Data (2016-2020) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study were analyzed. Linear regression analyses estimated associations between ACE score and screen time and physical activity in May 2020, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Of the 6,749 adolescent respondents primarily aged 12-13, 81.6% reported a history of one ACE or more. In adjusted models, a higher ACE score was significantly associated with greater hours per day of screen time, with youth with ≥4 ACEs associated with 2.3 more hours of screen time per day compared to youth with 0 ACEs. In addition, the adjusted models found that a higher ACE score was associated with lower physical activity; youth with ≥4 ACEs averaged 0.8 fewer hours per week of physical activity and 0.5 fewer days per week of 60 minutes of physical activity compared to youth with 0 ACEs. Gender and race were also significantly associated with changes in screen time and physical activity.

Conclusions: ACEs are associated with higher adolescent sedentary behaviors, particularly greater screen time, during the early COVID-19 pandemic (May 2020). Clinicians caring for youth exposed to trauma in the post-pandemic environment should explore screen time and physical activity behaviors.

Proportional intracranial volume correction differentially biases behavioral predictions across neuroanatomical features, sexes, and development

Dhamala E, Ooi LQR, Chen J, Kong R, Anderson KM, Chin R, Yeo BTT, Holmes AJ. Proportional intracranial volume correction differentially biases behavioral predictions across neuroanatomical features, sexes, and development. Neuroimage. 2022 Jul 14:119485. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119485. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35843514.

Individual differences in brain anatomy can be used to predict variations in cognitive ability. Most studies to date have focused on broad population-level trends, but the extent to which the observed predictive features are shared across sexes and age groups remains to be established. While it is standard practice to account for intracranial volume (ICV) using proportion correction in both regional and whole-brain morphometric analyses, in the context of brain-behavior predictions the possible differential impact of ICV correction on anatomical features and subgroups within the population has yet to be systematically investigated. In this work, we evaluate the effect of proportional ICV correction on sex-independent and sex-specific predictive models of individual cognitive abilities across multiple anatomical properties (surface area, gray matter volume, and cortical thickness) in healthy young adults (Human Connectome Project; n=1013, 548 females) and typically developing children (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study; n=1823, 979 females). We demonstrate that ICV correction generally reduces predictive accuracies derived from surface area and gray matter volume, while increasing predictive accuracies based on cortical thickness in both adults and children. Furthermore, the extent to which predictive models generalize across sexes and age groups depends on ICV correction: models based on surface area and gray matter volume are more generalizable without ICV correction, while models based on cortical thickness are more generalizable with ICV correction. Finally, the observed neuroanatomical features predictive of cognitive abilities are unique across age groups regardless of ICV correction, but whether they are shared or unique across sexes (within age groups) depends on ICV correction. These findings highlight the importance of considering individual differences in ICV, and show that proportional ICV correction does not remove the effects of cranial volume from anatomical measurements and can introduce ICV bias where previously there was none. ICV correction choices affect not just the strength of the relationships captured, but also the conclusions drawn regarding the neuroanatomical features that underlie those relationships.

COVID information and masking behaviors in U.S. adolescents: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Nagata JM, Ganson KT, Liu J, Patel KP Tai JC, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K. (2022). COVID information and masking behaviors in U.S. adolescents: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Preventive Medicine Reports. Volume 28, August 2022, 101900. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101900

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to health misinformation and are at risk for suboptimal adherence to protective health behaviors in the COVID-19 pandemic. Guided by factors consistent with the theories of planned behavior and rumor transmission, this study sought to analyze the impact of multiple information sources, including social media, television media, internet and parental counseling, on masking behaviors in adolescents. Responses from the December 2020 COVID-19 survey, representing 4,106 U.S. adolescents ages 12–14 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD) were analyzed. The majority of parents (61.1%) reported counseling their children on the importance of wearing masks all the time in the past week. A minority of adolescents reported more than one hour of daily exposure to COVID-19 related information on social media (9.1%), the internet (4.3%) and television (10.2%). In unadjusted and adjusted models, greater frequency of parental counseling and exposure to COVID-19 television or social media were associated with ‘always masking’ behaviors. Our findings provide support for the importance of parent counseling and suggest that socialmedia and television may overall support rather than dissuade protective COVID-19 health behaviors in adolescents.

Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward among Children with a Family History of Alcohol Use Problems: Convergent Findings from the ABCD Study® and Michigan Longitudinal Study

Martz ME, Hardee JE, Cope LM, McCurry KL, Soules M, Zucker RA, Heitzeg MM. Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward among Children with a Family History of Alcohol Use Problems: Convergent Findings from the ABCD Study® and Michigan Longitudinal Study. Brain Sciences. 2022; 12(7):913. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12070913

Having a family history of alcohol use problems (FH+) conveys risk for alcohol use in offspring. Reward-related brain functioning may play a role in this vulnerability. The present study investigated brain function in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) associated with the anticipation of reward in youth with two biological parents with alcohol use problems (FH+2), one biological parent with alcohol use problems (FH+1), and no biological parents with alcohol use problems (FH-). Participants were from the large, national Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (mean age: 9.93; 48% female; FH+2 n = 223, FH+1 n = 1447, FH- n = 9690) and the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS), consisting of community-recruited families with high rates of alcohol use disorder (mean age: 10.54; 39.3% female; FH+2 n = 40, FH+1 n = 51, FH- n = 40). Reward anticipation was measured by the monetary incentive delay task. Regression models were used to assess associations between FH status and the anticipation of large rewards in right and left NAcc regions of interest. In both studies, FH+2 youth showed blunted anticipatory reward responding in the right NAcc compared to FH+1 youth. In the MLS, FH+2 youth also had blunted anticipatory reward responding in the right NAcc compared to the FH- group. Convergent results across two separate samples provide insights into a unique vulnerability of FH+2 youth and suggest that binary FH+ versus FH- categorizations may obscure important differences within FH+ youth.

Social Epidemiology of Early Adolescent Cyberbullying in the United States

Nagata JM, Trompeter N, Singh G, Ganson KT, Testa A, Jackson DB, Assari S, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Baker FC. Social Epidemiology of Early Adolescent Cyberbullying in the United States. Acad Pediatr. 2022 Jul 12:S1876-2859(22)00347-3. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2022.07.003. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35840085.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of cyberbullying victimization and perpetration among a racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse population-based sample of 11-12-year-old early adolescents.

Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (Year 2; N=9,429). Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, country of birth, household income, parental education) and adolescent-reported cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.

Results: In the overall sample, lifetime prevalence of cyberbullying victimization was 9.6%, with 65.8% occurring in the past 12 months, while lifetime prevalence of cyberbullying perpetration was 1.1%, with 59.8% occurring the past 12 months. Boys reported higher odds of cyberbullying perpetration (AOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.01-2.92) but lower odds of cyberbullying victimization (AOR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.94) than girls. Sexual minorities reported 2.83 higher odds of cyberbullying victimization (95% CI 1.69-4.75) than non-sexual minorities. Lower household income was associated with 1.64 (95% CI 1.34-2.00) higher odds of cyberbullying victimization than higher household income, however household income was not associated with cyberbullying perpetration. Total screen time, particularly on the internet and social media, was associated with both cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.

Conclusions: Nearly one in ten early adolescents reported cyberbullying victimization. Pediatricians, parents, teachers, and online platforms can provide education to support victims and prevent perpetration for early adolescents at the highest risk of cyberbullying.

Brain structural covariation linked to screen media activity and externalizing behaviors in children

Zhao Y, Paulus M, Bagot KS, Constable RT, Yaggi HK, Redeker NS, Potenza MN. Brain structural covariation linked to screen media activity and externalizing behaviors in children. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Online publication date 30 Jun 2022, https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.2022.00044

Background and Aims
Screen media activity (SMA) may impact neurodevelopment in youth. Cross-sectionally, SMA has been linked to brain structural patterns including cortical thinning in children. However, it remains unclear whether specific brain structural co-variation patterns are related to SMA and other clinically relevant measures such as psychopathology, cognition and sleep in children.

Methods
Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) participants with useable baseline structural imaging (N = 10,691; 5,107 girls) were analyzed. We first used the Joint and Individual Variation Explained (JIVE) approach to identify cortical and subcortical covariation pattern(s) among a set of 221 brain features (i.e., surface area, thickness, or cortical and subcortical gray matter (GM) volumes). Then, the identified structural covariation pattern was used as a predictor in linear mixed-effect models to investigate its associations with SMA, psychopathology, and cognitive and sleep measures.

Results
A thalamus-prefrontal cortex (PFC)-brainstem structural co-variation pattern (circuit) was identified. The pattern suggests brainstem and bilateral thalamus proper GM volumes covary more strongly with GM volume and/or surface area in bilateral superior frontal gyral, rostral middle frontal, inferior parietal, and inferior temporal regions. This covariation pattern highly resembled one previously linked to alcohol use initiation prior to adulthood and was consistent in girls and boys. Subsequent regression analyses showed that this co-variation pattern associated with SMA (β = 0.107, P = 0.002) and externalizing psychopathology (β = 0.117, P = 0.002), respectively.

Discussion and Conclusions
Findings linking SMA-related structural covariation to externalizing psychopathology in youth resonate with prior studies of alcohol-use initiation and suggest a potential neurodevelopmental mechanism underlying addiction vulnerability.

Individual-, peer-, and parent-level substance use-related factors among 9- and 10-year-olds from the ABCD Study: Prevalence rates and sociodemographic differences

Martz ME, Heitzeg MM, Lisdahl KM, Cloak CC, Feldstein Ewing SW, Gonzalez R, Haist F, LeBlanc KH, Madden PA, Megan Ross J, Sher KJ, Tapert SF, Thompson WK, Wade NE. Individual-, peer-, and parent-level substance use-related factors among 9- and 10-year-olds from the ABCD Study: Prevalence rates and sociodemographic differences. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports
Volume 3, June 2022, 100037. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100037

Background
Although a relatively large body of research has identified multiple factors associated with adolescent substance use, less is known about earlier substance-related factors during preadolescence, including curiosity to use substances. The present study examined individual-, peer-, and parent-level domains pertaining to substance use and how these domains vary by sociodemographic subgroups and substance type.

Methods
Participants were 11,864 9- and 10-year-olds from the baseline sample of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Youth-reported measures were curiosity to use substances and perceived peer substance use. Parent-reported measures were availability of and rules about substances. Generalized logistic mixed models (GLMM) were used to compare these measures across alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana and across sociodemographic subgroupings (sex, race/ethnicity, household income, and family history of alcohol problems). GLMM was then used to examine predictors of curiosity to use by substance type.

Results
The most striking descriptive differences were found between race/ethnicity and income categories (e.g., positive associations between greater income and greater availability of alcohol). In multivariable analyses, greater curiosity to use alcohol was associated with being male, higher household income, perceived peer alcohol use, and easy alcohol availability; greater curiosity to use nicotine was associated with being male, perceived peer cigarette use, easy availability of cigarettes, and no parental rules about cigarette use.

Conclusions
This study identified substance use-related individual-, peer-, and parent-level factors among a diverse, national sample. Findings highlight the importance of considering sociodemographic and substance-specific variability and may help identify risk and protective factors preceding adolescent substance use.

Social epidemiology of early adolescent problematic screen use in the United States

Nagata JM, Singh G, Sajjad OM, Ganson KT, Testa A, Jackson DB, Assari S, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Baker FC. Social epidemiology of early adolescent problematic screen use in the United States. Pediatr Res. 2022 Jun 29. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02176-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35768491.

Objective: To determine sociodemographic correlates of problematic screen use (social media, video games, mobile phones) among a racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse population-based sample of 10-14-year-old early adolescents.

Study design: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (Year 2, 2018-2020; N = 8753). Multiple linear regression analyses were used to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, primary language, household income, parental education) and adolescent-reported problematic video game (Video Game Addiction Questionnaire), social media (Social Media Addiction Questionnaire), and mobile phone use (Mobile Phone Involvement Questionnaire).

Results: Boys reported higher problematic video game use while girls reported higher problematic social media and mobile phone use. Native American, black, and Latinx adolescents reported higher scores across all problematic screen measures compared to non-Latinx white adolescents. Having unmarried/unpartnered parents was associated with higher problematic social media use. Although higher household income was generally protective against problematic video game use, these associations were weaker for black than white adolescents (p for interaction <0.05).

Conclusions: Given the sociodemographic differences in problematic screen use, digital literacy education strategies can focus on at-risk populations, encourage targeted counseling by pediatricians, and adapt family media use plans for diverse backgrounds.

Impact: While sociodemographic differences in screen time are documented, we examined sociodemographic differences in problematic screen use in a large, diverse sample of early adolescents in the US. Boys reported higher problematic video game use while girls reported higher problematic social media and mobile phone use. Native American, black, and Latinx adolescents reported higher scores across all problematic screen measures compared to non-Latinx white adolescents. Although higher household income was generally protective against problematic video game use, these associations were weaker for black than white adolescents. Beyond time spent on screens, pediatricians, parents, and educators should be aware of sociodemographic differences in problematic screen use.

Family Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Risks of Financial Insecurity and Coping

Gonzalez MR, Brown SA, Pelham WE 3rd, Bodison SC, McCabe C, Baker FC, Baskin-Sommers A, Dick AS, Dowling GJ, Gebreselassie S, Guillaume M, Marshall AT, Sheth C, Sowell ER, Van Rinsveld A, Tapert SF. Family Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Risks of Financial Insecurity and Coping. J Res Adolesc. 2022 Jun 24. doi: 10.1111/jora.12776. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35748113.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, families have experienced unprecedented financial and social disruptions. We studied the impact of preexisting psychosocial factors and pandemic-related financial and social disruptions in relation to family well-being among N = 4091 adolescents and parents during early summer 2020, participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study. Poorer family well-being was linked to prepandemic psychosocial and financial adversity and was associated with pandemic-related material hardship and social disruptions to routines. Parental alcohol use increased risk for worsening of family relationships, while a greater endorsement of coping strategies was mainly associated with overall better family well-being. Financial and mental health support may be critical for family well-being during and after a widespread crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associations between Religion, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Behaviors in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Fahey KM, Nakai SC, Edwards JA, Dermody SS. The Associations between Religion, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Behaviors in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Published online: 20 Jun 2022, https://doi.org/10.1080/10508619.2022.2078590

In studies of adolescents and adults, religiosity has been identified as a protective factor for impulsivity-related behaviors and externalizing problems. No known studies to date have examined the relationship between religiosity and such outcomes in children. Thus, the current study examined in children whether (1) religion is associated with decreased impulsivity and externalizing symptoms, and if (2) religiosity is a protective factor in the association between impulsivity and externalizing symptoms. Data were from Wave 1 of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (children aged 9–10, N = 11,875). Two self-report measures and the Cash Choice Task assessed impulsivity; the Child Behavior Checklist assessed externalizing symptoms; and child religiosity was assessed in parent interviews. Structural equation models examined religiosity (affiliation, service attendance, importance) as a moderator between impulsivity and externalizing symptoms. Greater religious attendance was significantly associated with decreased impulsivity. Christian affiliation was associated with increased impulsivity as compared to other religions. Contrary to our hypotheses, religiosity did not moderate associations between impulsivity and externalizing symptoms. Findings suggest that impulsivity and externalizing behaviors are related to some domains of religiosity in children; however, the magnitude of the effect sizes was small, suggesting religiosity is not a particularly salient predictor of externalizing problems in children. Given these findings differ from those seen in studies of adolescents and adults, future studies should consider longitudinal designs to better understand how these relationships form across the lifespan.

Association between adverse childhood experiences and diet, exercise, and sleep in pre-adolescents

Lewis-de Los Angeles WW. Association between adverse childhood experiences and diet, exercise, and sleep in pre-adolescents. Acad Pediatr. 2022 Jun 18:S1876-2859(22)00300-X. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2022.06.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35728730.

Objective: To understand the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and diet, sleep, and exercise in pre-adolescents.

Methods: Baseline and one year follow-up data from the adolescent brain and cognitive development (ABCD) study were analyzed (age 10-11, n = 11,875). ACEs were measured by parent report at baseline. Three levels of ACEs were created: none, exposure to one ACE, and exposure to two or more ACEs. Health-promoting behaviors were assessed at 1-year. Diet quality was measured from parent report; sleep problems were measured by parent report, with higher scores indicating worse sleep; and amount of exercise was measured by youth report. Linear regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between ACEs and each health-promoting behavior, adjusting for family income and sex.

Results: Compared to children with no adversity, ACEs were associated with worse diet – one ACE (β=-0.30 (95% CI -0.49 to -0.12), p=0.002) and two or more ACEs (β=-0.56 (-0.78 to -0.34), p<0.001). Similarly, ACEs were associated with poor sleep – one ACE (β=1.51 (1.00 to 2.03), p<0.001) and two or more ACEs (β=2.96 (2.38 to 3.53), p<0.001). Finally, amount of exercise was not different in children with ACEs – two or more ACEs (β=-0.24, 95% CI: -0.51 to 0.04, p = 0.08).

Conclusions: ACEs in pre-adolescents show a dose-response relationship with unhealthy diet and sleep disruption. These findings suggest potential behaviors to target to mitigate the negative impact of childhood adversity on adult health.

Associations of polygenic risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with general and specific dimensions of childhood psychological problems and facets of impulsivity

Lahey BB, Tong L, Pierce B, Hedeker D, Berman MG, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Moore TM, Applegate B, Tiemeier H, Kaczkurkin AN. Associations of polygenic risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with general and specific dimensions of childhood psychological problems and facets of impulsivity. J Psychiatr Res. 2022 Jun 14;152:187-193. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.06.019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35752070.

A polygenic risk score (PRS) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been found to be associated with ADHD in multiple studies, but also with many other dimensions of problems. Little is known, however, about the processes underlying these transdiagnostic associations. Using data from the baseline and 1-year follow-up assessments of 9- to 10-year-old children in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development™ (ABCD©) Study, associations were assessed between an ADHD PRS and both general and specific factors of psychological problems defined in bifactor modeling. Additionally, prospective mediated paths were tested from the ADHD PRS to dimensions of problems in the follow-up assessment through baseline measures of executive functioning (EF) and two facets of impulsivity: lower perseverance and greater impulsiveness in the presence of surgent positive emotions. Previous findings of modest but significant direct associations of the ADHD PRS with the general factor of psychological problems were replicated in both assessments in 4,483 children of European ancestry. In addition, significant statistical mediation was found from the ADHD PRS to the general factor, specific ADHD, and conduct problems in the follow-up assessment through each of the two facets of impulsivity. In contrast, EF did not statistically mediate associations between the ADHD PRS and psychological problems. These results suggest that polygenic risk transdiagnostically influences both psychological problems and facets of impulsivity, perhaps partly through indirect pathways via facets of impulsivity.

Explainable machine learning approach to predict and explain the relationship between task-based fMRI and individual differences in cognition

Pat N, Wang Y, Bartonicek A, Candia J, Stringaris A. Explainable machine learning approach to predict and explain the relationship between task-based fMRI and individual differences in cognition. Cereb Cortex. 2022 Jun 13:bhac235. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhac235. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35697648.

Despite decades of costly research, we still cannot accurately predict individual differences in cognition from task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Moreover, aiming for methods with higher prediction is not sufficient. To understand brain-cognition relationships, we need to explain how these methods draw brain information to make the prediction. Here we applied an explainable machine-learning (ML) framework to predict cognition from task-based fMRI during the n-back working-memory task, using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (n = 3,989). We compared 9 predictive algorithms in their ability to predict 12 cognitive abilities. We found better out-of-sample prediction from ML algorithms over the mass-univariate and ordinary least squares (OLS) multiple regression. Among ML algorithms, Elastic Net, a linear and additive algorithm, performed either similar to or better than nonlinear and interactive algorithms. We explained how these algorithms drew information, using SHapley Additive explanation, eNetXplorer, Accumulated Local Effects, and Friedman’s H-statistic. These explainers demonstrated benefits of ML over the OLS multiple regression. For example, ML provided some consistency in variable importance with a previous study and consistency with the mass-univariate approach in the directionality of brain-cognition relationships at different regions. Accordingly, our explainable-ML framework predicted cognition from task-based fMRI with boosted prediction and explainability over standard methodologies.

Estimating the association between exposome and psychosis as well as general psychopathology: results from the ABCD Study

Pries L-K, Moore TM, Visoki E, Sotelo I, Barzilay R, Guloksuz S (2022). Estimating the association between exposome and psychosis as well as general psychopathology: results from the ABCD Study. Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science, Volume 2, Issue 3, July 2022, Pages 283-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2022.05.005

Background
The exposome comprises all non-genetic factors an individual is exposed to across their lifespan. Research suggests that exposomic vulnerability for schizophrenia is not only associated with psychosis but also general psychopathology to a degree. Here, we investigated to what degree exposome factors are associated with psychosis and general psychopathology.

Methods
Data were retrieved from the 1-year follow-up assessment of a large US adolescent sample (N=11,235), the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Iterative factor analyses of environmental exposures (n=798) allowed calculation of six exposome factors: household adversity, neighborhood environment, day-to-day experiences, state-level environment, family values, pregnancy/birth complications. Bifactor modeling of clinical symptoms (n=93) allowed calculation of a general psychopathology factor (p-factor) and six subdomains including a psychosis subdomain. We applied linear regression analyses to estimate the association of exposome factors with the p-factor and psychosis subdomain, respectively.

Results
Individual analyses showed that five exposome factors were significantly associated with the p-factor after multiple-comparison correction. In the mutually adjusted model, all exposome factors were significantly associated with the p-factor. Psychosis was particularly associated with three exposome factors, with the mutually adjusted model yielding following results: household adversity (B=0.04; 95%CI 0.01 to 0.07), day-to-day experiences (B=0.10, 95%CI 0.08 to 0.12), and pregnancy/birth complications (B=0.03; 95%CI 0.01 to 0.05).

Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that multifaceted environmental background is associated with mental disorders. Psychosis was particularly associated with pre-, perinatal-, and childhood (household and school) adversities, although these exposome domains were also associated with psychopathology. The exposome approach can help understand neurodevelopmental psychopathology.

Associations between organized sport participation and mental health difficulties: Data from over 11,000 US children and adolescents

Hoffmann MD, Barnes JD, Tremblay MS, Guerrero MD. Associations between organized sport participation and mental health difficulties: Data from over 11,000 US children and adolescents. PLoS One. 2022 Jun 1;17(6):e0268583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268583. PMID: 35648742.

The purpose of this study was to explore the association between participation in organized sport and a broad array of mental health difficulties among US children and adolescents. The data (cross-sectional) were from Data Release 3.0 (one-year follow-up visits on the full cohort) of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study-a broadly representative sample of 11,235 US children and adolescents aged 9 to 13 years. Parents/guardians provided self-reports of their child’s mental health difficulties using the Child Behavior Checklist. To assess participation in organized sport, children and adolescents were categorized into one of four groups: 1) participation in team sport, 2) participation in individual sport, 3) participation in team and individual sport, and 4) non-sport participation. Participation in team sport compared to non-sport participation was associated with 10% lower anxious/depressed scores, 19% lower withdrawn/depressed scores, 17% lower social problems scores, 17% lower thought problems scores, and 12% lower attention problems scores. Participation in team sport compared to non-sport participation was also associated with 20% lower rule-breaking behavior scores for females (compared to males). Conversely, participation in individual sport compared to non-sport participation was associated with 16% higher anxious/depressed scores, 14% higher withdrawn/depressed scores, 12% higher social problems scores, and 14% higher attention problems scores. Participation in both team and individual sport compared to non-sport participation was associated with 17% lower rule-breaking behavior scores for females (compared to males). Results indicate that team sport participation was associated with fewer mental health difficulties, whereas individual sport participation was associated with greater mental health difficulties. The findings complement previous research suggesting that team sport participation may be a vehicle to support child and adolescent mental health. Additional research is needed to determine to what extent, and under what circumstances, participation in individual sport may be problematic for younger cohorts.

Association of Cyberbullying Experiences and Perpetration With Suicidality in Early Adolescence

Arnon S, Brunstein Klomek A, Visoki E, Moore TM, Argabright ST, DiDomenico GE, Benton TD, Barzilay R. Association of Cyberbullying Experiences and Perpetration With Suicidality in Early Adolescence. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jun 1;5(6):e2218746. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.18746. PMID: 35759263.

Importance: Adolescent suicidality (ie, suicidal ideation or attempts) is a major public health concern. Cyberbullying experiences and perpetration have become increasingly prevalent and are associated with mental health burden, but their roles as independent suicidality risk factors remain unclear. Data are needed to clarify their contribution to teen suicidality to inform suicide prevention efforts.

Objective: To examine whether cyberbullying experiences and perpetration are distinct stressors divergent from other forms of peer aggression experiences in their association with suicidality in early adolescence.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional analysis used data collected between July 2018 and January 2021 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a large, diverse sample of US children aged 10 to 13 years.

Exposures: Youth reports of cyberbullying experiences or perpetration.

Main outcomes and measures: The main outcome was youth-reported suicidality (past or present, as reported in the ABCD 2-year follow-up assessment). Covariates included demographics, established environmental risk and protective factors for youth suicidality, psychopathology, and experiences or perpetration of offline peer aggression.

Results: A total of 10 414 ABCD participants were included in this study. Participants had a mean (SD) age of 12.0 (0.7) years and 4962 (47.6%) were female; 796 (7.6%) endorsed suicidality. A total of 930 (8.9%) reported experiencing cyberbullying and 96 (0.9%) reported perpetrating cyberbullying. Of the perpetrators, 66 (69.0%) also endorsed experiencing cyberbullying. Controlling for demographics, experiencing cyberbullying was associated with suicidality (odds ratio [OR], 4.2 [95% CI, 3.5-5.1]; P < .001), whereas perpetrating cyberbullying was not (OR, 1.3 [95% CI, 0.8-2.3]; P = .30). Experiencing cyberbullying remained associated with suicidality when accounting for negative life events, family conflict, parental monitoring, school environment, and racial and ethnic discrimination (OR, 2.5 [95% CI, 2.0-3.0]; P < .001) and when further covarying for internalizing and externalizing psychopathology (OR, 1.8 [95% CI, 1.4-2.4]; P < .001). Both being a target and being a perpetrator of offline peer aggression were associated with suicidality (OR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.1-2.0] for both), controlling for all covariates described earlier. Cyberbullying experiences remained associated with suicidality (OR, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.3-2.2]; P < .001, controlling for all covariates) when included with offline peer aggression experiences and perpetration.

Conclusions and relevance: In this cross-sectional study, experiencing-but not perpetrating-cyberbullying was associated with suicidality in early adolescence. This association was significant over and above other suicidality risk factors, including offline peer aggression experiences or perpetration. These findings can inform adolescent suicide prevention strategies, and they suggest that clinicians and educational staff working with this population should routinely evaluate for adolescents’ experience with cyberbullying.

 

The Mediating Role of Family Acceptance and Conflict on Suicidality among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth

Klein DA, Ahmed AE, Murphy MA, Pearlman AT, Johnson N, Gray JC, Schvey NA. The Mediating Role of Family Acceptance and Conflict on Suicidality among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. Arch Suicide Res. 2022 May 24:1-8. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2022.2075815. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35608364.

Introduction: Prior research suggests sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth are profoundly impacted by levels of parental support. This study assessed mediating effects of generalized family acceptance and conflict on lifetime suicidal behaviors among a large diverse sample comprising both SGM and non-SGM youth in early adolescence, when intervention to optimize family dynamics may be critical.

Materials: Using data from the first-year follow-up of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study based in the United States, mediation was tested using a binary logistic regression model fitted with a generalized structural equation. Models included SGM status as the independent variable, family acceptance or family conflict sum score as the mediator, and the presence of lifetime suicidal behaviors as the dependent variable. Models adjusted for age, birth-assigned sex (as reported by the parent/guardian), and race/ethnicity.

Results: Of 11,235 youths, lifetime suicidal behaviors were reported by 1.5% (n = 164). Youths with SGM identities reported 40% less parental acceptance and 47% greater family conflict, compared to non-SGM peers. Both parental acceptance and family conflict partially mediated associations between SGM identification and odds of lifetime suicidal behavior (ps = .001).

Conclusions: Identification of modifiable risk factors for suicidality in this vulnerable population, including parental acceptance and family conflict, is critical to improving health outcomes. Clinicians should work with SGM youth and their families starting in childhood to optimize family dynamics and bolster acceptance to potentially reduce adverse health outcomes.

HIGHLIGHTS Youths with SGM identity reported 40% less parental acceptance than non-SGM peers. Parental acceptance was associated with lower odds of lifetime suicidal behaviors. Family factors partially mediated associations between SGM status and suicidal behaviors.

Anxiety, depression, and substance experimentation in childhood

Klein RJ, Gyorda JA, Jacobson NC. Anxiety, depression, and substance experimentation in childhood. PLoS One. 2022 May 24;17(5):e0265239. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265239. PMID: 35609016.

Previous research has demonstrated that adults with comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders are significantly more likely to show pathological use of drugs or alcohol. Few studies, however, have examined associations of this type in children. A better understanding of the relationships between affective disorders and substance experimentation in childhood could help clarify the complex ways in which pathological substance use symptoms develop early in life. The present study included 11,785 children (Mage = 9.9) participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Depressive and anxiety disorder diagnoses were evaluated as concurrent predictors of experimentation with alcohol and tobacco. A series of linear regressions revealed that children with either depressive or anxiety disorders were significantly more likely to experiment with alcohol or tobacco. However, children with both depressive and anxiety diagnoses were not more likely to experiment than children without a diagnosis. These results suggest that anxiety or depressive diagnoses in childhood may be associated with a greater likelihood of substance experimentation, but severe psychological distress may suppress these effects.

Relationship Between Neighborhood Poverty and Externalizing Symptoms in Children: Mediation and Moderation by Environmental Factors and Brain Structure

Maxwell MY, Taylor RL, Barch DM. Relationship Between Neighborhood Poverty and Externalizing Symptoms in Children: Mediation and Moderation by Environmental Factors and Brain Structure. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2022 May 21. doi: 10.1007/s10578-022-01369-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35596841.

Children living in poverty exhibit worse mental health outcomes, and various environmental and neurological risk factors may contribute to or mitigate this relationship. However, previous research has not examined the interplay of neighborhood SES, mental health, and relevant mechanisms. We examined the extent to which neighborhood poverty uniquely contributes to children’s internalizing/externalizing disorder symptoms, as well as identified whether brain measures, toxin levels, and neighborhood threat mediated this relationship and whether socioemotional support moderated it. Data were collected from 8623 9-10 year olds as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Using a secondary data analysis, we found that neighborhood poverty was positively associated with externalizing symptoms and mediated by reduced intracranial volume and parents/children reporting feeling less safe. Parental support (i.e., Parental Monitoring Survey) attenuated this link, but only for children lower in poverty. Consideration of these risk factors for psychopathology could improve the outcome of holistic interventions.

A practical guide for researchers and reviewers using the ABCD Study and other large longitudinal datasets

Saragosa-Harris NM, Chaku N, MacSweeney N, Guazzelli Williamson V, Scheuplein M, Feola B, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Demir-Lira E, McNeilly EA, Huffman LG, Whitmore L, Michalska KJ, Damme KS, Rakesh D, Mills KL. A practical guide for researchers and reviewers using the ABCD Study and other large longitudinal datasets. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2022 May 20;55:101115. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101115. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35636343; PMCID: PMC9156875.

As the largest longitudinal study of adolescent brain development and behavior to date, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® has provided immense opportunities for researchers across disciplines since its first data release in 2018. The size and scope of the study also present a number of hurdles, which range from becoming familiar with the study design and data structure to employing rigorous and reproducible analyses. The current paper is intended as a guide for researchers and reviewers working with ABCD data, highlighting the features of the data (and the strengths and limitations therein) as well as relevant analytical and methodological considerations. Additionally, we explore justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts as they pertain to the ABCD Study and other large-scale datasets. In doing so, we hope to increase both accessibility of the ABCD Study and transparency within the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience.

Multi-tract multi-symptom relationships in pediatric concussion

Guido I Guberman, Sonja Stojanovski, Eman Nishat, Alain Ptito, Danilo Bzdok, Anne L Wheeler, Maxime Descoteaux (2022). Multi-tract multi-symptom relationships in pediatric concussion. eLife 11:e70450, https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.70450

Background: The heterogeneity of white matter damage and symptoms in concussion has been identified as a major obstacle to therapeutic innovation. In contrast, most diffusion MRI (dMRI) studies on concussion have traditionally relied on group-comparison approaches that average out heterogeneity. To leverage, rather than average out, concussion heterogeneity, we combined dMRI and multivariate statistics to characterize multi-tract multi-symptom relationships.

Methods: Using cross-sectional data from 306 previously-concussed children aged 9-10 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, we built connectomes weighted by classical and emerging diffusion measures. These measures were combined into two informative indices, the first representing microstructural complexity, the second representing axonal density. We deployed pattern-learning algorithms to jointly decompose these connectivity features and 19 symptom measures.

Results: Early multi-tract multi-symptom pairs explained the most covariance and represented broad symptom categories, such as a general problems pair, or a pair representing all cognitive symptoms, and implicated more distributed networks of white matter tracts. Further pairs represented more specific symptom combinations, such as a pair representing attention problems exclusively, and were associated with more localized white matter abnormalities. Symptom representation was not systematically related to tract representation across pairs. Sleep problems were implicated across most pairs, but were related to different connections across these pairs. Expression of multi-tract features was not driven by sociodemographic and injury-related variables, as well as by clinical subgroups defined by the presence of ADHD. Analyses performed on a replication dataset showed consistent results.

Conclusions: Using a double-multivariate approach, we identified clinically-informative, cross-demographic multi-tract multi-symptom relationships. These results suggest that rather than clear one-to-one symptom-connectivity disturbances, concussions may be characterized by subtypes of symptom/connectivity relationships. The symptom/connectivity relationships identified in multi-tract multi-symptom pairs were not apparent in single-tract/single-symptom analyses. Future studies aiming to better understand connectivity/symptom relationships should take into account multi-tract multi-symptom heterogeneity.

Limits to the generalizability of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of youth: An examination of ABCD Study® baseline data

Cosgrove, K.T., McDermott, T.J., White, E.J. et al. Limits to the generalizability of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of youth: An examination of ABCD Study® baseline data. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-022-00665-2

This study examined how resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data quality and availability relate to clinical and sociodemographic variables within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. A sample of participants with an adequate sample of quality baseline rs-fMRI data containing low average motion (framewise displacement ≤ 0.15; low-noise; n = 4,356) was compared to a sample of participants without an adequate sample of quality data and/or containing high average motion (higher-noise; n = 7,437) using Chi-squared analyses and t-tests. A linear mixed model examined relationships between clinical and sociodemographic characteristics and average head motion in the sample with low-noise data. Relative to the sample with higher-noise data, the low-noise sample included more females, youth identified by parents as non-Hispanic white, and youth with married parents, higher parent education, and greater household incomes (ORs = 1.32–1.42). Youth in the low-noise sample were also older and had higher neurocognitive skills, lower BMIs, and fewer externalizing and neurodevelopmental problems (ds = 0.12–0.30). Within the low-noise sample, several clinical and demographic characteristics related to motion. Thus, participants with low-noise rs-fMRI data may be less representative of the general population and motion may remain a confound in this sample. Future rs-fMRI studies of youth should consider these limitations in the design and analysis stages in order to optimize the representativeness and clinical relevance of analyses and results.

The impact of digital media on children’s intelligence while controlling for genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic background

Sauce, B., Liebherr, M., Judd, N. et al. The impact of digital media on children’s intelligence while controlling for genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic background. Sci Rep 12, 7720 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-11341-2

Digital media defines modern childhood, but its cognitive effects are unclear and hotly debated. We believe that studies with genetic data could clarify causal claims and correct for the typically unaccounted role of genetic predispositions. Here, we estimated the impact of different types of screen time (watching, socializing, or gaming) on children’s intelligence while controlling for the confounding effects of genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic status. We analyzed 9855 children from the USA who were part of the ABCD dataset with measures of intelligence at baseline (ages 9–10) and after two years. At baseline, time watching (r = − 0.12) and socializing (r = − 0.10) were negatively correlated with intelligence, while gaming did not correlate. After two years, gaming positively impacted intelligence (standardized β =  + 0.17), but socializing had no effect. This is consistent with cognitive benefits documented in experimental studies on video gaming. Unexpectedly, watching videos also benefited intelligence (standardized β =  + 0.12), contrary to prior research on the effect of watching TV. Although, in a posthoc analysis, this was not significant if parental education (instead of SES) was controlled for. Broadly, our results are in line with research on the malleability of cognitive abilities from environmental factors, such as cognitive training and the Flynn effect.

Prediction of the trajectories of depressive symptoms among children in the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study using machine learning approach

Xiang Q, Chen K, Peng L, Luo J, Jiang J, Chen Y, Lan L, Song H, Zhou X. Prediction of the trajectories of depressive symptoms among children in the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study using machine learning approach. J Affect Disord. 2022 May 8:S0165-0327(22)00523-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.05.020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35545159.

Background: Depression often first emerges during adolescence and evidence shows that the long-term patterns of depressive symptoms over time are heterogeneous. It is meaningful to predict the trajectory of depressive symptoms in adolescents to find early intervention targets.

Methods: Based on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, we included 4962 participants aged 9-10 who were followed-up for 2 years. Trajectories of depressive symptoms were identified by Latent Class Growth Analyses (LCGA). Four types of machine learning models were built to predict the identified trajectories and to obtain variables with predictive value based on the best performance model.

Results: Of all participants, 536 (10.80%) were classified as increasing, 269 (5.42%) as persistently high, 433 (8.73%) as decreasing, and 3724 (75.05%) as persistently low by LCGA. Gradient Boosting Machine (GBM) model got the highest discriminant performance. Sleep quality, parental emotional state and family financial adversities were the most important predictors and three resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging functional connectivity data were also helpful to distinguish trajectories.

Limitation: We only have depressive symptom scores at three time points. Some valuable predictors are not specific to depression. External validation is an important next step. These predictors should not be interpreted as etiology and some variables were reported by parents/caregivers.

Conclusion: Using GBM combined with baseline characteristics, the trajectories of depressive symptoms with two years among adolescents aged 9-10 years can be well predicted, which might further facilitate the identification of adolescents at high risk of depressive symptoms and development of effective early interventions.

Parent-Child Concordance and Discordance in Family Violence Reporting: A Descriptive Analysis from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®

Hogan JN, Garcia AM, Tomko RL, Squeglia LM, Flanagan JC. Parent-Child Concordance and Discordance in Family Violence Reporting: A Descriptive Analysis from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®. J Interpers Violence. 2022 May 7:8862605221081928. doi: 10.1177/08862605221081928. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35531607.

Childhood trauma exposure, including witnessing or experiencing family violence, is associated with a variety of poor outcomes such as increased likelihood of psychopathology and high-risk behaviors across the lifespan. Early treatment may help to buffer these effects, but parents and youth display only moderate levels of agreement in reporting family violence, making it more difficult to identify children who have been exposed. Additionally, most studies on family violence reporting have focused primarily on small samples in specific high-risk populations, and little is known about the generalizability of these findings. Thus, the present study assessed concordance in family violence reporting and its correlates using the population-based, demographically diverse sample from the U.S. Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD®) study. Participants were 10,532 children between 9 and 10 years old, and their parent or guardian, from 21 sites across the United States. Overall, 30% (N = 3119) of the sample reported family violence and most of those reports (N = 2629) had discordant violence reporting, meaning child- and parent-report did not correspond with each other. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the likelihood of participants belonging in one of the following groups: no violence reported, concordant violence reported, and discordant violence reported. Results indicated that Black or Non-Hispanic children, male children, and children with greater externalizing problems were more likely to report family violence, and parents with lower levels of education and income were more likely to report family violence. These findings likely reflect differences in distribution of risk factors among racial and ethnic minoritized individuals including increased parenting stress and decreased access to mental health treatment. Among those reporting violence, Hispanic children and children with less externalizing problems were more likely to be in the discordant group. Findings suggest that both parent and child reports are needed to assess violence and screen for appropriate services.

T1w/T2w Ratio and Cognition in 9-to-11-Year-Old Children

Langansee L, Rumetshofer T, Behjat H, Novén , Li P, Mårtensson J. T1w/T2w Ratio and Cognition in 9-to-11-Year-Old Children. Brain Sci. 2022, 12(5), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12050599

Childhood is a period of extensive cortical and neural development. Among other things, axons in the brain gradually become more myelinated, promoting the propagation of electrical signals between different parts of the brain, which in turn may facilitate skill development. Myelin is difficult to assess in vivo, and measurement techniques are only just beginning to make their way into standard imaging protocols in human cognitive neuroscience. An approach that has been proposed as an indirect measure of cortical myelin is the T1w/T2w ratio, a contrast that is based on the intensities of two standard structural magnetic resonance images. Although not initially intended as such, researchers have recently started to use the T1w/T2w contrast for between-subject comparisons of cortical data with various behavioral and cognitive indices. As a complement to these earlier findings, we computed individual cortical T1w/T2w maps using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (N = 960; 449 females; aged 8.9 to 11.0 years) and related the T1w/T2w maps to indices of cognitive ability; in contrast to previous work, we did not find significant relationships between T1w/T2w values and cognitive performance after correcting for multiple testing. These findings reinforce existent skepticism about the applicability of T1w/T2w ratio for inter-individual comparisons.

Multivariate genome-wide association study on tissue-sensitive diffusion metrics highlights pathways that shape the human brain

Fan CC, Loughnan R, Makowski C, Pecheva D, Chen CH, Hagler DJ Jr, Thompson WK, Parker N, van der Meer D, Frei O, Andreassen OA, Dale AM. Multivariate genome-wide association study on tissue-sensitive diffusion metrics highlights pathways that shape the human brain. Nat Commun. 2022 May 3;13(1):2423. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30110-3. PMID: 35505052.

The molecular determinants of tissue composition of the human brain remain largely unknown. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on this topic have had limited success due to methodological constraints. Here, we apply advanced whole-brain analyses on multi-shell diffusion imaging data and multivariate GWAS to two large scale imaging genetic datasets (UK Biobank and the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study) to identify and validate genetic association signals. We discover 503 unique genetic loci that have impact on multiple regions of human brain. Among them, more than 79% are validated in either of two large-scale independent imaging datasets. Key molecular pathways involved in axonal growth, astrocyte-mediated neuroinflammation, and synaptogenesis during development are found to significantly impact the measured variations in tissue-specific imaging features. Our results shed new light on the biological determinants of brain tissue composition and their potential overlap with the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Nucleus Accumbens Fractional Anisotropy and Children’s Body Mass Index: Moderating Role of Race and Family Income

Assari S. (2022). Nucleus Accumbens Fractional Anisotropy and Children’s Body Mass Index: Moderating Role of Race and Family Income. International Journal of Epidemiologic Research, Volume 9, Issue 2 – Serial Number 31, May 2022, Pages 54-60.

Background and aims: The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) functional and morphometric features may influence children’s body mass index (BMI). Recent evidence, however, suggests that the function and structure of the NAcc may have different predictive abilities for the BMI for the sub-groups of children from different racial and socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development data, this study investigated racial and SES differences in the association between NAcc microstructure (i.e., fractional anisotropy) and childhood BMI.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 9497 children aged 9 and 10. Data were collected from 21 sites across 15 states in the United States. Then, the mixed-effects regression model was applied for data analysis. The predictor variable of interest was NAcc fractional anisotropy measured using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI). The main outcome of interest was children’s BMI values, which were treated as a continuous variable. Covariates included gender, age, and family structure. Race (White, Black, Asian, and Other/mixed) and family income ( < USD 50,000, USD 50,000-100,000, and USD100,000+) were the effect modifiers (moderators).

Results: Higher average NAcc fractional anisotropy in dMRI was predictive of lower levels of the BMI, and net of covariates. However, this inverse association between the average intensity of the normalized T2-weighted image and the BMI was stronger in children from Hispanic, low income, and low-educated backgrounds compared to non-Hispanic, high-income, and high-educated backgrounds.

Conclusion: Our findings suggested that although NAcc fractional anisotropy is linked to children’s BMI, this link is not invariant across racial and SES groups. The issue of whether or not obesogenic environments alter the implications of NAcc for childhood BMI needs further investigation. For diverse groups, NAcc microstructures may have different magnitudes of associations with childhood BMI.

Longer screen time utilization is associated with the polygenic risk for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with mediation by brain white matter microstructure

Yang A, Rolls ET, Dong G, Du J, Li Y, Feng J, Cheng W, Zhao XM. Longer screen time utilization is associated with the polygenic risk for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with mediation by brain white matter microstructure. EBioMedicine. 2022 May 1;80:104039. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104039. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35509143.

Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been reported to be associated with longer screen time utilization (STU) at the behavioral level. However, whether there are shared neural links between ADHD symptoms and prolonged STU is not clear and has not been explored in a single large-scale dataset.

Methods: Leveraging the genetics, neuroimaging and behavioral data of 11,000+ children aged 9-11 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development cohort, this study investigates the associations between the polygenic risk and trait for ADHD, STU, and white matter microstructure through cross-sectionally and longitudinal analyses.

Findings: Children with higher polygenic risk scores for ADHD tend to have longer STU and more severe ADHD symptoms. Fractional anisotropy (FA) values in several white matter tracts are negatively correlated with both the ADHD polygenic risk score and STU, including the inferior frontal-striatal tract, inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus and corpus callosum. Most of these tracts are linked to visual-related functions. Longitudinal analyses indicate a directional effect of white matter microstructure on the ADHD scale, and a bi-directional effect between the ADHD scale and STU. Furthermore, reduction of FA in several white matter tracts mediates the association between the ADHD polygenic risk score and STU.

Interpretation: These findings shed new light on the shared neural overlaps between ADHD symptoms and prolonged STU, and provide evidence that the polygenic risk for ADHD is related, via white matter microstructure and the ADHD trait, to STU.

Association of Social Determinants of Health and Vaccinations With Child Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US

Xiao Y, Yip P S-F, Pathak J, Mann J. Association of Social Determinants of Health and Vaccinations With Child Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 27, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.0818

Importance
The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected mental health in socioeconomically disadvantaged children in the US. However, little is known about the relationship of preexisting and time-varying social determinants of health (SDoH) at individual and structural levels, vaccination eligibility/rates, and the racial and ethnic differences to trajectories of child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective
To estimate the association of trajectories of child mental health to multilevel SDoH and vaccination eligibility/rates.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This prospective longitudinal cohort study, conducted from May 16, 2020, to March 2, 2021, integrated structural-level, pandemic-related data with the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) cohort data (release 4.0). The ABCD study recruited 11 878 children (baseline) and conducted 6 COVID-19 rapid response surveys across 21 US sites (in 17 states) from May 16, 2020, to March 2, 2021.

Exposures
Preexisting individual (eg, household income) and structural (area deprivation) SDoH and time-varying individual (eg, food insecurity, unemployment) and structural (eg, social distancing, vaccination eligibility/rates) SDoH.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Perceived Stress Scale, the National Institutes of Health–Toolbox emotion measures, and COVID-19–related worry.

Results
The longitudinal sample included 8493 children (mean [SD] age, 9.93 [0.63] years; 5011 girls [47.89%]; 245 Asian [2.34%], 1213 Black [11.59%], 2029 Hispanic [19.39%], 5851 White [55.93%], and 1124 children of other/multiracial ethnicity [10.74%]). Trajectories of stress, sadness, and COVID-19–related worry decreased after adult vaccination rollout. Compared with younger children, boys, White children, or those living with married parents, those who reported greater perceived stress included older children aged 12 to 15 years (β = 0.26; 95% CI, 0.12-0.41; P < .001); girls (β = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61-0.89; P < .001); Hispanic children (β = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.01-0.47; P = .04); children living with separated parents (β = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.03-0.96; P = .04); children experiencing disrupted medical health care access (β = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.01-0.36; P = .04); children living in economically deprived neighborhoods (β = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.05-0.51; P = .02); children living in areas with more full-time working-class adults who were unable to social distance (β = 1.35; 95% CI, 0.13-2.67; P = .04); and children living in states with fewer fully vaccinated adults (β = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.16-1.02; P = .007). COVID-19 pandemic–related worry was higher among Asian children (β = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08-0.37; P = .003), Black children (β = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.22-0.43; P < .001), children of other/multiracial ethnicity (β = 0.17; 95% CI, 0.09-0.25; P < .001), and children with disrupted medical health care (β = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.09-0.21) and disrupted mental health treatment (β = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.06-0.16). Inability to afford food was associated with increased sadness (β = 1.50; 95% CI, 0.06-2.93; P = .04). States with later vaccination eligibility dates for all adults were associated with greater COVID-19–related worry (β = 0.16; 95% CI, 0.01-0.31; P = .03) and decreased positive affect (β = −1.78; 95% CI, −3.39 to −0.18; P = .03) among children.

Conclusions and Relevance
Results of this study suggest a disproportionately adverse association of the COVID-19 pandemic with child mental health among racial and ethnic minority groups, which may be improved by addressing modifiable individual (food insecurity, unemployment, health services, parental supervision) and structural (area deprivation, job protection, vaccination) SDoH.

The sexual brain, genes, and cognition: A machine-predicted brain sex score explains individual differences in cognitive intelligence and genetic influence in young children

Kim K, Joo YY, Ahn G, Wang HH, Moon SY, Kim H, Ahn WY, Cha J. The sexual brain, genes, and cognition: A machine-predicted brain sex score explains individual differences in cognitive intelligence and genetic influence in young children. Hum Brain Mapp. 2022 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25888. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35471639.

Sex impacts the development of the brain and cognition differently across individuals. However, the literature on brain sex dimorphism in humans is mixed. We aim to investigate the biological underpinnings of the individual variability of sexual dimorphism in the brain and its impact on cognitive performance. To this end, we tested whether the individual difference in brain sex would be linked to that in cognitive performance that is influenced by genetic factors in prepubertal children (N = 9,658, ages 9-10 years old; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study). To capture the interindividual variability of the brain, we estimated the probability of being male or female based on the brain morphometry and connectivity features using machine learning (herein called a brain sex score). The models accurately classified the biological sex with a test ROC-AUC of 93.32%. As a result, a greater brain sex score correlated significantly with greater intelligence and higher cognitive genome-wide polygenic scores (GPSs). Structural equation models revealed that the GPS-intelligence association was significantly modulated by the brain sex score, such that a brain with a higher maleness score (or a lower femaleness score) mediated a positive GPS effect on intelligence (indirect effects = .006-.009; p = .002-.022; sex-stratified analysis). The finding of the sex modulatory effect on the gene-brain-cognition relationship presents a likely biological pathway to the individual and sex differences in the brain and cognitive performance in preadolescence.

Shared and unique brain network features predict cognitive, personality, and mental health scores in the ABCD study

Chen J, Tam A, Kebets V, Orban C, Ooi LQR, Asplund CL, Marek S, Dosenbach NUF, Eickhoff SB, Bzdok D, Holmes AJ, Yeo BTT. Shared and unique brain network features predict cognitive, personality, and mental health scores in the ABCD study. Nat Commun. 2022 Apr 25;13(1):2217. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29766-8. PMID: 35468875.

How individual differences in brain network organization track behavioral variability is a fundamental question in systems neuroscience. Recent work suggests that resting-state and task-state functional connectivity can predict specific traits at the individual level. However, most studies focus on single behavioral traits, thus not capturing broader relationships across behaviors. In a large sample of 1858 typically developing children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we show that predictive network features are distinct across the domains of cognitive performance, personality scores and mental health assessments. On the other hand, traits within each behavioral domain are predicted by similar network features. Predictive network features and models generalize to other behavioral measures within the same behavioral domain. Although tasks are known to modulate the functional connectome, predictive network features are similar between resting and task states. Overall, our findings reveal shared brain network features that account for individual variation within broad domains of behavior in childhood.

Effects of the physical and social environment on youth cognitive performance

Meredith WJ, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Berman MG, Rosenberg MD. Effects of the physical and social environment on youth cognitive performance. Dev Psychobiol. 2022 May;64(4):e22258. doi: 10.1002/dev.22258. PMID: 35452534.

Individual differences in children’s cognitive abilities impact life and health outcomes. What factors influence these individual differences during development? Here, we test whether children’s environments predict cognitive performance, independent of well-characterized socioeconomic effects. We analyzed data from 9002 9- to 10-year olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, an ongoing longitudinal study with community samples across the United States. Using youth- and caregiver-report questionnaires and national database registries (e.g., neighborhood crime, walkability), we defined principal components summarizing children’s home, school, neighborhood, and cultural environments. In two independent samples (ns = 3475, 5527), environmental components explained unique variance in children’s general cognitive ability, executive functioning, and learning/memory abilities. Furthermore, increased neighborhood enrichment was associated with an attenuated relationship between sociodemographics and general cognitive abilities. Thus, the environment accounts for unique variance in cognitive performance in children and should be considered alongside sociodemographic factors to better understand brain functioning and behavior across development.

Internalizing Symptoms & Adverse Childhood Experiences Associated with Functional Connectivity in A Middle Childhood Sample

Albertina EA, Barch DM, Karcher NR. Internalizing Symptoms & Adverse Childhood Experiences Associated with Functional Connectivity in A Middle Childhood Sample. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 Apr 25:S2451-9022(22)00094-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.04.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35483606

Introduction: Research has found overlapping associations in adults of resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) to both internalizing disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety) as well as a history of traumatic events. The present study aimed to extend this previous research to a younger sample by examining RSFC associations with both internalizing symptoms and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in middle childhood.

Method: We used generalized linear mixed models to examine associations between a priori within- and between-network RSFC with child-reported internalizing symptoms and ACEs using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development dataset (N= 10,168, Mage(years)= 9.95, SDage(years)= 0.627).

Results: We found that internalizing symptoms and ACEs were associated with both multiple overlapping and unique RSFC network patterns. Both ACEs and internalizing symptoms were associated with a reduced anticorrelation between the default mode network and the dorsal attention network. However, internalizing symptoms were uniquely associated with lower within-network default mode network connectivity while ACEs were uniquely associated with both lower between-network connectivity of the auditory network and cingulo-opercular network, and higher within-network frontoparietal network connectivity.

Conclusions: The present study points to overlap in the RSFC associations with internalizing symptoms and ACEs, as well as important areas of specificity in RSFC associations. Many of the RSFC associations found have been previously implicated in attentional control functions, including modulation of attention to sensory stimuli. This may have critical importance in understanding internalizing symptoms and outcomes of ACEs.

Individual-, peer-, and parent-level substance use-related factors among 9- and 10-year-olds from the ABCD Study: Prevalence rates and sociodemographic differences

Martz ME, Heitzeg MM, Lisdahl KM, Cloak CC, Feldstein Ewing SW, Gonzalez R, Haist F, LeBlanc KH, Madden PA, Ross JM, Sher KJ, Tapert SF, Thompson WK, Wade NE. Individual-, peer-, and parent-level substance use-related factors among 9- and 10-year-olds from the ABCD Study: Prevalence rates and sociodemographic differences. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports. Volume 3, June 2022, 100037. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100037

Background
Although a relatively large body of research has identified multiple factors associated with adolescent substance use, less is known about earlier substance-related factors during preadolescence, including curiosity to use substances. The present study examined individual-, peer-, and parent-level domains pertaining to substance use and how these domains vary by sociodemographic subgroups and substance type.

Methods
Participants were 11,864 9- and 10-year-olds from the baseline sample of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Youth-reported measures were curiosity to use substances and perceived peer substance use. Parent-reported measures were availability of and rules about substances. Generalized logistic mixed models (GLMM) were used to compare these measures across alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana and across sociodemographic subgroupings (sex, race/ethnicity, household income, and family history of alcohol problems). GLMM was then used to examine predictors of curiosity to use by substance type.

Results
The most striking descriptive differences were found between race/ethnicity and income categories (e.g., positive associations between greater income and greater availability of alcohol). In multivariable analyses, greater curiosity to use alcohol was associated with being male, higher household income, perceived peer alcohol use, and easy alcohol availability; greater curiosity to use nicotine was associated with being male, perceived peer cigarette use, easy availability of cigarettes, and no parental rules about cigarette use.

Conclusions
This study identified substance use-related individual-, peer-, and parent-level factors among a diverse, national sample. Findings highlight the importance of considering sociodemographic and substance-specific variability and may help identify risk and protective factors preceding adolescent substance use.

An open-access accelerated adult equivalent of the ABCD Study neuroimaging dataset (a-ABCD)

Rapuano KM, Conley MI, Juliano AC, Conan GM, Maza MT, Woodman K, Martinez SA, Earl E, Perrone A, Feczko E, Fair DA, Watts R, Casey BJ, Rosenberg MD. An open-access accelerated adult equivalent of the ABCD Study neuroimaging dataset (a-ABCD). Neuroimage. 2022 Apr 15:119215. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119215. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35436615.

As public access to longitudinal developmental datasets like the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development StudySM (ABCD Study®) increases, so too does the need for resources to benchmark time-dependent effects. Scan-to-scan changes observed with repeated imaging may reflect development but may also reflect practice effects, day-to-day variability in psychological states, and/or measurement noise. Resources that allow disentangling these time-dependent effects will be useful in quantifying actual developmental change. We present an accelerated adult equivalent of the ABCD Study dataset (a-ABCD) using an identical imaging protocol to acquire magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) structural, diffusion-weighted, resting-state and task-based data from eight adults scanned five times over five weeks. We report on the task-based imaging data (n = 7). In-scanner stop-signal (SST), monetary incentive delay (MID), and emotional n-back (EN-back) task behavioral performance did not change across sessions. Post-scan recognition memory for emotional n-back stimuli, however, did improve as participants became more familiar with the stimuli. Functional MRI analyses revealed that patterns of task-based activation reflecting inhibitory control in the SST, reward success in the MID task, and working memory in the EN-back task were more similar within individuals across repeated scan sessions than between individuals. Within-subject, activity was more consistent across sessions during the EN-back task than in the SST and MID task, demonstrating differences in fMRI data reliability as a function of task. The a-ABCD dataset provides a unique testbed for characterizing the reliability of brain function, structure, and behavior across imaging modalities in adulthood and benchmarking neurodevelopmental change observed in the open-access ABCD Study.

Computational modeling of the N-Back task in the ABCD study: associations of drift diffusion model parameters to polygenic scores of mental disorders and cardiometabolic diseases

Pedersen ML, Alnæs D, van der Meer D, Fernandez-Cabello S, Berthet P, Dahl A, Kjelkenes R, Schwarz E, Thompson WK, Barch DM, Andreassen OA, Westlye LT. Computational modeling of the N-Back task in the ABCD study: associations of drift diffusion model parameters to polygenic scores of mental disorders and cardiometabolic diseases. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 Apr 12:S2451-9022(22)00078-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.03.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35427796.

Background: Cognitive dysfunction is common in mental disorders and represents a potential risk factor in childhood. The nature and extent of associations between childhood cognitive function and polygenic risk for mental disorders is unclear. We applied computational modeling to gain insight into mechanistic processes underlying decision making and working memory in childhood and their associations with PRS for mental disorders and comorbid cardiometabolic diseases.

Methods: We used the drift diffusion model to infer latent computational processes underlying decision-making and working memory during the N-back task in 3707 children aged 9-10 from the ABCD Study. SNP-based heritability was estimated for cognitive phenotypes, including computational parameters, aggregated N-back task performance and neurocognitive assessments. PRS was calculated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease (CAD), major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes.

Results: Heritability estimates of cognitive phenotypes ranged from 12 to 38%. Bayesian mixed models revealed that slower accumulation of evidence was associated with higher PRS for CAD and schizophrenia. Longer non-decision time was associated with higher PRS for AD and lower PRS for CAD. Narrower decision threshold was associated with higher PRS for CAD. Load-dependent effects on non-decision time and decision threshold were associated with PRS for AD and CAD, respectively. Aggregated neurocognitive test scores were not associated with PRS for any of the mental or cardiometabolic phenotypes.

Conclusions: We identified distinct associations between computational cognitive processes to genetic risk for mental illness and cardiometabolic disease, which could represent childhood cognitive risk factors.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Restricted Phenotypes Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Polygenic Risk Sensitivity in the ABCD Baseline Cohort

Cordova MM, Antovich DM, Ryabinin P, Neighbor C, Mooney MA, Dieckmann NF, Miranda-Dominguez O, Nagel BJ, Fair DA, Nigg JT. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Restricted Phenotypes Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Polygenic Risk Sensitivity in the ABCD Baseline Cohort. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022 Apr 12:S0890-8567(22)00190-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2022.03.030. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35427730.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and major comorbidities of ADHD using different operational definitions in a newly available national dataset and to test the utility of operational definitions against genetic and cognitive correlates.

Method: The US Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study enrolled 11,878 children aged 9-10 years at baseline. ADHD prevalence, comorbidity, and association with polygenic risk score and laboratory-assessed executive functions were calculated at 4 thresholds of ADHD phenotype restrictiveness. Bias from missingness, sampling, and nesting were addressed statistically.

Results: Prevalence of current ADHD for 9- to 10-year old children was 3.53% (95% CI 3.14%-3.92%) when Computerized Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS-COMP) score and parent and teacher ratings were required to converge. Of ADHD cases so defined, 70% had a comorbid psychiatric disorder. After control for overlapping comorbidity and ruling out for psychosis or low IQ, 30.9% (95% CI 25.7%-36.7%) had a comorbid disruptive behavior disorder, 27.4% (95% CI 22.3%-33.1%) had an anxiety or fear disorder, and 2.1% (95% CI 1.2%-3.8%) had a mood disorder. Children in the top decile of polygenic load incurred a 63% increased chance of having ADHD vs the bottom half of polygenic load (p < .01)-an effect detected only with a stringent phenotype definition. Dimensional latent variables for irritability, externalizing, and ADHD yielded convergent results for cognitive correlates.

Conclusion: This fresh estimate of national prevalence of ADHD in the United States suggests that the DSM-5 definition requiring multiple informants yields a prevalence of about 3.5%. Results may inform further ADHD studies in the ABCD sample.

Neurodevelopmental Profiles in Adolescence: Leveraging Data From the Landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Mewton L, Squeglia L. Neurodevelopmental Profiles in Adolescence: Leveraging Data From the Landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 Apr;7(4):343-345. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.01.005. PMID: 35396019.

Common variants contribute to intrinsic human brain functional networks

Zhao, B., Li, T., Smith, S.M. et al. Common variants contribute to intrinsic human brain functional networks. Nat Genet (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-022-01039-6

The human brain forms functional networks of correlated activity, which have been linked with both cognitive and clinical outcomes. However, the genetic variants affecting brain function are largely unknown. Here, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance images from 47,276 individuals to discover and validate common genetic variants influencing intrinsic brain activity. We identified 45 new genetic regions associated with brain functional signatures (P < 2.8 × 10−11), including associations to the central executive, default mode, and salience networks involved in the triple-network model of psychopathology. A number of brain activity-associated loci colocalized with brain disorders (e.g., the APOE ε4 locus with Alzheimer’s disease). Variation in brain function was genetically correlated with brain disorders, such as major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Together, our study provides a step forward in understanding the genetic architecture of brain functional networks and their genetic links to brain-related complex traits and disorders.

Identification and Validation of Distinct Latent Neurodevelopmental Profiles in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study

Lichenstein SD, Roos C, Kohler R, Kiluk B, Carroll KM, Worhunsky PD, Witkiewitz K, Yip SW. Identification and Validation of Distinct Latent Neurodevelopmental Profiles in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, Volume 7, Issue 4, April 2022, Pages 352-361, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.02.013

Background
Regardless of the precise mechanism, all neurodevelopmental models of risk assume that, at the population level, there exist subgroups of individuals that share similar patterns of neural function and development—and that these subgroups somehow relate to psychiatric risk. However, the existence of multiple neurodevelopmental subgroups at the population level has not been assessed previously.

Methods
In the current study, cross-validated latent profile analysis was used to test for the presence of empirically derived, brain-based developmental subgroups using functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 6758 individuals (49.4% female; mean age = 9.94 years) in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study wave 1 release. Data were randomly split into training and testing samples.

Results
Analyses in the training sample (n = 3379) identified a seven-profile solution (entropy = 0.880) that was replicated in the held-out testing data (n = 3379, entropy = 0.890). Identified subgroups included a moderate group (66.8%), high reward (4.3%) and low reward (4.0%) groups, high inhibition (9.8%) and low inhibition (6.7%) groups, and high emotion regulation (4.0%) and low emotion regulation (4.3%) groups. Relative to the moderate group, other subgroups were characterized by more males (χ2 = 24.10, p = .0005), higher proportions of individuals from lower-income households (χ2 = 122.17, p < .0001), poorer cognitive performance (ps < .0001), more screen time (F = 6.80, p < .0001), heightened impulsivity (ps < .006), and higher rates of neurodevelopmental disorders (χ2 = 26.20, p = .0002).

Conclusions
These data demonstrate the existence of multiple, distinct neurodevelopmental subgroups at the population level. They indicate that these empirically derived, brain-based developmental profiles relate to differences in clinical features, even at a young age, and prior to the peak period of risk for the development of psychopathology.

Association between racial/ethnic discrimination and pubertal development in early adolescence

Argabright ST, Moore TM, Visoki E, DiDomenico GE, Taylor JH, Barzilay R. Association between racial/ethnic discrimination and pubertal development in early adolescence. Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 140, June 2022, 105727, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105727

Racial health disparities in the United States are a major concern, with Black or African Americans experiencing more morbidity and mortality at earlier ages compared to White Americans. More data is needed on the biological underpinnings of this phenomenon. One potential explanation for racial health disparities is that of accelerated aging, which is associated with increased stress exposure. Black Americans face disproportionate levels of environmental stress, specifically racial/ethnic discrimination. Here we investigated associations between self-reported experiences of discrimination and pubertal development (PD) in a diverse sample of young American adolescents (N=11,235, mean age 10.9 years, 20.5% Black participants) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Compared to their non-Black counterparts, Black youth experienced more racial/ethnic discrimination in the past year (10.4% vs 3.1%) and had a greater likelihood of being in late/post-pubertal status (3.6% vs 1.5% in boys, 21.3% vs 11.4% in girls). In both sexes, multivariable regression models run in the full sample revealed a cross-sectional association of experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination with pubertal development (boys: standardized beta [β]=0.123, P<.001; girls: β=0.110, P<.001) covarying for demographics, BMI, and dietary habits. Associations remained significant when controlling for multiple other environmental confounders including other forms of (non-racial/ethnic) discrimination and other environmental adversities including poverty and negative life events, and when using parent-reported assessment of pubertal development. Furthermore, racial/ethnic discrimination was associated with elevated estradiol levels in girls (β=0.057, P=.002). Findings suggest an association between experiences of discrimination and pubertal development that is independent of multiple environmental stressors. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to establish causal mechanism.

Brain charts for the human lifespan

Bethlehem, R.A.I., Seidlitz, J., White, S.R. et al. Brain charts for the human lifespan. Nature (2022). Published: 06 April 2022. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04554-y

Over the past few decades, neuroimaging has become a ubiquitous tool in basic research and clinical studies of the human brain. However, no reference standards currently exist to quantify individual differences in neuroimaging metrics over time, in contrast to growth charts for anthropometric traits such as height and weight1. Here we assemble an interactive open resource to benchmark brain morphology derived from any current or future sample of MRI data (http://www.brainchart.io/). With the goal of basing these reference charts on the largest and most inclusive dataset available, acknowledging limitations due to known biases of MRI studies relative to the diversity of the global population, we aggregated 123,984 MRI scans, across more than 100 primary studies, from 101,457 human participants between 115 days post-conception to 100 years of age. MRI metrics were quantified by centile scores, relative to non-linear trajectories2 of brain structural changes, and rates of change, over the lifespan. Brain charts identified previously unreported neurodevelopmental milestones3, showed high stability of individuals across longitudinal assessments, and demonstrated robustness to technical and methodological differences between primary studies. Centile scores showed increased heritability compared with non-centiled MRI phenotypes, and provided a standardized measure of atypical brain structure that revealed patterns of neuroanatomical variation across neurological and psychiatric disorders. In summary, brain charts are an essential step towards robust quantification of individual variation benchmarked to normative trajectories in multiple, commonly used neuroimaging phenotypes.

Prenatal cannabis exposure predicts attention problems, without changes on fMRI in adolescents

Cioffredi LA, Anderson H, Loso H, East J, Nguyen P, Garavan H, Potter A. Prenatal cannabis exposure predicts attention problems, without changes on fMRI in adolescents. Neurotoxicol Teratol. Volume 91, May–June 2022, 107089, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2022.107089

Objectives: We hypothesized that prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) would be associated with increased attention problems and altered neurocognition in young adolescents.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD study®), a cohort of approximately 12,000 children. Presence or absence of PCE after knowledge of pregnancy was measured by caregiver report. All participants with PCE (N = 224) were included and compared to two control groups; those matched on tobacco and alcohol exposure and those without prenatal tobacco or alcohol exposures. Outcomes were measured with the ABCD baseline assessment when participants were 9-10 years old and included attention, internalizing, externalizing and total problems scales on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Teacher reports were used when available. Mixed effects modeling assessed the association between PCE and outcomes controlling for parental psychopathology, prematurity and socioeconomic status. For participants with available data, patterns of brain activity during three fMRI tasks (the Stop Signal Task measuring response inhibition, the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task measuring reward processing and the EN-Back task measuring working memory) were analyzed using Permutation Analyses of the Linear Model.

Results: Compared to both control groups, participants with PCE had significantly higher attention problems, externalizing, and total problem scores. PCE did not impact cognitive performance or patterns of brain activation during fMRI tasks.

Conclusions: There are long-term associations between PCE and early adolescent attention and behavioral problems. These are not reflected in cognitive performance or task fMRI measures, a finding that is consistent with reports that fewer than half of children with ADHD have any specific cognitive deficit (Nigg et al., 2005; Willcutt et al., 2005). The young age of the sample may also relate to this finding and future investigation of neurodevelopmental trajectories of youth with PCE is warranted.

Evaluation of Brain Alterations and Behavior in Children With Low Levels of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Long X, Lebel C. Evaluation of Brain Alterations and Behavior in Children With Low Levels of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Apr 1;5(4):e225972. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.5972. PMID: 35380644.

Importance: High levels of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are associated with widespread behavioral and cognitive problems as well as structural alterations of the brain. However, it remains unclear whether low levels of PAE affect brain structure and function, and prior studies generally have not had well-matched control populations (eg, for sociodemographic variables).

Objective: To compare structural brain alterations and behavioral changes in children with lower levels of PAE with those of well-matched controls with no PAE.

Design, setting, and participants: In this cross-sectional study, participants were selected from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Children with PAE were compared with controls matched for age, sex, family income, maternal educational level, and caregiver status. Neither group had prenatal exposure to other adverse substances (eg, tobacco, cannabis, illicit drugs). Data were collected from September 1, 2016, to November 15, 2018, and analyzed from October 14, 2020, to February 14, 2022.

Exposures: Diffusion tensor imaging, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) administration.

Main outcomes and measures: Fractional anisotropy (FA); mean, axial, and radial diffusivity from diffusion tensor imaging; brain functional signal variations from functional MRI; and several scores, including internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, from the CBCL. Spearman correlation coefficients between diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI measures and the CBCL scores were calculated.

Results: A total of 270 children were included in the analysis (mean [SD] age, 9.86 [0.46] years; 141 female [52.2%] and 129 male [47.8%]), consisting of 135 children with PAE (mean [SD] age, 9.85 [0.65] years; 73 female [54.1%] and 62 male [45.9%]) (mean exposure, 1 drink/wk) and 135 unexposed controls (mean [SD] age, 9.87 [0.04] years; 68 female [50.4%] and 67 male [49.6%]). Children with PAE had lower mean (SD) FA in white matter of the left postcentral (0.35 [0.05] vs 0.36 [0.04]; mean difference, -0.02 [95% CI, -0.03 to -0.01]), left inferior parietal (0.31 [0.07] vs 0.33 [0.06]; mean difference, -0.03 [95% CI, -0.04 to -0.01]), left planum temporale (0.26 [0.04] vs 0.28 [0.03]; mean difference, -0.02 [95% CI, -0.03 to -0.01]), left inferior occipital (0.30 [0.07] vs 0.32 [0.05]; mean difference, -0.03 [95% CI, -0.04 to -0.01]), and right middle occipital (0.30 [0.04] vs 0.31 [0.04]; mean difference, -0.01 [95% CI, -0.02 to -0.01]) areas compared with controls, and higher FA in the gray matter of the putamen (0.22 [0.03] vs 0.21 [0.02]; mean difference, 0.01 [95% CI, 0.005-0.02]). Externalizing behavior scores were higher (worse) in children with PAE than in controls (mean [SD], 45.2 [9.0] vs 42.8 [9.0]; mean difference, 2.39 [95% CI, 0.30-4.47]). Several of these regions had significant group-behavior interactions, such that the higher FA was associated with less problematic behaviors in controls (ρ range, -0.24 to -0.08) but no associations were present in the PAE group (ρ range, 0.02-0.16).

Conclusions and relevance: In this cross-sectional study, children with low levels of PAE had lower FA and more behavioral problems compared with a well-matched control group. These results suggest that PAE, even in small amounts, has a measurable effect on brain structure in children.

Regional gray matter abnormalities in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder: A voxel-based morphometry study

Murray SB, Duval CJ, Balkchyan AA, Cabeen RP, Nagata JM, Toga AW, Siegel SJ, Jann K. Regional gray matter abnormalities in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder: A voxel-based morphometry study. Psychiatry Research. Volume 310, April 2022, 114473, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2022.114473

Background
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a pernicious psychiatric disorder which is linked with an array of multisystemic organ morbidity, broad psychiatric morbidity, and obesity. Despite behavioral markers often developing in early childhood, the neurobiological markers of early-onset BED remain understudied, and developmental pathophysiology remains poorly understood.

Methods
71 preadolescent children (aged 9–10-years) with BED and 74 age, BMI and developmentally matched control children were extracted from the 3.0 baseline (Year 0) release of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. We investigated group differences in gray matter density (GMD) via voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We additionally performed region of interest analyses, assessing the association between GMD in nodes of the reward (orbitofrontal cortex; OFC) and inhibitory control (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; dlPFC) networks, and parent-reported behavioral inhibition and approach tendencies.

Results
Diffuse elevations in cortical GMD were noted in those with BED, which spanned prefrontal, parietal, and temporal regions. No areas of reduced GMD were noted in those with BED. No alterations in subcortical GMD were noted. Brain-behavioral associations suggest a distinct and negative relationship between GMD in the OFC and dlPFC, respectively, and self-reported markers of hedonic behavioral approach tendencies.

Conclusions
Early-onset BED may be characterized by diffuse morphological abnormalities in gray matter density, suggesting alterations in cortical architecture which may reflect decreased synaptic pruning and arborization, or decreased myelinated fibers and therefore inter-regional afferents.

Neurobiological, familial and genetic risk factors for dimensional psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study

Wainberg M, Jacobs GR, Voineskos AN, Tripathy SJ. Neurobiological, familial and genetic risk factors for dimensional psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 31. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01522-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35361904.

Background: Adolescence is a key period for brain development and the emergence of psychopathology. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study was created to study the biopsychosocial factors underlying healthy and pathological brain development during this period, and comprises the world’s largest youth cohort with neuroimaging, family history and genetic data.

Methods: We examined 9856 unrelated 9-to-10-year-old participants in the ABCD study drawn from 21 sites across the United States, of which 7662 had multimodal magnetic resonance imaging scans passing quality control, and 4447 were non-Hispanic white and used for polygenic risk score analyses. Using data available at baseline, we associated eight ‘syndrome scale scores’ from the Child Behavior Checklist-summarizing anxious/depressed symptoms, withdrawn/depressed symptoms, somatic complaints, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, rule-breaking behavior, and aggressive behavior-with resting-state functional and structural brain magnetic resonance imaging measures; eight indicators of family history of psychopathology; and polygenic risk scores for major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anorexia nervosa. As a sensitivity analysis, we excluded participants with clinically significant (>97th percentile) or borderline (93rd-97th percentile) scores for each dimension.

Results: Most Child Behavior Checklist dimensions were associated with reduced functional connectivity within one or more of four large-scale brain networks-default mode, cingulo-parietal, dorsal attention, and retrosplenial-temporal. Several dimensions were also associated with increased functional connectivity between the default mode, dorsal attention, ventral attention and cingulo-opercular networks. Conversely, almost no global or regional brain structural measures were associated with any of the dimensions. Every family history indicator was associated with every dimension. Major depression polygenic risk was associated with six of the eight dimensions, whereas ADHD polygenic risk was exclusively associated with attention problems and externalizing behavior (rule-breaking and aggressive behavior). Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa polygenic risk were not associated with any of the dimensions. Many associations remained statistically significant even after excluding participants with clinically significant or borderline psychopathology, suggesting that the same risk factors that contribute to clinically significant psychopathology also contribute to continuous variation within the clinically normal range.

Conclusions: This study codifies neurobiological, familial and genetic risk factors for dimensional psychopathology across a population-scale cohort of community-dwelling preadolescents. Future efforts are needed to understand how these multiple modalities of risk intersect to influence trajectories of psychopathology into late adolescence and adulthood.

Automated Multiclass Artifact Detection in Diffusion MRI Volumes via 3D Residual Squeeze-and-Excitation Convolutional Neural Networks

Ettehadi N, Kashyap P, Zhang X, Wang Y, Semanek D, Desai K, Guo J, Posner J, Laine AF. Automated Multiclass Artifact Detection in Diffusion MRI Volumes via 3D Residual Squeeze-and-Excitation Convolutional Neural Networks. Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 Mar 30;16:877326. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.877326. PMID: 35431841; PMCID: PMC9005752.

Diffusion MRI (dMRI) is widely used to investigate neuronal and structural development of brain. dMRI data is often contaminated with various types of artifacts. Hence, artifact type identification in dMRI volumes is an essential pre-processing step prior to carrying out any further analysis. Manual artifact identification amongst a large pool of dMRI data is a highly labor-intensive task. Previous attempts at automating this process are often limited to a binary classification (“poor” vs. “good” quality) of the dMRI volumes or focus on detecting a single type of artifact (e.g., motion, Eddy currents, etc.). In this work, we propose a deep learning-based automated multiclass artifact classifier for dMRI volumes. Our proposed framework operates in 2 steps. In the first step, the model predicts labels associated with 3D mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive (MECE) sub-volumes or “slabs” extracted from whole dMRI volumes. In the second step, through a voting process, the model outputs the artifact class present in the whole volume under investigation. We used two different datasets for training and evaluating our model. Specifically, we utilized 2,494 poor-quality dMRI volumes from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) and 4,226 from the Healthy Brain Network (HBN) dataset. Our results demonstrate accurate multiclass volume-level main artifact type prediction with 96.61 and 97.52% average accuracies on the ABCD and HBN test sets, respectively. Finally, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework in dMRI pre-processing pipelines, we conducted a proof-of-concept dMRI analysis exploring the relationship between whole-brain fractional anisotropy (FA) and participant age, to test whether the use of our model improves the brain-age association.

Understanding Associations Between Race/Ethnicity, Experiences of Discrimination, and Psychotic-like Experiences in Middle Childhood

Karcher NR, Klaunig MJ, Elsayed NM, Taylor RL, Jay SY, Schiffman J. Understanding Associations Between Race/Ethnicity, Experiences of Discrimination, and Psychotic-like Experiences in Middle Childhood. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 29:S0890-8567(22)00180-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2022.03.025. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35378237.

Objective: The present study aimed to examine factors that may account for race/ethnicity differences in psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) in a middle childhood sample, including evidence for experiences of discrimination as a psychosocial mediator of these differences.

Method: Within a sample of 10,839 9 to 10-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ study, we compared PLEs across racial/ethnic groups. We also examined whether experiences of discrimination indirectly linked racial/ethnic identity and PLEs, and whether social support moderated this indirect association.

Results: Results indicated differences between racial/ethnic groups in the endorsement of PLEs, such that Black and Hispanic participants endorsed higher levels of PLEs as compared to Asian, Multiracial/Multiethnic, and White individuals. We found these differences were accounted for in part by experiences of discrimination, an indirect effect that was in turn attenuated by increased social support.

Conclusion: This is the first study to suggest that the experience of discrimination may indirectly link the association between racial/ethnic differences and endorsement of PLEs using the PQ-BC, and additionally that social support may act as a moderator of this mediation. Results provide evidence that social inequities such as racial discrimination may contribute to increases in psychotic-like experiences. These findings shed further light on a possible mechanism linking structural racism and mental health inequities for people in minoritized groups.

Substance use onset in high-risk 9-13 year-olds in the ABCD study

Wade NE, Tapert SF, Lisdahl KM, Huestis MA, Haist F. Substance use onset in high-risk 9-13 year-olds in the ABCD study. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2022 May-Jun;91:107090. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2022.107090. Epub 2022 Mar 24. PMID: 35341934.

Aim: A key aim of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ (ABCD) Study is to document substance use onset, patterns, and sequelae across adolescent development. However, substance use misreporting can obscure accurate drug use characterization. Hair toxicology provides objective historical substance use data but is rarely used in studies of youth. Here, we compare objective hair toxicology results with self-reported substance use in high-risk youth.

Methods: A literature-based substance use risk algorithm prioritized 696 ABCD Study® hair samples from 677 participants for analysis at baseline, and 1 and 2-year follow-ups (spanning ages 9-13). Chi-square and t-tests assessed differences between participants’ demographics, positive and negative hair tests, risk-for-use algorithm scores, and self-reported substance use.

Results: Hair testing confirmed that 17% of at-risk 9-13 year-olds hair samples had evidence of past 3-month use of one (n = 97), two (n = 14), three (n = 2), or four (n = 2) drug classes. After considering prescribed medication and self-reported substance use, 10% had a positive test indicating substance use that was not reported. Participants with any positive hair result reported less sipping of alcohol (p < 0.001) and scored higher on the risk-for-use algorithm (p < 0.001) than those with negative toxicology results.

Conclusions: 10% of hair samples from at-risk 9-13 year-olds tested positive for at least one unreported substance, suggesting underreporting in high-risk youth when participating in a research study. As hair testing prioritized youth with risk characteristics, the overall extent of underreporting will be calculated in future studies. Nonetheless, hair toxicology was key to characterizing substance use in high-risk youth.

Multi-level predictors of depression symptoms in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study

Ho TC, Shah R, Mishra J, May AC, Tapert SF. Multi-level predictors of depression symptoms in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 21. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13608. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35307818.

Background: While identifying risk factors for adolescent depression is critical for early prevention and intervention, most studies have sought to understand the role of isolated factors rather than across a broad set of factors. Here, we sought to examine multi-level factors that maximize the prediction of depression symptoms in US children participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

Methods: A total of 7,995 participants from ABCD (version 3.0 release) provided complete data at baseline and 1-year follow-up data. Depression symptoms were measured with the Child Behavior Checklist. Predictive features included child demographic, environmental, and structural and resting-state fMRI variables, parental depression history and demographic characteristics. We used linear (elastic net regression, EN) and non-linear (gradient-boosted trees, GBT) predictive models to identify which set of features maximized prediction of depression symptoms at baseline and, separately, at 1-year follow-up.

Results: Both linear and non-linear models achieved comparable results for predicting baseline (EN: MAE = 3.757; R2 = 0.156; GBT: MAE = 3.761; R2 = 0.147) and 1-year follow-up (EN: MAE = 4.255; R2 = 0.103; GBT: MAE = 4.262; R2 = 0.089) depression. Parental history of depression, greater family conflict, and shorter child sleep duration were among the top predictors of concurrent and future child depression symptoms across both models. Although resting-state fMRI features were relatively weaker predictors, functional connectivity of the caudate was consistently the strongest neural feature associated with depression symptoms at both timepoints.

Conclusions: Consistent with prior research, parental mental health, family environment, and child sleep quality are important risk factors for youth depression. Functional connectivity of the caudate is a relatively weaker predictor of depression symptoms but may represent a biomarker for depression risk.

Aberrant functional connectivity between reward and inhibitory control networks in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder

Murray SB, Alba C, Duval CJ, Nagata JM, Cabeen RP, Lee DJ, Toga AW, Siegel SJ, Jann K. Aberrant functional connectivity between reward and inhibitory control networks in pre-adolescent binge eating disorder. Psychol Med. 2022 Mar 18:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S0033291722000514. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35301976.

Background: Behavioral features of binge eating disorder (BED) suggest abnormalities in reward and inhibitory control. Studies of adult populations suggest functional abnormalities in reward and inhibitory control networks. Despite behavioral markers often developing in children, the neurobiology of pediatric BED remains unstudied.

Methods: 58 pre-adolescent children (aged 9-10-years) with BED (mBMI = 25.05; s.d. = 5.40) and 66 age, BMI and developmentally matched control children (mBMI = 25.78; s.d. = 0.33) were extracted from the 3.0 baseline (Year 0) release of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. We investigated group differences in resting-state functional MRI functional connectivity (FC) within and between reward and inhibitory control networks. A seed-based approach was employed to assess nodes in the reward [orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), nucleus accumbens, amygdala] and inhibitory control [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] networks via hypothesis-driven seed-to-seed analyses, and secondary seed-to-voxel analyses.

Results: Findings revealed reduced FC between the dlPFC and amygdala, and between the ACC and OFC in pre-adolescent children with BED, relative to controls. These findings indicating aberrant connectivity between nodes of inhibitory control and reward networks were corroborated by the whole-brain FC analyses.

Conclusions: Early-onset BED may be characterized by diffuse abnormalities in the functional synergy between reward and cognitive control networks, without perturbations within reward and inhibitory control networks, respectively. The decreased capacity to regulate a reward-driven pursuit of hedonic foods, which is characteristic of BED, may in part, rest on this dysconnectivity between reward and inhibitory control networks.

Cross-ethnicity/race generalization failure of behavioral prediction from resting-state functional connectivity

Li J, Bzdok D, Chen J, Tam A, Qi Rong OOI L, Holmes AJ, GE T, Patil KR, Jabbi M, Eickhoff SB, Thomas Yeo BT, and Genon S. Cross-ethnicity/race generalization failure of behavioral prediction from resting-state functional connectivity. Science Advances, Mar 2022, Vol 8, Issue 11, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj1812

Algorithmic biases that favor majority populations pose a key challenge to the application of machine learning for precision medicine. Here, we assessed such bias in prediction models of behavioral phenotypes from brain functional magnetic resonance imaging. We examined the prediction bias using two independent datasets (preadolescent versus adult) of mixed ethnic/racial composition. When predictive models were trained on data dominated by white Americans (WA), out-of-sample prediction errors were generally higher for African Americans (AA) than for WA. This bias toward WA corresponds to more WA-like brain-behavior association patterns learned by the models. When models were trained on AA only, compared to training only on WA or an equal number of AA and WA participants, AA prediction accuracy improved but stayed below that for WA. Overall, the results point to the need for caution and further research regarding the application of current brain-behavior prediction models in minority populations.

Reproducible brain-wide association studies require thousands of individuals

Marek S, Tervo-Clemmens B, Calabro FJ, Montez DF, Kay BP, Hatoum AS, Donohue MR, Foran W, Miller RL, Hendrickson TJ, Malone SM, Kandala S, Feczko E, Miranda-Dominguez O, Graham AM, Earl EA, Perrone AJ, Cordova M, Doyle O, Moore LA, Conan GM, Uriarte J, Snider K, Lynch BJ, Wilgenbusch JC, Pengo T, Tam A, Chen J, Newbold DJ, Zheng A, Seider NA, Van AN, Metoki A, Chauvin RJ, Laumann TO, Greene DJ, Petersen SE, Garavan H, Thompson WK, Nichols TE, Yeo BTT, Barch DM, Luna B, Fair DA, Dosenbach NUF. Reproducible brain-wide association studies require thousands of individuals. Nature. March 16, 2022. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04492-9

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has transformed our understanding of the human brain through well-replicated mapping of abilities to specific structures (for example, lesion studies) and functions1,2,3 (for example, task functional MRI (fMRI)). Mental health research and care have yet to realize similar advances from MRI. A primary challenge has been replicating associations between inter-individual differences in brain structure or function and complex cognitive or mental health phenotypes (brain-wide association studies (BWAS)). Such BWAS have typically relied on sample sizes appropriate for classical brain mapping4 (the median neuroimaging study sample size is about 25), but potentially too small for capturing reproducible brain–behavioural phenotype associations5,6. Here we used three of the largest neuroimaging datasets currently available—with a total sample size of around 50,000 individuals—to quantify BWAS effect sizes and reproducibility as a function of sample size. BWAS associations were smaller than previously thought, resulting in statistically underpowered studies, inflated effect sizes and replication failures at typical sample sizes. As sample sizes grew into the thousands, replication rates began to improve and effect size inflation decreased. More robust BWAS effects were detected for functional MRI (versus structural), cognitive tests (versus mental health questionnaires) and multivariate methods (versus univariate). Smaller than expected brain–phenotype associations and variability across population subsamples can explain widespread BWAS replication failures. In contrast to non-BWAS approaches with larger effects (for example, lesions, interventions and within-person), BWAS reproducibility requires samples with thousands of individuals.

10. Screen Time and Moderate-to-Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity Among Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Dooley EE, Iyer P, Ganson KT, Bibbins-Domingo K, Baker FC, Gabriel KP. 10. Screen Time and Moderate-to-Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity Among Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Volume 70, Issue 4, Supplement, S6, APRIL 01, 2022. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.01.014

Purpose
The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home mandates, remote learning, and social distancing requirements led to changes in nearly all facets of adolescents’ lives; however, the pandemic’s effect on adolescent screen time and physical activity has not been characterized using national data from the U.S. The aim of this study was to evaluate adolescents’ screen use and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) during the COVID-19 pandemic by sociodemographic characteristics, and to determine mental health and resiliency factors associated with screen use and MVPA.

Methods
Data from the Year 1 (2017-2019) and May 2020 COVID-19 survey of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a national prospective cohort study in the U.S., were analyzed. Average hours per day spent on six forms of screen time were summed to calculate a total daily screen time measure, excluding hours spent on school-related work. MVPA was quantified as the product of reported duration and frequency (hours per week; h∙wk-1), which was further summarized as the proportion meeting age-appropriate 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (i.e., 60 minutes per day). Mental health and resiliency measures were also collected. Regression models examined associations between mental health or resiliency measures and screen time or MVPA during the pandemic.

Results
The sample consisted of 5,153 adolescents predominantly ages 12-13 years, with 50.6% female and 39.5% racial/ethnic minorities. During the pandemic, adolescents reported an average of 7.70 hours of screen use per day, mostly spent on watching/streaming videos, movies, or television shows (2.42 hours), multi-player gaming (1.44 hours), and single-player gaming (1.17 hours). Median MVPA was 2 hours per week (IQR 0, 6) during the pandemic. Overall, the percentage of the cohort meeting MVPA guidelines decreased from 16.1% (pre-pandemic) to 8.9% during the pandemic. Racial/ethnic minorities and adolescents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds reported higher daily screen use and were significantly less likely to meet MVPA guidelines during the pandemic. In adjusted regression models, poorer mental health and greater perceived stress were associated with higher total screen use. Poorer emotional well-being, COVID-related worry, and stress were associated with lower MVPA. More social support and coping behaviors were associated with lower total screen use and higher MVPA during the pandemic.

Conclusions
In this large, national sample of adolescents, we found that average total daily recreational screen use was 7.7 hours per day, representing a doubling of pre-pandemic estimates from the same cohort (3.8 hours). The proportion of those meeting MVPA Guidelines was lower during the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant disparities by race and class. Disparities across racial/ethnic and income groups in adolescents may be due to structural and systemic factors (e.g., built or neighborhood environment, access to resources) – all of which have been amplified in the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions to promote social support and coping behaviors may reduce screen use and improve MVPA levels among adolescents during and post-pandemic.

Explaining the Association Between Urbanicity and Psychotic-Like Experiences in Pre-Adolescence: The Indirect Effect of Urban Exposures

Saxena A, Dodell-Feder D. Explaining the Association Between Urbanicity and Psychotic-Like Experiences in Pre-Adolescence: The Indirect Effect of Urban Exposures. Front. Psychiatry, 11 March 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.831089

Urban living is a growing worldwide phenomenon with more than two-thirds of people expected to live in cities by 2050. Although there are many benefits to living in an urban environment, urbanicity has also been associated with deleterious health outcomes, including increased risk for psychotic outcomes particularly when the urban exposure occurs in pre-adolescence. However, the mechanisms underlying this association is unclear. Here, we utilize one-year follow-up data from a large (N=7,979), nationwide study of pre-adolescence in the United States to clarify why urbanicity (i.e., census-tract population density) might impact psychotic-like experiences (PLE) by looking at the indirect effect of eight candidate urbanicity-related physical (e.g., pollution) and social (e.g., poverty) exposures. Consistent with other work, we found that of the evaluated exposures related to urbanicity, several were also related to increased number of PLE: PM2.5, proximity to roads, census-level homes at-risk for exposure to lead paint, census-level poverty, and census-level income-disparity. These same urban-related exposures were also related to the persistence of PLE after 1 year, but not new onset of PLE. Mediation analysis revealed that a substantial proportion the urbanicity-PLE association (number and persistence) could be explained by PM2.5 (23–44%), families in poverty (68–93%), and income disparity (67–80%). Together, these findings suggest that specific urban-related exposures contribute to the existence and maintenance, but not onset of PLE, which might help to explain why those in urban environments are disproportionately at-risk for psychosis and point toward areas for public health intervention.

Characterizing the Neural Correlates of Response Inhibition and Error Processing in Children With Symptoms of Irritability and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in the ABCD Study®

Lee KS, Xiao J, Luo J, Leibenluft E, Liew Z, Tseng WL. Characterizing the Neural Correlates of Response Inhibition and Error Processing in Children With Symptoms of Irritability and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in the ABCD Study®. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 4;13:803891. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.803891. PMID: 35308882; PMCID: PMC8931695.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity, is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with executive dysfunctions, including response inhibition and error processing. Research has documented a common co-occurrence between ADHD and pediatric irritability. The latter is more characterized by affective symptoms, specifically frequent temper outbursts and low frustration tolerance relative to typically developing peers. Shared and non-shared neural correlates of youths with varied profiles of ADHD and irritability symptoms during childhood remain largely unknown. This study first classified a large sample of youths in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study at baseline into distinct phenotypic groups based on ADHD and irritability symptoms (N = 11,748), and then examined shared and non-shared neural correlates of response inhibition and error processing during the Stop Signal Task in a subset of sample with quality neuroimaging data (N = 5,948). Latent class analysis (LCA) revealed four phenotypic groups, i.e., high ADHD with co-occurring irritability symptoms (n = 787, 6.7%), moderate ADHD with low irritability symptoms (n = 901, 7.7%), high irritability with no ADHD symptoms (n = 279, 2.4%), and typically developing peers with low ADHD and low irritability symptoms (n = 9,781, 83.3%). Latent variable modeling revealed group differences in the neural coactivation network supporting response inhibition in the fronto-parietal regions, but limited differences in error processing across frontal and posterior regions. These neural differences were marked by decreased coactivation in the irritability only group relative to youths with ADHD and co-occurring irritability symptoms and typically developing peers during response inhibition. Together, this study provided initial evidence for differential neural mechanisms of response inhibition associated with ADHD, irritability, and their co-occurrence. Precision medicine attending to individual differences in ADHD and irritability symptoms and the underlying mechanisms are warranted when treating affected children and families.

Understanding patterns of heterogeneity in executive functioning during adolescence: Evidence from population-level data

Chaku N, Barry K, Fowle J, Hoyt LT. Understanding patterns of heterogeneity in executive functioning during adolescence: Evidence from population-level data. Dev Sci. 2022 Mar 3. doi: 10.1111/desc.13256. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35238432.

Executive functioning (EF) is fundamental to positive development. Yet, little is known about how to best identify and characterize constellations of EF skills that may inform disparate associations between EF and behavior during adolescence. In the current study, cross-validated latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to derive profiles of EF based on measures of inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility using data from 11,672 youth (52.2% male, mean age = 9.91 years) in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. Four meaningful EF profiles emerged from the data representing Average EF, High EF, Low Inhibitory Control, and Low EF. Boys, youth from low-income households, and early developing youth were more likely to be in profiles distinguished by lower EF. Profile membership also predicted differences in externalizing, internalizing, and other problem behaviors assessed one year later. Findings indicate that youth may have distinct constellations of EF skills with unique impact on behaviors, underscoring the need for person-centered approaches that focus on patterns of individual characteristics Latent profile analysis was used to describe profiles of executive functioning (EF) in a population-level sample of early adolescents Heterogenous constellations of EF were captured by four profiles, distinguished primarily by differences in performance level, but also discordance across tasks. Biological sex, socioeconomic status, and pubertal timing predicted most likely profile membership Profile membership predicted externalizing, internalizing, and problem behaviors assessed a year later.

Performance scaling for structural MRI surface parcellations: a machine learning analysis in the ABCD Study

Hahn S, Owens MM, Yuan D, Juliano AC, Potter A, Garavan H, Allgaier N. Performance scaling for structural MRI surface parcellations: a machine learning analysis in the ABCD Study. Cereb Cortex. 2022 Mar 3:bhac060. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhac060. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35238352.

The use of predefined parcellations on surface-based representations of the brain as a method for data reduction is common across neuroimaging studies. In particular, prediction-based studies typically employ parcellation-driven summaries of brain measures as input to predictive algorithms, but the choice of parcellation and its influence on performance is often ignored. Here we employed preprocessed structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® to examine the relationship between 220 parcellations and out-of-sample predictive performance across 45 phenotypic measures in a large sample of 9- to 10-year-old children (N = 9,432). Choice of machine learning (ML) pipeline and use of alternative multiple parcellation-based strategies were also assessed. Relative parcellation performance was dependent on the spatial resolution of the parcellation, with larger number of parcels (up to ~4,000) outperforming coarser parcellations, according to a power-law scaling of between 1/4 and 1/3. Performance was further influenced by the type of parcellation, ML pipeline, and general strategy, with existing literature-based parcellations, a support vector-based pipeline, and ensembling across multiple parcellations, respectively, as the highest performing. These findings highlight the choice of parcellation as an important influence on downstream predictive performance, showing in some cases that switching to a higher resolution parcellation can yield a relatively large boost to performance.

Longitudinal Evidence of a Vicious Cycle Between Nucleus Accumbens Microstructure and Childhood Weight Gai

Rapuano KM, Berrian N, Baskin-Sommers A, Décarie-Spain L, Sharma S, Fulton S, Casey BJ, Watts R. Longitudinal Evidence of a Vicious Cycle Between Nucleus Accumbens Microstructure and Childhood Weight Gain. J Adolesc Health. 2022 Mar 2:S1054-139X(22)00002-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.01.002. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35248457.

Purpose: Pediatric obesity is a growing public health concern. Previous work has observed diet to impact nucleus accumbens (NAcc) inflammation in rodents, measured by the reactive proliferation of glial cells. Recent work in humans has demonstrated a relationship between NAcc cell density-a proxy for neuroinflammation-and weight gain in youth; however, the directionality of this relationship in the developing brain and association with diet remains unknown.

Methods: Waist circumference (WC) and NAcc cell density were collected in a large cohort of children (n > 2,000) participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (release 3.0) at baseline (9-10 y) and at a Year 2 follow-up (11-12 y). Latent change score modeling (LCSM) was used to disentangle contributions of baseline measures to two-year changes in WC percentile and NAcc cellularity. In addition, the role of NAcc cellularity in mediating the relationship between diet and WC percentile was assessed using dietary intake data collected at Year 2.

Results: LCSM indicates that baseline WC percentile influences change in NAcc cellularity and that baseline NAcc cell density influences change in WC percentile. NAcc cellularity was significantly associated with WC percentile at Year 2 and mediated the relationship between dietary fat consumption and WC percentile.

Conclusions: These results implicate a vicious cycle whereby NAcc cell density biases longitudinal changes in WC percentile and vice versa. Moreover, NAcc cell density may mediate the relationship between diet and weight gain in youth. These findings suggest that diet-induced inflammation of reward circuitry may lead to behavioral changes that further contribute to weight gain.

The role of perceived threats on mental health, social, and neurocognitive youth outcomes: A multicontextual, person-centered approach

Conley MI, Hernandez J, Salvati JM, Gee DG, Baskin-Sommers A. The role of perceived threats on mental health, social, and neurocognitive youth outcomes: A multicontextual, person-centered approach. Dev Psychopathol. 2022 Mar 2:1-22. doi: 10.1017/S095457942100184X. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35232507.

Perceived threat in youth’s environments can elevate risk for mental health, social, and neurocognitive difficulties throughout the lifespan. However, few studies examine variability in youth’s perceptions of threat across multiple contexts or evaluate outcomes across multiple domains, ultimately limiting our understanding of specific risks associated with perceived threats in different contexts. This study examined associations between perceived threat in youth’s neighborhood, school, and family contexts at ages 9-10 and mental health, social, and neurocognitive outcomes at ages 11-12 within a large US cohort (N = 5525) enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). Latent profile analysis revealed four distinct profiles: Low Threat in all contexts, Elevated Family Threat, Elevated Neighborhood Threat, and Elevated Threat in all contexts. Mixed-effect models and post hoc pairwise comparisons showed that youth in Elevated Threat profile had poorer mental health and social outcomes 2 years later. Youth in the Elevated Family Threat profile uniquely showed increased disruptive behavior symptoms, whereas youth in the Elevated Neighborhood Threat profile predominantly displayed increased sleep problems and worse neurocognitive outcomes 2 years later. Together, findings highlight the importance of considering perceptions of threat across multiple contexts to achieve a more nuanced developmental picture.

The pandemic’s toll on young adolescents: Prevention and intervention targets to preserve their mental health

O Kiss, et al. The Pandemic’s Toll on Young Adolescents: Prevention and Intervention Targets to Preserve Their Mental Health. Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 70, Issue 3, March 2022, Pages 387-395. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.11.023.  Related press release.

Reliability and Stability Challenges in ABCD Task fMRI Data

Kennedy JT, Harms MP, Korucuoglu O, Astafiev SV, Barch DM, Thompson WK, Bjork JM, Anokhin AP. Reliability and Stability Challenges in ABCD Task fMRI Data. Neuroimage. 2022 Mar 1:119046. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119046. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35245674.

Trait stability of measures is an essential requirement for individual differences research. Functional MRI has been increasingly used in studies that rely on the assumption of trait stability, such as attempts to relate task related brain activation to individual differences in behavior and psychopathology. However, recent research using adult samples has questioned the trait stability of task-fMRI measures, as assessed by test-retest correlations. To date, little is known about trait stability of task fMRI in children. Here, we examined within-session reliability and long-term stability of individual differences in task-fMRI measures using fMRI measures of brain activation provided by the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study Release v4.0 as an individual’s average regional activity, using its tasks focused on reward processing, response inhibition, and working memory. We also evaluated the effects of factors potentially affecting reliability and stability. Reliability and stability (quantified as the ratio of non-scanner related stable variance to all variances) was poor in virtually all brain regions, with an average value of .088 and .072 for short term (within-session) reliability and long-term (between-session) stability, respectively, in regions of interest (ROIs) historically-recruited by the tasks. Only one reliability or stability value in ROIs exceeded the ‘poor’ cut-off of .4, and in fact rarely exceeded .2 (only 4.9%). Motion had a pronounced effect on estimated reliability/stability, with the lowest motion quartile of participants having a mean reliability/stability 2.5 times higher (albeit still ‘poor’) than the highest motion quartile. Poor reliability and stability of task-fMRI, particularly in children, diminishes potential utility of fMRI data due to a drastic reduction of effect sizes and, consequently, statistical power for the detection of brain-behavior associations. This essential issue urgently needs to be addressed through optimization of task design, scanning parameters, data acquisition protocols, preprocessing pipelines, and data denoising methods.

Bayesian interaction selection model for multi-modal neuroimaging data analysis

Zhao Y, Wu B, Kang J. Bayesian interaction selection model for multi-modal neuroimaging data analysis. Biometrics. 2022 Feb 27. doi: 10.1111/biom.13648. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35220581.

Multi-modality or multi-construct data arise increasingly in functional neuroimaging studies to characterize brain activity under different cognitive states. Relying on those high-resolution imaging collections, it is of great interest to identify predictive imaging markers and inter-modality interactions with respect to behavior outcomes. Currently, most of the existing variable selection models do not consider predictive effects from interactions, and the desired higher-order terms can only be included in the predictive mechanism following a two-step procedure, suffering from potential mis-specification. In this paper, we propose a unified Bayesian prior model to simultaneously identify main effect features and inter-modality interactions within the same inference platform in the presence of high dimensional data. To accommodate the brain topological information and correlation between modalities, our prior is designed by compiling the intermediate selection status of sequential partitions in light of the data structure and brain anatomical architecture, so that we can improve posterior inference and enhance biological plausibility. Through extensive simulations, we show the superiority of our approach in main and interaction effects selection, and prediction under multi-modality data. Applying the method to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, we characterize the brain functional underpinnings with respect to general cognitive ability under different memory load conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Prenatal Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Exposure, Depression, and Brain Morphology in Middle Childhood: Results From the ABCD Study

Moreau AL, Voss M, Hansen I, Paul SE, Barch DM, Rogers CE, Bogdan R. (2022, In Press). Prenatal Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Exposure, Depression, and Brain Morphology in Middle Childhood: Results From the ABCD Study. Biological Psychiatry, Published: February 26, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2022.02.005

Background
Prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) exposure has been inconsistently linked to depression, and little is known about neural correlates. We examined whether prenatal SSRI exposure is associated with depressive symptoms and brain structure during middle childhood.

Methods
Prenatal SSRI exposure (retrospective caregiver report), depressive symptoms (caregiver-reported Child Behavior Checklist), and brain structure (magnetic resonance imaging–derived subcortical volume; cortical thickness and surface area) were assessed in children (analytic ns = 5420–7528; 235 with prenatal SSRI exposure; 9–10 years of age) who completed the baseline Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study session. Linear mixed-effects models nested data. Covariates included familial, pregnancy, and child variables. Matrix spectral decomposition adjusted for multiple testing.

Results
Prenatal SSRI exposure was not independently associated with depression after accounting for recent maternal depressive symptoms. Prenatal SSRI exposure was associated with greater left superior parietal surface area (b = 145.3 mm2, p = .00038) and lateral occipital cortical thickness (b = 0.0272 mm, p = .0000079); neither was associated with child depressive symptoms. Child depression was associated with smaller global brain structure.

Conclusions
Our findings, combined with adverse outcomes of exposure to maternal depression and the utility of SSRIs for treating depression, suggest that risk for depression during middle childhood should not discourage SSRI use during pregnancy. Associations between prenatal SSRI exposure and brain structure were small in magnitude and not associated with depression. It will be important for future work to examine associations between prenatal SSRI exposure and depression through young adulthood, when risk for depression increases.

Hyperbolic discounting rates and risk for problematic alcohol use in youth enrolled in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study

Kohler RJ, Lichenstein SD, Yip SW. Hyperbolic discounting rates and risk for problematic alcohol use in youth enrolled in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. Addiction Biology, First published: 23 February 2022 https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.13160

Adolescence is the peak period for the emergence of substance use, which can lead to long-term psychosocial, occupational and interpersonal complications. Ongoing large-scale, longitudinal, consortium initiatives, such as the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, offer unprecedented opportunities to elucidate key risk factors for problematic substance use in a well-powered sample and to examine how changes in risk factors relate to symptoms across time. Delay discounting has been proposed as a putative risk marker for early substance-use initiation and other forms of psychopathology. However, the extent to which other factors (e.g., socio-economic status and cognitive ability) influence discounting behaviour in young adolescents is not well established. The present study leverages data from the ABCD study (n = 11 045) to assess associations between core demographic and familial variables and delay discounting in youth—operationalized using hyperbolic discounting rates (k)—before the onset of significant psychopathology. Model estimates revealed significant effects of individual difference factors (e.g., sex and socio-economic status) and alcohol risk status (based on family history) on delay discounting. No significant differences were observed in the primary sample when comparing the presence of parent drug problems or prenatal drug exposures. These effects will require replication in later waves of ABCD. Nonetheless, these results provide support for delay discounting as a potential risk marker for problematic alcohol use and demonstrate a relationship between key demographic variables and adolescent discounting behaviour. Further, these results provide an empirical baseline from which developmental trajectories of delay discounting and substance use may be tracked throughout future waves of ABCD.

Altered resting fMRI spectral power in data-driven brain networks during development: A longitudinal study

Agcaoglu O, Wilson TW, Wang YP, Stephen JM, Fu Z, Calhoun VD. Altered resting fMRI spectral power in data-driven brain networks during development: A longitudinal study. J Neurosci Methods. 2022 Feb 23;372:109537. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2022.109537. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35217109.

Background: Longitudinal studies provide a more precise measure of brain development over time, as they focus on within subject variability, as opposed to cross-sectional studies. This is especially important in children, where rapid brain development occurs, and inter-subject variability can be large. Tracking healthy brain development and identifying markers of typical development are also critically important to diagnose mental disorders at early ages.

New method: We track longitudinal changes in spectral power of time-courses using a unique non-binning approach assessed with group independent component analysis, in a large multi time-point resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset (N = 124) containing healthy children from 8.2 to 17.6 years old (m=12.6) called the Developmental Chronnecto-Genomics study. We examined how eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) resting states play a role in age-related spectral differences, as several studies have reported differences in these conditions.

Results: Typical brain development shows increased spectral power in low frequencies and decreased spectral power in high frequencies in as children grow and develop, for both the EO and EC conditions. In addition, we observed significant differences in power spectra between EO and EC and between sexes, mainly suggesting higher spectral power in females at middle and high frequencies. A replication analysis using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development data (N = 3371, mean age 9.9 years old) further supported this result, also showing general increases in low frequencies and decreases in higher frequencies, though some network level differences are present comparing to the main dataset.

Comparison with existing method: Our results indicate that spectral power changes significantly with typical development and our non-binning approach shows these changes with more detailed frequency resolution comparing to binning approaches. This is important as many studies reported an association of higher frequency power with brain disorders.

Conclusion: Our findings of decreased spectral power in the high frequencies with development may be a general marker of typical development., though this needs further investigation.

Exploring neural correlates of behavioral and academic resilience among children in poverty

Ellwood-Lowe ME, Irving CN, Bunge SA. Exploring neural correlates of behavioral and academic resilience among children in poverty. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2022 Feb 22;54:101090. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101090. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35248821.

Children in poverty must contend with systems that do not meet their needs. We explored what, at a neural level, helps explain children’s resilience in these contexts. Lower coupling between lateral frontoparietal network (LFPN) and default mode network (DMN)-linked, respectively, to externally- and internally-directed thought-has previously been associated with better cognitive performance. However, we recently found the opposite pattern for children in poverty. Here, we probed ecologically-valid assessments of performance. In a pre-registered study, we investigated trajectories of network coupling over ages 9-13 and their relation to school grades and attention problems. We analyzed longitudinal data from ABCD Study (N = 8366 children at baseline; 1303 below poverty). The link between cognitive performance and grades was weaker for children in poverty, highlighting the importance of ecologically-valid measures. As predicted, higher LFPN-DMN connectivity was linked to worse grades and attentional problems for children living above poverty, while children below poverty showed opposite tendencies. This interaction between LFPN-DMN connectivity and poverty related to children’s grades two years later; however, it was attenuated when controlling for baseline grades and was not related to attention longitudinally. Together, these findings suggest network connectivity is differentially related to performance in real-world settings for children above and below poverty.

Clouding up cognition?: Secondhand cannabis and tobacco exposure related to cognitive functioning in youth

Wade NE, McCabe CJ, Wallace AL, Gonzalez MR, Hoh E, Infante M.A, Hernandez Mejia M, Haist F (In Press, 2022). Clouding up cognition?: Secondhand cannabis and tobacco exposure related to cognitive functioning in youth. Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science. Available online 22 February 2022, In Press, Journal Pre-proof, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2022.01.010

Background
Increasing legalization of cannabis, in addition to longstanding rates of tobacco use, raise concerns for possible cognitive decrements from secondhand smoke or environmental exposure, though little research exists. We investigate the relation between cognition and secondhand and environmental cannabis and tobacco exposure in youth.

Methods
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study Year 2 Follow-Up (n=5,580; 48% Female) cognitive performance and secondhand or environmental cannabis or tobacco exposure data was used. Principal components analysis identified a global cognition factor. Linear mixed effects models assessed global cognition and individual cognitive task performance by cannabis and/or tobacco environmental exposure. Sociodemographics and other potential confounds were examined. P-values were adjusted using the false-discovery rate method.

Results
Global cognition was not related to any exposure group after testing corrections and considering confounds. Beyond covariates and family/site-level factors, secondhand tobacco was related to poorer visual memory (p=.02), and environmental tobacco was associated with poorer visuospatial (p=.02) and language skills (p=.008). Secondhand cannabis was related to cognition, but not after controlling for potential confounders (p>.05). Environmental cannabis was related to better oral reading (p=.01). Including covariates attenuated effect sizes.

Conclusions
Secondhand tobacco exposure was associated with poorer visual memory, while environmental tobacco exposure was related to poorer language and visuospatial skills. Secondhand cannabis was not related to cognition after controlling for sociodemographic factors, but environmental cannabis exposure was related to better reading. As this is the first known study of its kind and thus preliminary, secondhand cannabis should continue to be investigated to confirm results.

Classifying Conduct Disorder using a biopsychosocial model and machine learning method

Chan L, Simmons C, Tillem S, Conley M, Brazil IA, Baskin-Sommers A. Classifying Conduct Disorder using a biopsychosocial model and machine learning method. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 Feb 22:S2451-9022(22)00043-X. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.02.004. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35217219.

Background: Conduct Disorder (CD) is a common syndrome with far-reaching effects. Risk factors for the development of CD span social, psychological, and biological domains. Researchers note that predictive models of CD are limited if the focus is on a single risk factor or, even, a single domain. Machine learning methods are optimized for the extraction of trends across multi-domain data but have yet to be implemented in predicting the development of CD.

Methods: Social (e.g., family, income), psychological (e.g., psychiatric, neuropsychological), and biological (e.g., resting-state graph metrics) risk factors were measured using data from the baseline visit of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study when youth were 9-10-years-old (n = 2,368). Applying a feed-forward neural network machine learning method, risk factors were used to predict CD diagnoses two years later.

Results: A model with factors that included social, psychological, and biological domains outperformed models representing factors within any single domain, predicting the presence of a CD diagnosis with 91.18% accuracy. Within each domain, certain factors stood out in terms of their relationship to CD (social: lower parental monitoring, more aggression in the household, lower income; psychological: greater ADHD and ODD symptoms, worse crystallized cognition and card sorting performance; biological: disruptions in the topology of subcortical and frontoparietal networks).

Conclusions: The development of an accurate, sensitive, and specific predictive model of CD has the potential to aid in prevention and intervention efforts. Key risk factors for CD appear best characterized as reflecting unpredictable, impulsive, deprived, and emotional external and internal contexts.

Association of Genome-Wide Polygenic Scores for Multiple Psychiatric and Common Traits in Preadolescent Youths at Risk of Suicide

Yoonie Joo Y, Moon S-Y, Wang H-H, Kim H, Lee E-J, Hun Kim, J, Posner J, Ahn W-Y, Choi I, Kim J-W, Cha J. Association of Genome-Wide Polygenic Scores for Multiple Psychiatric and Common Traits in Preadolescent Youths at Risk of Suicide. JAMA Netw Open. February 21, 2022;5(2):e2148585. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.48585

Importance
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youths worldwide, but no available means exist to identify the risk of suicide in this population.

Objective
To assess whether genome-wide polygenic scores for psychiatric and common traits are associated with the risk of suicide among preadolescent children and to investigate whether and to what extent the interaction between early life stress (a major environmental risk factor) and polygenic factors is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors among youths.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This cohort study analyzed the genotype-phenotype data of 11 869 preadolescent children aged 9 to 10 years from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. Data were collected from September 1, 2016, to October 21, 2018, and analyzed from August 1, 2020, to January 3, 2021. Using machine learning approaches, genome-wide polygenic scores of 24 complex traits were estimated to investigate their phenome-wide associations and utility for assessing risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (suicidal ideation [active, passive, and overall] and suicide attempt).

Main Outcomes and Measures
Genome-wide polygenic scores were used to measure 24 traits, including psychiatric disorders, cognitive capacity, and personality and psychological characteristics. The Child Behavior Checklist was used to measure early life stress, and the Family Environment Scale was used to assess family environment. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were derived from the computerized version of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia.

Results
Among 11 869 preadolescent children in the US, complete data for phenotypic outcomes, genotypes, and covariates were available for 7140 participants in the multiethnic cohort (mean [SD] age, 9.9 [0.6] years; 3588 girls [50.3%]), including 925 participants with suicidal ideation and 63 participants with suicide attempts. Among those 7140 participants, 729 had African ancestry (self-reported race or ethnicity: 569 Black, 71 Hispanic, and 89 other), 276 had admixed American ancestry (self-reported race or ethnicity: 265 Hispanic, 3 White, and 8 other), 150 had East Asian ancestry (self-reported race or ethnicity: 67 Asian, 18 Hispanic, and 65 other), 5718 had European ancestry (self-reported race or ethnicity: 7 Asian, 39 Black, 1142 Hispanic, 3934 White, and 596 other), and 267 had other ancestries (self-reported race or ethnicity: 70 Asian, 13 Black, 126 Hispanic, 48 White, and 10 other). Three genome-wide polygenic scores were significantly associated (false discovery rate P < .05) with suicidal thoughts and behaviors among all participants: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05-1.21; P = .001), schizophrenia (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.17-1.93; P = .002), and general happiness (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.96; P = .002). In the analysis including only children with European ancestry, 3 additional genome-wide polygenic scores with false discovery rate significance were associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors: autism spectrum disorder (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.06-1.31; P = .002), major depressive disorder (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21; P = .003), and posttraumatic stress disorder (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21; P = .004). A significant interaction between genome-wide polygenic scores and environment was found, with genetic risk factors for autism spectrum disorder and the level of early life stress associated with increases in the risk of overall suicidal ideation and overall suicidal thoughts and behaviors (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.07-1.35; P = .002). A machine learning model using multitrait genome-wide polygenic scores and additional self-reported questionnaire data (Child Behavior Checklist and Family Environment Scale) produced a moderately accurate estimate of overall suicidal thoughts and behaviors (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.73-0.81; accuracy, 0.67) and suicidal ideation (AUROC, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.72-0.80; accuracy, 0.66) among children with European ancestry only. Among all children in the multiethnic cohort, the integrated model also outperformed the baseline model in estimating the risk of overall suicidal thoughts and behaviors (AUROC, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.67-0.75; accuracy, 0.68) and suicidal ideation (AUROC, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.71-0.78; accuracy, 0.67).

Conclusions and Relevance
In this cohort study of preadolescent youths in the US, higher genome-wide polygenic scores for psychiatric disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, were significantly associated with a greater risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. The findings and quantitative models from this study may help to identify children with a high risk of suicide, potentially assisting with early screening, intervention, and prevention.

Parent-adolescent agreement in reported moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Iyer P, Dooley EE, Ganson KT, Conroy AA, Gabriel KP. Parent-adolescent agreement in reported moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Public Health 22, 332 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12530-4

Purpose
To describe the agreement between parent- and adolescent- reports of adolescent moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and to determine sociodemographic factors associated with MVPA reporting differences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods
We analyzed data collected in May 2020 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD, N = 4841), a U.S. prospective cohort study. We quantified past weekly adolescent MVPA levels as reported by the parent and adolescent (referent). Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine the degree of agreement between parent- and adolescent- reports.

Results
When quantifying adolescent MVPA during the same recall period, median (p25, p75) MVPA (h∙wk.− 1) was 2.17 (0.00, 6.00) as reported by adolescents and 1.52 (0.29, 4.75) by parents with a mean difference of 4.89. Statistically significant differences in reports of MVPA were found in households with income > $75,000: on average, adolescents reported higher MVPA levels than their parents. Bland-Altman plots illustrated that, among adolescents reporting no or little MVPA, there was higher parent-adolescent agreement. However, among adolescents reporting high levels of MVPA, there was less agreement between the parent- and adolescent- reports.

Conclusions
Despite more time spent together at home during the pandemic, there was generally low agreement between parent- and adolescent- reports of adolescent MVPA. Future research could examine parent-adolescent agreement of MVPA within the context of device-based measures (e.g., accelerometers), determine reasons for differences in parent-adolescent reporting of MVPA, and inform interventions for improved parental involvement and monitoring of MVPA.

Companion Animals and Adolescent Stress and Adaptive Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mueller MK, King EK, Halbreich ED, Callina KS. Companion Animals and Adolescent Stress and Adaptive Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Anthrozoös, Published online 11 Feb 2022, https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2022.2027093

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant social disruptions for youth caused by lockdowns, school closures, and a lack of in-person social interactions. Companion animals are prevalent in United States households and may provide a source of emotional support and motivation for youth to engage in adaptive coping behaviors during social challenges. The goals of this study were to assess if dog owners, non-dog pet owners, and non-pet owners differed in stress levels, positive affect, and use of adaptive coping strategies such as increased time outdoors, regular walking, and healthy behaviors. This study used data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) Study, a large, nationally representative dataset of American youth. In a cross-sectional sample of 6,069 adolescents, there were significant, but small, relationships between owning a non-dog pet and lower levels of positive affect, and both dog owners and non-dog pet owners reported higher perceived stress compared with non-pet owners. Dog ownership was associated with higher odds of using healthy coping strategies compared with non-pet owners, but this relationship was not significant when controlling for demographic variables. Dog owners reported higher odds of having a walking routine and spending time outdoors compared with non-pet owners. Overall, the results suggest no buffering effect of pet ownership on youth mental wellbeing, but dog ownership is associated with some healthy coping behaviors linked to walking.

Measuring Retention within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM Study

Feldstein Ewing SW, Dash GF, Thompson WK, Reuter C, Diaz VG, Anokhin A, Chang L, Cottler LB, Dowling GJ, LeBlanc K, Zucker RA, Tapert SF, Brown SA, Garavan H. (2022). Measuring Retention within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 54, April 2022, 101081.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM study aims to retain a demographically diverse sample of youth and one parent across 21 sites throughout its 10-year protocol while minimizing selective (systematic) attrition. To evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts, the ABCD Retention Workgroup (RW) has employed a data-driven approach to examine, track, and intervene via three key metrics: (1) which youth completed visits late; (2) which youth missed visits; (3) which youth withdrew from the study. The RW actively examines demographic (race, education level, family income) and site factors (visit satisfaction, distance from site, and enrollment in ancillary studies) to strategize efforts that will minimize disengagement and loss of participating youth and parents. Data showed that the most robust primary correlates of late visits were distance from study site, race, and parental education level. Race, lower parental education level, parental employment status, and lower family income were associated with higher odds of missed visits, while being enrolled in one of the ancillary studies was associated with lower odds of missed visits. Additionally, it appeared that parents who were primary Spanish speakers withdrew at slightly higher rates. These findings provide insight into future targets for proactive retention efforts by the ABCD RW.

Multivariate, Transgenerational Associations of the COVID-19 Pandemic Across Minoritized and Marginalized Communities

Yip SW, Jordan A, Kohler RJ, Holmes A, Bzdok D. Multivariate, Transgenerational Associations of the COVID-19 Pandemic Across Minoritized and Marginalized Communities. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online February 9, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.4331

Importance
The experienced consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have diverged across individuals, families, and communities, resulting in inequity within a host of factors. There is a gap of quantitative evidence about the transgenerational impacts of these experiences and factors.

Objective
To identify baseline predictors of COVID-19 experiences, as defined by child and parent report, using a multivariate pattern-learning framework from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) cohort.

Design, Setting, and Participants
ABCD is an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of child and adolescent development in the United States including 11 875 youths, enrolled at age 9 to 10 years. Using nationally collected longitudinal profiling data from 9267 families, a multivariate pattern-learning strategy was developed to identify factor combinations associated with transgenerational costs of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ABCD data (release 3.0) collected from 2016 to 2020 and released between 2019 and 2021 were analyzed in combination with ABCD COVID-19 rapid response data from the first 3 collection points (May-August 2020).

Exposures
Social distancing and other response measures imposed by COVID-19, including school closures and shutdown of many childhood recreational activities.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Mid–COVID-19 experiences as defined by the ABCD’s parent and child COVID-19 assessments.

Results
Deep profiles from 9267 youth (5681 female [47.8%]; mean [SD] age, 119.0 [7.5] months) and their caregivers were quantitatively examined. Enabled by a pattern-learning analysis, social determinants of inequity, including family structure, socioeconomic status, and the experience of racism, were found to be primarily associated with transgenerational impacts of COVID-19, above and beyond other candidate predictors such as preexisting medical or psychiatric conditions. Pooling information across more than 17 000 baseline pre–COVID-19 family indicators and more than 280 measures of day-to-day COVID-19 experiences, non-White (ie, families who reported being Asian, Black, Hispanic, other, or a combination of those choices) and/or Spanish-speaking families were found to have decreased resources (mode 1, canonical vector weight [CVW] = 0.19; rank 5 of 281), escalated likelihoods of financial worry (mode 1, CVW = −0.20; rank 4), and food insecurity (mode 1, CVW = 0.21; rank 2), yet were more likely to have parent-child discussions regarding COVID-19–associated health and prevention issues, such as handwashing (mode 1, CVW = 0.14; rank 9), conserving food or other items (mode 1, CVW = 0.21; rank 1), protecting elderly individuals (mode 1, CVW = 0.11; rank 21), and isolating from others (mode 1, CVW = 0.11; rank 23). In contrast, White families (mode 1, CVW = −0.07; rank 3), those with higher pre–COVID-19 income (mode 1, CVW = −0.07; rank 5), and presence of a parent with a postgraduate degree (mode 1, CVW = −0.06; rank 14) experienced reduced COVID-19–associated impact. In turn, children from families experiencing reduced COVID-19 impacts reported longer nighttime sleep durations (mode 1, CVW = 0.13; rank 14), less difficulties with remote learning (mode 2, CVW = 0.14; rank 7), and decreased worry about the impact of COVID-19 on their family’s financial stability (mode 1, CVW = 0.134; rank 13).

Conclusions and Relevance
The findings of this study indicate that community-level, transgenerational intervention strategies may be needed to combat the disproportionate burden of pandemics on minoritized and marginalized racial and ethnic populations.

Causal effects of psychostimulants on neural connectivity: a mechanistic, randomized clinical trial

Wang Y, Kessel E, Lee S, Hong S, Raffanello E, Hulvershorn LA, Margolis A, Peterson BS, Posner, J. Causal effects of psychostimulants on neural connectivity: a mechanistic, randomized clinical trial. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 09 Feb 2022, https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13585.

Background
Psychostimulants are frequently used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but side effects are common leading to many patients discontinuing treatment. Identifying neural mechanisms by which psychostimulants attenuate symptoms may guide the development of more refined and tolerable therapeutics.

Methods
We conducted a 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) of a long-acting amphetamine, lisdexamfetamine (LDEX), in patients with ADHD, ages 6–25 years old. Of the 58 participants who participated in the RCT, 49 completed pre- and post-RCT magnetic resonance imaging scanning with adequate data quality. Healthy controls (HCs; n = 46) were included for comparison. Treatment effects on striatal and thalamic functional connectivity (FC) were identified using static (time-averaged) and dynamic (time-varying) measures and then correlated with symptom improvement. Analyses were repeated in independent samples from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (n = 103) and the ADHD-200 Consortium (n = 213).

Results
In 49 participants (25 LDEX; 24 Placebo), LDEX increased static and decreased dynamic FC (DFC). However, only DFC was associated with the therapeutic effects of LDEX. Additionally, at baseline, DFC was elevated in unmedicated-ADHD participants relative to HCs. Independent samples yielded similar findings – ADHD was associated with increased DFC, and psychostimulants with reduced DFC. Static FC findings were inconsistent across samples.

Conclusions
Changes in dynamic, but not static, FC were associated with the therapeutic effects of psychostimulants. While prior research has focused on static FC, DFC may offer a more reliable target for new ADHD interventions aimed at stabilizing network dynamics, though this needs confirmation with subsequent investigations.

Resilience to COVID-19: Socioeconomic Disadvantage Associated With Positive Caregiver–Youth Communication and Youth Preventative Actions

Marshall AT, Hackman DA, Baker FC, Breslin FJ, Brown SA, Dick AS, Gonzalez MR, Guillaume M, Kiss O, Lisdahl KM, McCabe CJ, Pelham III WE, Sheth C, Tapert SF, Van Rinsveld A, Wade NE, Sowell ER. Resilience to COVID-19: Socioeconomic Disadvantage Associated With Positive Caregiver–Youth Communication and Youth Preventative Actions. Front. Public Health, 09 February 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.734308

Socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with larger COVID-19 disease burdens and pandemic-related economic impacts. We utilized the longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study to understand how family- and neighborhood-level socioeconomic disadvantage relate to disease burden, family communication, and preventative responses to the pandemic in over 6,000 youth-caregiver dyads. Data were collected at three timepoints (May–August 2020). Here, we show that both family- and neighborhood-level disadvantage were associated with caregivers’ reports of greater family COVID-19 disease burden, less perceived exposure risk, more frequent caregiver-youth conversations about COVID-19 risk/prevention and reassurance, and greater youth preventative behaviors. Families with more socioeconomic disadvantage may be adaptively incorporating more protective strategies to reduce emotional distress and likelihood of COVID-19 infection. The results highlight the importance of caregiver-youth communication and disease-preventative practices for buffering the economic and disease burdens of COVID-19, along with policies and programs that reduce these burdens for families with socioeconomic disadvantage.

Classification of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children: results from penalised logistic regression analyses in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study

van Velzen LS, Toenders YJ, Avila-Parcet A, Dinga R, Rabinowitz JA, Campos AI, Jahanshad N, Rentería ME, Schmaal L. Classification of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children: results from penalised logistic regression analyses in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Br J Psychiatry. 2022 Feb 9:1-9. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2022.7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35135639.

Background: Despite efforts to predict suicide risk in children, the ability to reliably identify who will engage in suicide thoughts or behaviours has remained unsuccessful.

Aims: We apply a novel machine-learning approach and examine whether children with suicide thoughts or behaviours could be differentiated from children without suicide thoughts or behaviours based on a combination of traditional (sociodemographic, physical health, social-environmental, clinical psychiatric) risk factors, but also more novel risk factors (cognitive, neuroimaging and genetic characteristics).

Method: The study included 5885 unrelated children (50% female, 67% White, 9-11 years of age) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We performed penalised logistic regression analysis to distinguish between: (a) children with current or past suicide thoughts or behaviours; (b) children with a mental illness but no suicide thoughts or behaviours (clinical controls); and (c) healthy control children (no suicide thoughts or behaviours and no history of mental illness). The model was subsequently validated with data from seven independent sites involved in the ABCD study (n = 1712).

Results: Our results showed that we were able to distinguish the suicide thoughts or behaviours group from healthy controls (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve: 0.80 child-report, 0.81 for parent-report) and clinical controls (0.71 child-report and 0.76-0.77 parent-report). However, we could not distinguish children with suicidal ideation from those who attempted suicide (AUROC: 0.55-0.58 child-report; 0.49-0.53 parent-report). The factors that differentiated the suicide thoughts or behaviours group from the clinical control group included family conflict, prodromal psychosis symptoms, impulsivity, depression severity and history of mental health treatment.

Conclusions: This work highlights that mostly clinical psychiatric factors were able to distinguish children with suicide thoughts or behaviours from children without suicide thoughts or behaviours. Future research is needed to determine if these variables prospectively predict subsequent suicidal behaviour.

Associations between social behaviors and experiences with neural correlates of implicit emotion regulation in middle childhood

Geckeler KC, Barch DM, Karcher NR. Associations between social behaviors and experiences with neural correlates of implicit emotion regulation in middle childhood. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2022 Feb 8. doi: 10.1038/s41386-022-01286-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35136189.

Emotion regulation is essential for successful social interactions and function, which are important aspects of middle childhood. The current study is one of the first to examine associations between neural correlates of implicit emotion regulation and indices of social behavior and experience during late middle childhood. We examined neural activation during the implicit emotion regulation condition of the Emotional N-back task using data from 8987 9- to 11-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ study. The brain regions assessed included areas linked to social cognition, social behavior, and emotion recognition, including the amygdala, insula, middle temporal gyrus, and inferior parietal lobe. Greater number of close friends was associated with significantly higher activation of the fusiform gyrus, insula, temporoparietal junction, inferior parietal lobe, and superior temporal gyrus during implicit emotion regulation. Greater reciprocal social impairments were linked to decreased fusiform gyrus activation during implicit emotion regulation. More experiences of discrimination were associated with a significantly lower activation in the middle temporal gyrus during implicit emotion regulation. This study provides evidence that both positive and negative indices of children’s social experiences and behaviors are associated with neural correlates of implicit emotion regulation during late middle childhood. These findings suggest that both positive and negative indices of social behavior and experience, including those within and not within the youth’s control, are associated with generally unique neural correlates during implicit emotion regulation.

Associations between potentially traumatic events and psychopathology among preadolescents in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study®

Thompson EL, Lever NA, Connors KM, Cloak CC, Reeves G, Chang L. Associations between potentially traumatic events and psychopathology among preadolescents in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study®. J Trauma Stress. 2022 Feb 8. doi: 10.1002/jts.22793. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35132700.

The current cross-sectional study aimed to extend the literature on childhood adversity by examining the unique associations between potentially traumatic events (PTEs) and a range of mental health concerns, including domain-specific versus comorbid concerns. Participants were 11,877 preadolescents (47.8% female, 15.0% Black, 20.3% Hispanic/Latinx, Mage = 9.5 years) taking part in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® . The Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia was used to measure PTEs and caregiver- and child-reported mental health concerns. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were used for the outcomes of interest. Overall, PTEs were consistently associated with increased odds of experiencing comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), internalizing disorders, and externalizing disorders, significant AORs = 1.34-4.30, after accounting for children’s experiences of other PTEs and polyvictimization. In contrast, PTEs were generally not associated with meeting the criteria for diagnoses within only one domain (i.e., internalizing-only or externalizing-only diagnoses). We also found PTEs to be differentially related to the various mental health outcomes. In particular, witnessing domestic violence was consistently associated with children’s psychopathology. Other PTEs, such as witnessing community violence, were not associated with children’s psychopathology in the final model. Associations between PTEs and mental health concerns did not differ as a function of sex. Overall, the results support the notion that PTEs are associated with comorbid concerns rather than individual disorders. These findings have important implications for the screening of PTEs, continued research on the conceptualization of traumatic stress, and the importance of accounting for comorbidities across mental health domains.

Parental Arrest and Child Behavior: Differential Role of Executive Functioning among Racial Subgroups

Johnson, E.I., Planalp, E.M. & Poehlmann-Tynan, J. Parental Arrest and Child Behavior: Differential Role of Executive Functioning among Racial Subgroups. J Child Fam Stud (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-022-02251-y

This study examines relations among parental arrest, child executive functioning (EF), and problem behaviors among youth who participated in the baseline assessment of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study (N = 11,875). Participants ranged in age from 9 to 10 (M = 9.91) years, and approximately half were girls (47.9%). Results of regression analyses that controlled for sociodemographic risk factors indicated that children who experienced parental arrest exhibited more internalizing and externalizing behaviors than comparison youth, particularly when their mother vs. father had been arrested. Results of analyses that were disaggregated by child race further revealed that EF appeared to play a differential role among White (n = 5851) and Black (n = 1451) children. Among White children, EF was associated with fewer internalizing and externalizing behaviors regardless of whether or not a parent had been arrested. Among Black children, low levels of EF were associated with more internalizing behaviors in the context of parental arrest vs. no arrest, but high levels of EF did not appear to confer benefits. EF was not significantly related to externalizing behaviors among Black children. Taken together, results suggest that parental arrests have adverse implications for child well-being that warrant continued theoretical and empirical attention. Findings also suggest that, although EF may be broadly beneficial among White children, there appear to be constraints on the extent to which high EF benefits Black children, a finding that is discussed through the lens of racial stratification and that has important implications for future theory, research, and practice.

Structural brain measures among children with and without ADHD in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study cohort: a cross-sectional US population-based study

Bernanke J, Luna A, Chang l, Bruno E, Dworkin J, Posner J (2022). Structural brain measures among children with and without ADHD in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study cohort: a cross-sectional US population-based study, The Lancet Psychiatry, Feb 7, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00505-8.

Background
Structural neuroimaging research has identified a variety of abnormalities in cortical and subcortical structures in children with ADHD. However, studies to date have not employed large, non-referred samples, complete with data on potential confounding variables. Here, we tested for differences in structural MRI measures among children with and without ADHD using data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, the largest paediatric brain imaging study in the USA.

Methods
In this cross-sectional study, we used baseline demographic, clinical, and neuroimaging data from the ABCD Study, which recruited children aged 9–10 years between Sept 1, 2016, and Aug 31, 2018, representative of the sociodemographic features of the US population. ADHD was diagnosed by parent report of symptoms. Neuroimaging data underwent centralised quality control and processing by the ABCD team. Linear mixed effects models were used to estimate Cohen’s d values associated with ADHD for 79 brain measures of cortical thickness, cortical area, and subcortical volume. We used a novel simulation strategy to assess the ability to detect significant effects despite potential diagnostic misclassification.

Findings
Our sample included 10 736 participants (5592 boys, 5139 girls; 5692 White, 2165 Hispanic, 1543 Black, 221 Asian, and 1100 of other race or ethnicity), of whom, 949 met the criteria for ADHD and 9787 did not. In the full model, which included potential confounding variables selected a priori, we found only 11 significant differences across the 79 brain measures after false discovery rate correction, all indicating reductions in brain measures among participants with ADHD. Cohen’s d values were small, ranging from −0·11 to −0·06, and were not meaningfully changed by using a more restrictive comparison group or alternative diagnostic methods. Simulations indicated adequate statistical power to detect differences even if there was substantial diagnostic misclassification.

Interpretation
In a sample representative of the general population, children aged 9–10 years with ADHD differed only modestly on structural brain measures from their unaffected peers. Future studies might need to incorporate other MRI modalities, novel statistical approaches, or alternative diagnostic classifications, particularly for research aimed at developing ADHD diagnostic biomarkers.

Discovery of genomic loci of the human cerebral cortex using genetically informed brain atlases

Makowski C, Van Der Meer D, Dong W, Wang H, Wu Y, Zou J, Liu C, Rosenthal SB, Hagler Jr., Fan CC, Kremen WS, Andreassen OA, Jernigan TL, Dale AM, Zhang K, Visscher PM, Yang J, Chen C. DJ. Discovery of genomic loci of the human cerebral cortex using genetically informed brain atlases. Science, Feb 3, 2022, Vol 375, Issue 6580, pp. 522-528, DOI: 10.1126/science.abe8457

To determine the impact of genetic variants on the brain, we used genetically informed brain atlases in genome-wide association studies of regional cortical surface area and thickness in 39,898 adults and 9136 children. We uncovered 440 genome-wide significant loci in the discovery cohort and 800 from a post hoc combined meta-analysis. Loci in adulthood were largely captured in childhood, showing signatures of negative selection, and were linked to early neurodevelopment and pathways associated with neuropsychiatric risk. Opposing gradations of decreased surface area and increased thickness were associated with common inversion polymorphisms. Inferior frontal regions, encompassing Broca’s area, which is important for speech, were enriched for human-specific genomic elements. Thus, a mixed genetic landscape of conserved and human-specific features is concordant with brain hierarchy and morphogenetic gradients.

Age-related changes and longitudinal stability of individual differences in ABCD Neurocognition measures

Anokhin AP, Luciana M, Banich M, Barch D, Bjork JM, Gonzalez MR, Gonzalez R, Haist F, Jacobus J, Lisdahl K, McGlade E, McCandliss B, Nagel B, Nixon SJ, Tapert S, Kennedy JT, Thompson W (2022). Age-related changes and longitudinal stability of individual differences in ABCD Neurocognition measures. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 54, April 2022, 101078

Temporal stability of individual differences is an important prerequisite for accurate tracking of prospective relationships between neurocognition and real-world behavioral outcomes such as substance abuse and psychopathology. Here we report age-related changes and longitudinal test-retest stability (TRS) for the Neurocognition battery of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which included the NIH Toolbox (TB) Cognitive Domain and additional memory and visuospatial processing tests administered at baseline (ages 9–11) and two-year follow-up. As expected, performance improved significantly with age, but the effect size varied broadly, with Pattern Comparison and the Crystallized Cognition Composite showing the largest age-related gain (Cohen’s d:.99 and.97, respectively). TRS ranged from fair (Flanker test: r = 0.44) to excellent (Crystallized Cognition Composite: r = 0.82). A comparison of longitudinal changes and cross-sectional age-related differences within baseline and follow-up assessments suggested that, for some measures, longitudinal changes may be confounded by practice effects and differences in task stimuli or procedure between baseline and follow-up. In conclusion, a subset of measures showed good stability of individual differences despite significant age-related changes, warranting their use as prospective predictors. However, caution is needed in the interpretation of observed longitudinal changes as indicators of neurocognitive development.

The role of school environment in brain structure, connectivity, and mental health in children – a multi-modal investigation

Rakesh D, Zalesky A, Whittle S. The role of school environment in brain structure, connectivity, and mental health in children – a multi-modal investigation. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2022 Feb 2:S2451-9022(22)00023-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.01.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35123109.

Background: Much work has been dedicated to understanding the effects of adverse home environments on brain development. While the school social and learning environment plays a role in child development, little work has been done to investigate the impact of the school environment on the developing brain. The goal of the present study was to examine associations between the school environment, brain structure and connectivity, and mental health.

Methods: In this preregistered study we investigated these questions in a large sample of adolescents (9-10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. We examined the association between school environment and gray (N = 10,435). and white matter (N= 10,770) structure and functional connectivity (N = 9,528). We then investigated multivariate relationships between school-associated brain measures and mental health.

Results: School environment was associated with connectivity of the auditory and retrosplenial temporal network as well as of higher-order cognitive networks like the cingulo-opercular, default mode, ventral attention, and frontoparietal networks. Multivariate analyses revealed that connectivity of cingulo-opercular and default mode networks were also associated with mental health.

Conclusions: Findings shed light on the neural mechanisms through which favorable school environments may contribute to positive mental health outcomes in children. Our findings have implications for interventions targeted at promoting positive youth functioning through improving school environments.

Spatio-Temporal Directed Acyclic Graph Learning with Attention Mechanisms on Brain Functional Time Series and Connectivity

Huang S-G, Xia J, Xu L, Qiu A. (2022). Spatio-Temporal Directed Acyclic Graph Learning with Attention Mechanisms on Brain Functional Time Series and Connectivity. Medical Image Analysis, Volume 77, April 2022, 102370.

We develop a deep learning framework, spatio-temporal directed acyclic graph with attention mechanisms (ST-DAG-Att), to predict cognition and disease using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This ST-DAG-Att framework comprises of two neural networks, 1) spatio-temporal graph convolutional network (ST-graph-conv) to learn the spatial and temporal information of functional time series at multiple temporal and spatial graph scales, where the graph is represented by the brain functional network, the spatial convolution is over the space of this graph, and the temporal convolution is over the time dimension; 2) functional connectivity convolutional network (FC-conv) to learn functional connectivity features, where the functional connectivity is derived from embedded multi-scale fMRI time series and the convolutional operation is applied along both edge and node dimensions of the brain functional network. This framework also consists of an attention component, i.e., functional connectivity-based spatial attention (FC-SAtt), that generates a spatial attention map through learning the local dependency among high-level features of functional connectivity and emphasizing meaningful brain regions. Moreover, both the ST-graph-conv and FC-conv networks are designed as feed-forward models structured as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs). Our experiments employ two large-scale datasets, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD, n=7693) and Open Access Series of Imaging Study-3 (OASIS-3, n=1786). Our results show that the ST-DAG-Att model is generalizable from cognition prediction to age prediction. It is robust to independent samples obtained from different sites of the ABCD study. It outperforms the existing machine learning techniques, including support vector regression (SVR), elastic net’s mixture with random forest, spatio-temporal graph convolution, and BrainNetCNN.

Erratum to: Morphology of the prefrontal cortex predicts body composition in early adolescence: cognitive mediators and environmental moderators in the ABCD Study

Hall PA, Best JR, Beaton EA, Sakib MN, Danckert J. Erratum to: Morphology of the prefrontal cortex predicts body composition in early adolescence: cognitive mediators and environmental moderators in the ABCD Study. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2022 Jan 29:nsac002. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsac002. Epub ahead of print. Erratum for: Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2021 Sep 02;: PMID: 35104344.

Associations among Household and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantages, Resting-state Frontoamygdala Connectivity, and Internalizing Symptoms in Youth

Ip KI, Sisk LM, Horien C, Conley MI, Rapuano KM, Rosenberg MD, Greene AS, Scheinost D, Constable RT, Casey BJ, Baskin-Sommers A, Gee DG. Associations among Household and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantages, Resting-state Frontoamygdala Connectivity, and Internalizing Symptoms in Youth. J Cogn Neurosci. 2022 Jan 28:1-32. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01826. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35104356.

Exposure to socioeconomic disadvantages (SED) can have negative impacts on mental health, yet SED are a multifaceted construct and the precise processes by which SED confer deleterious effects are less clear. Using a large and diverse sample of preadolescents (ages 9-10 years at baseline, n = 4038, 49% female) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, we examined associations among SED at both household (i.e., income-needs and material hardship) and neighborhood (i.e., area deprivation and neighborhood unsafety) levels, frontoamygdala resting-state functional connectivity, and internalizing symptoms at baseline and 1-year follow-up. SED were positively associated with internalizing symptoms at baseline and indirectly predicted symptoms 1 year later through elevated symptoms at baseline. At the household level, youth in households characterized by higher disadvantage (i.e., lower income-to-needs ratio) exhibited more strongly negative frontoamygdala coupling, particularly between the bilateral amygdala and medial OFC (mOFC) regions within the frontoparietal network. Although more strongly positive amygdala-mOFC coupling was associated with higher levels of internalizing symptoms at baseline and 1-year follow-up, it did not mediate the association between income-to-needs ratio and internalizing symptoms. However, at the neighborhood level, amygdala-mOFC functional coupling moderated the effect of neighborhood deprivation on internalizing symptoms. Specifically, higher neighborhood deprivation was associated with higher internalizing symptoms for youth with more strongly positive connectivity, but not for youth with more strongly negative connectivity, suggesting a potential buffering effect. Findings highlight the importance of capturing multilevel socioecological contexts in which youth develop to identify youth who are most likely to benefit from early interventions.

Birth Weight and Childhood Psychopathology in the ABCD Cohort: Association is Strongest for Attention Problems and is Moderated by Sex

Dooley N, Clarke M, Cotter D, Cannon M. Birth Weight and Childhood Psychopathology in the ABCD Cohort: Association is Strongest for Attention Problems and is Moderated by Sex. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol. 2022 Jan 24. doi: 10.1007/s10802-021-00859-0. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35072847.

Many studies have shown low birth weight is associated with psychopathology later in life, particularly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The association is well-replicated, independent from a variety of potential familial confounds, and follows a dose-response curve (decreasing birth weight linked with increasing odds of disorder). However, the specificity of the association to attention problems is called into question by the extent of comorbidity in ADHD, and recent findings that the association is stronger for autism than ADHD. We test the relative dose-response strength of birth weight on multiple aspects of behavior to explore specificity of the effect to attention problems. We also test recent suggestions that the association between birth weight and attention problems is driven by males. Our sample consisted of 9,076 children aged 9-10 from the United States (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study). Outcomes included 9 problem-scales and the total problems scale from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Attention problems were the most strongly associated with birth weight after controlling for gestational age, potential familial confounds, and multiple testing, supporting the outcome-specificity of this association. Contrary to recent registry-based findings, an association between birth weight and an autism scale was not observed. Sex moderated the effect of birth weight on total problems, attention problems and aggressive behavior such that these inverse associations were strongly driven by males. Our findings have strong implications for sex-specific prediction and etiological models of childhood psychopathology.

Socioeconomic status, BMI, and brain development in children

Dennis E, Manza P, Volkow ND. Socioeconomic status, BMI, and brain development in children. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 24;12(1):33. doi: 10.1038/s41398-022-01779-3. PMID: 35075111.

Low socioeconomic status (SES) in childhood is associated with deficits in executive function and changes in cortical morphology. Furthermore, rates of childhood obesity are greater among low SES children and childhood obesity is also associated with cortical alterations and impaired neurocognition, specifically in the domain of executive function. To investigate the influence of BMI on the relationships between SES and both neurocognition and brain morphology, we used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study to construct multiple linear regression models and conduct mediation analyses. Overall, SES as measured by household income, highest level of parental education, and area deprivation, was associated with lower BMI, greater total and prefrontal cortical volume, and better performance on assessments of executive function. Mediation analysis indicated that BMI had a significant indirect effect on associations between area deprivation and both total and prefrontal cortical volumes. BMI also played a mediating role in the associations between area deprivation and composite neurocognitive scores, which were driven by performance on tasks of working memory and cognitive flexibility, but not cognitive control. These findings suggest that BMI should be considered in future studies investigating the relationship between low SES and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Stability of polygenic scores across discovery genome-wide association studies

Schultz LM, Merikangas AK, Ruparel K, Jacquemont S, Glahn DC, Gur RE, Barzilay R, Almasy L. Stability of polygenic scores across discovery genome-wide association studies. HGG Adv. 2022 Jan 21;3(2):100091. doi: 10.1016/j.xhgg.2022.100091. PMID: 35199043; PMCID: PMC8841810.

Polygenic scores (PGS) are commonly evaluated in terms of their predictive accuracy at the population level by the proportion of phenotypic variance they explain. To be useful for precision medicine applications, they also need to be evaluated at the individual level when phenotypes are not necessarily already known. We investigated the stability of PGS in European American (EUR) and African American (AFR)-ancestry individuals from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort and the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study using different discovery genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and height. We found that pairs of EUR-ancestry GWAS for the same trait had genetic correlations >0.92. However, PGS calculated from pairs of same-ancestry and different-ancestry GWAS had correlations that ranged from <0.01 to 0.74. PGS stability was greater for height than for PTSD or T2D. A series of height GWAS in the UK Biobank suggested that correlation between PGS is strongly dependent on the extent of sample overlap between the discovery GWAS. Focusing on the upper end of the PGS distribution, different discovery GWAS do not consistently identify the same individuals in the upper quantiles, with the best case being 60% of individuals above the 80th percentile of PGS overlapping from one height GWAS to another. The degree of overlap decreases sharply as higher quantiles, less heritable traits, and different-ancestry GWAS are considered. PGS computed from different discovery GWAS have only modest correlation at the individual level, underscoring the need to proceed cautiously with integrating PGS into precision medicine applications.

Psychiatric comorbidity associated with weight status in 9 to 10 year old children

Smith KE, Mason TB. Psychiatric comorbidity associated with weight status in 9 to 10 year old children. Pediatr Obes. 2022 Jan 19:e12883. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12883. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35048539.

Background: Paediatric overweight and obesity (OW/OB) constitute a serious public health concern. Given that psychological problems may be key contributors to the onset and maintenance of paediatric obesity, the present study examined past and current psychiatric comorbidities across the weight spectrum during middle childhood among a nationally representative sample.

Methods: Participants were 11 708 9- to 10-year-old children (31.6% with OW/OB) and their caregivers who participated in the first wave of data collection in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Logistic regressions were used to examine the association between weight status (i.e., underweight, healthy weight, OW, OB) and likelihood of current/past psychiatric diagnoses.

Results: Compared to healthy weight children, those with OW/OB were more likely to have current/past major depressive disorder and binge eating disorder. Relative to healthy weight children, those with OB were more likely to have prior separation anxiety disorder, current specific phobia and oppositional defiant disorder; those with OW were more likely to have PTSD; and those with underweight were more likely to have ADHD.

Conclusions: Results suggest cross-sectional associations among negative emotionality, binge eating, and OW/OB, and highlight the need for ongoing prospective research to investigate directionality of associations and mechanisms of effects.

Transforming the Future of Adolescent Health: Opportunities From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Hoffman EA, LeBlanc K, Weiss SRB, Dowling GJ. Transforming the Future of Adolescent Health: Opportunities From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol 70, Issue 2, P186-188, February 01, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.11.008

Adolescence is a period of dramatic expansion of the knowledge and skills critical for transitioning into adulthood. Yet, there is much to learn about how adolescent experiences affect brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Over the last decade, evidence has revealed associations between early life adversity (e.g., poverty) and later changes in brain structure and function. More recently, research has shown that positive factors (e.g., perceived social supports, increased access to community resources) are associated with healthier development, even for children living in deep poverty, suggesting that protective factors may mitigate the possible negative influences of adverse experiences on health and development . Looking into the next decade, important forces (e.g., digital media, racial inequities, climate change, long-term impacts of COVID-19) will affect adolescent health and well-being globally. Our imperative is to harness advances in science and technology to develop strategies that will enhance health and promote equity.

Conclusion: The diversity of the ABCD cohort, the breadth of data collected, and the longitudinal design of ABCD will provide opportunities for investigating the interplay of environments and experiences with long-term health outcomes. These data have the potential to facilitate the development of strategies for enhancing adolescent health and equity for generations to come.

Motor abnormalities, depression risk, and clinical course in adolescence

Damme KSF, Park JS, Vargas T, Walther S, Shankman SA, Mittal VA. Motor abnormalities, depression risk, and clinical course in adolescence, Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science, Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2022, Pages 61-69, ISSN 2667-1743, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.06.011.

Background
Motor abnormalities, such as psychomotor agitation and retardation, are widely recognized as core features of depression. However, it is not currently known if motor abnormalities connote risk for depression.

Methods
Using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a nationally representative sample of youth (n=10,835, 9–11 years old), the present paper examines whether motor abnormalities are associated with (a) depression symptoms in early adolescence, (b) familial risk for depression (familial risk loading), and (c) future depression symptoms. Motor abnormalities measures included traditional (DSM) motor signs such as psychomotor agitation and retardation as well as other motor domains such as developmental motor delays and dyscoordination.

Results
Traditional motor abnormalities were less prevalent (agitation=3.2%, retardation=0.3%) than non-traditional domains (delays=13.79%, coordination=35.5%) among adolescents. Motor dysfunction was associated with depression symptoms (Cohen’s ds=0.02 to 0.12). Familial risk for depression was related to motor abnormalities (Cohen’s ds=0.08 to 0.27), with the exception of motor retardation. Family vulnerability varied in sensitivity to depression risk (e.g., retardation: .53%; dyscoordination: 32.05%). Baseline endorsement of motor abnormalities predicted future depression symptoms at one-year follow-up.

Conclusions
These findings suggest that motor signs reflect a novel, promising future direction for examining vulnerability to depression risk in early adolescence.

Functional connectome mediates the association between sleep disturbance and mental health in preadolescence: A longitudinal mediation study

Yang FN, Liu TT, Wang Z. Functional connectome mediates the association between sleep disturbance and mental health in preadolescence: A longitudinal mediation study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2022 Jan 18. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25772. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35040524.

Sleep disturbance is known to be associated with various mental disorders and often precedes the onset of mental disorders in youth. Given the increasingly acknowledged bidirectional influence between sleep disturbance and mental disorders, we aim to identify a shared neural mechanism that underlies sleep disturbance and mental disorders in preadolescents. We analyzed a dataset of 9,350 9-10 year-old children, among whom 8,845 had 1-year follow-up data, from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Linear mixed-effects models, mediation analysis, and longitudinal mediation analysis were used to investigate the relationship between sleep disturbance, mental disorders, and resting-state network connectivity. Out of 186 unique connectivities, the effect of total sleep disturbance (TSP, from Sleep Disturbance Scale) and mental problems (MP, from Child Behavior Checklist) converged in the default mode network (DMN) and the dorsal attention network (DAN). Within- and between-network connectivities (DMN-DAN, DMN-DMN, DAN-DAN) mediated the relationship between baseline TSD and MP at 1-year follow-up and the relationship between baseline MP and TSD at 1-year follow-up. The pathway model in which sleep disturbance and mental problems affect each other through two anticorrelated brain networks (DMN and DAN) suggests a common neural mechanism between them. Longitudinally, a less segregated DMN and DAN is associated with negative outcomes on mental well-being and sleep disturbance a year later. These findings have important implications for the design of prevention and neurofeedback intervention for mental disorders and sleep problems.

Decoupling sleep and brain size in childhood: An investigation of genetic covariation in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®

Hernandez LM, Kim M, Hernandez C, Thompson W, Fan CC, Galván A, Dapretto M, Bookheimer SY, Fuligni A, Gandal M (In Press, 2022). Decoupling sleep and brain size in childhood: An investigation of genetic covariation in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®. Biological Psychiatry, January 17, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.12.011

Background
Childhood sleep problems are common and among the most frequent and impairing comorbidities of childhood psychiatric disorders. In adults, sleep disturbances are heritable and show strong genetic associations with brain morphology; however, little is known about the genetic architecture of childhood sleep and potential etiological links between sleep, brain development, and pediatric-onset psychiatric symptoms.

Methods
Using data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study (NPhenotype=4,428 for discovery/replication, NGenetics=4,728, age: 9-10), we assessed phenotypic relationships, heritability, and genetic correlation between childhood sleep disturbances (SDs: insomnia, arousal, breathing, somnolence, hyperhidrosis, sleep-wake transitions), brain size (surface area [SA], cortical thickness, volume), and dimensional psychopathology.

Results
SDs showed widespread positive associations with multiple domains of childhood psychopathology; however, only insomnia showed replicable associations with smaller brain SA. Among the SDs assessed, only insomnia showed significant SNP-based heritability (h2SNP=0.15, p<0.05), and showed substantial genetic correlations with externalizing and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology (rG’s>0.80, p’s<0.05). We find no evidence of genetic correlation between childhood insomnia and brain size. Furthermore, polygenic risk scores (PRS) calculated from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of adult insomnia and adult brain size did not predict childhood insomnia; instead, PRS trained using ADHD GWAS predicted decreased SA at baseline, as well as insomnia and externalizing symptoms longitudinally.

Conclusions
Findings demonstrate a distinct genetic architecture underlying childhood insomnia and brain size and suggest genetic overlap between childhood insomnia and ADHD symptomatology. Additional research is needed to examine how genetic risk manifests in altered developmental trajectories and comorbid sleep/psychiatric symptoms across adolescence.

Associations between cognition and polygenic liability to substance involvement in middle childhood: Results from the ABCD study

Paul SE, Hatoum AS, Barch DM, Thompson WK, Agrawal A, Bogdan R, Johnson EC (2022). Associations between cognition and polygenic liability to substance involvement in middle childhood: Results from the ABCD study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 232, 1 March 2022, 109277, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109277.

Background
Cognition is robustly associated with substance involvement. This relationship is attributable to multiple factors, including genetics, though such contributions show inconsistent patterns in the literature. For instance, genome-wide association studies point to potential positive relationships between educational achievement and common substance use but negative relationships with heavy and/or problematic substance use.

Methods
We estimated associations between polygenic risk for substance involvement (i.e., alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use and problematic use) and cognition subfacets (i.e., general ability, executive function, learning/memory) derived from confirmatory factor analysis among 3205 substance naïve children (ages 9–10) of European ancestry who completed the baseline session of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

Findings
Polygenic risk for lifetime cannabis use was positively associated with all three facets of cognitive ability (Bs ≥ 0.045, qs ≤ 0.044). No other substance polygenic risk scores showed significant associations with cognition after adjustment for multiple testing (|Bs|≤0.033, qs ≥ 0.118).

Conclusions
Polygenic liability to lifetime cannabis use, but not use disorder, was positively associated with cognitive performance among substance-naïve children, possibly reflecting shared genetic overlap with openness to experience or the influence of genetic variance associated with socioeconomic status. Our lack of findings for the other polygenic scores may reflect ascertainment differences between the genome-wide association study (GWAS) samples and the current sample and/or the young age of the present sample. As longitudinal data in ABCD are collected, this sample may be useful for disentangling putatively causal or predispositional influences of substance use and misuse on cognition.

The ABCD Study: Brain Heterogeneity in Intelligence During a Neurodevelopmental Transition Stage

Zhao Q, Voon V, Zhang L, Shen C, Zhang J, Feng J. The ABCD Study: Brain Heterogeneity in Intelligence During a Neurodevelopmental Transition Stage. Cereb Cortex. 2022 Jan 15:bhab403. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab403. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35037940.

A complex curvilinear relationship exists between intelligence and age during the neurodevelopment of cortical thickness. To parse out a more fine-grained relationship between intelligence and cortical thickness and surface area, we used a large-scale data set focusing on a critical transition juncture in neurodevelopment in preadolescence. Cortical thickness was derived from T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images of a large sample of 9- and 11-year-old children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. The NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery composite scores, which included fluid, crystallized, and total scores, were used to assess intelligence. Using a double generalized linear model, we assessed the independent association between the mean and dispersion of cortical thickness/surface area and intelligence. Higher intelligence in preadolescents was associated with higher mean cortical thickness in orbitofrontal and primary sensory cortices but with lower thickness in the dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex and particularly in the rostral anterior cingulate. The rostral anterior cingulate findings were particularly evident across all subscales of intelligence. Higher intelligence was also associated with greater interindividual similarity in the rostral cingulate. Intelligence during this key transition juncture in preadolescence appears to reflect a dissociation between the cortical development of basic cognitive processes and higher-order executive and motivational processes.

General Psychopathology, Cognition, and the Cerebral Cortex in 10-Year-Old Children: Insights From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Patel Y, Parker N, Salum GA, Pausova Z, Paus T. General Psychopathology, Cognition, and the Cerebral Cortex in 10-Year-Old Children: Insights From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 Jan 13;15:781554. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.781554. PMID: 35145385; PMCID: PMC8823367.

General psychopathology and cognition are likely to have a bidirectional influence on each other. Yet, the relationship between brain structure, psychopathology, and cognition remains unclear. This brief report investigates the association between structural properties of the cerebral cortex [surface area, cortical thickness, intracortical myelination indexed by the T1w/T2w ratio, and neurite density assessed by restriction spectrum imaging (RSI)] with general psychopathology and cognition in a sample of children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Higher levels of psychopathology and lower levels of cognitive ability were associated with a smaller cortical surface area. Inter-regionally-across the cerebral cortex-the strength of association between an area and psychopathology is strongly correlated with the strength of association between an area and cognition. Taken together, structural deviations particularly observed in the cortical surface area influence both psychopathology and cognition.

Corrigendum to “Microstructural development from 9 to 14 years: Evidence from the ABCD Study”

Palmer CE, Pecheva D, Iversen JR, Hagler DJ Jr, Sugrue L, Nedelec P, Fan CC, Thompson WK, Jernigan TL, Dale AM. Corrigendum to “Microstructural development from 9 to 14 years: Evidence from the ABCD Study” [Dev. Cognit. Neurosci. 53 (2022) 101044]. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2022 Jan 13:101063. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101063. Epub ahead of print. Erratum for: Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Dec 3;53:101044. PMID: 35034850.

Parental psychological problems were associated with higher screen time and the use of mature-rated media in children

Pulkki-Raback L, Barnes JD, Elovainio M, Hakulinen C, Sourander A, Tremblay MS, Guerrero MD. Parental psychological problems were associated with higher screen time and the use of mature-rated media in children. Acta Paediatr. 2022 Jan 12. doi: 10.1111/apa.16253. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35023210.

Aim: Parents’ psychological problems may affect children’s screen time, but research has been scarce. We examined the association between parental psychological problems and children’s screen media behaviours in a nationally representative sample.

Methods: The participants were from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, recruited by probability sampling from the USA population. Children reported their use of TV, videos, video games, social media, and mature-rated media. The parents (85% mothers) reported psychological problems using the Adult Self-Report questionnaire.

Results: In 10,650 children (5,112 girls, 5,538 boys) aged 9.9±0.6 years, presence of parental psychological problems was associated with children spending more daily time on screen media and with meeting the recommendation of ≤2 daily hours less often than children whose parents did not have psychological problems. Parental psychological problems were associated with children’s TV watching, video watching and gaming but not with using social media. Parental internalising problems were associated with children watching mature-rated movies (odds ratio [OR] =1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.00, 1.30) and playing mature-rated games (OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.11, 1.45).

Conclusion: Presence of parental psychological problems is associated with higher screen time and use of mature-rated media in children. This cross-sectional study was not able to examine causal associations.

Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity among adolescents in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Dooley EE, Iyer P, Ganson KT, Gabriel KP (2022). Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity among adolescents in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventive Medicine Reports, Volume 25, February 2022, 101685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101685

This study aimed to evaluate adolescents’ moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) during the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to sociodemographic characteristics and determine mental health and resiliency factors associated with MVPA among a diverse national sample of adolescents ages 10–14 years. Data were collected during the pandemic in May 2020 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD, N = 5,153), a national prospective cohort study in the U.S. MVPA was quantified as the product of reported duration and frequency (hours per week), which was further summarized as the proportion meeting age-appropriate 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. A similar estimate was generated using MVPA data collected prior to the pandemic. Mental health and resiliency measures were collected during the pandemic. Regression models examined associations between mental health or resiliency measures and MVPA during the pandemic. Median MVPA was 2 h per week (IQR 0, 6). Overall, the percentage of the cohort meeting MVPA guidelines decreased from 16.1% (pre-pandemic) to 8.9% (during the pandemic). Racial/ethnic minority adolescents and adolescents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were significantly less likely to meet MVPA guidelines during the pandemic. Poorer mental health, COVID-related worry, and stress were associated with lower MVPA, while more social support and coping behaviors were associated with higher MVPA during the pandemic. In this large, national sample of adolescents, the proportion of those meeting MVPA Guidelines was lower during the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Interventions to promote social support and coping behaviors may improve MVPA levels among adolescents during the pandemic.

Measurement of Gender and Sexuality in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Alexandra S. Potter, Sarahjane L. Dube, Lisa C. Barrios, Susan Bookheimer, Abigail Espinoza, Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Edward G. Freedman, Elizabeth A. Hoffman, Masha Ivanova, Hailee Jefferys, Erin C. McGlade, Susan F. Tapert, Michelle M Johns (2022). Measurement of Gender and Sexuality in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 53, February 2022, 101057, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2022.101057.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) study is a longitudinal study of adolescent brain development and health that includes over 11,800 youth in the United States. The ABCD study includes broad developmental domains, and gender and sexuality are two of these with noted changes across late childhood and early adolescence. The Gender Identity and Sexual Health (GISH) workgroup recommends measures of gender and sexuality for the ABCD study, prioritizing those that are developmentally sensitive, capture individual differences in the experience of gender and sexuality, and minimize participant burden. This manuscript describes the gender and sexuality measures used in ABCD and provides guidance for researchers using these data. Data showing the utility of these measures and longitudinal trends are presented. Including assessment of gender and sexuality in ABCD allows for characterization of developmental trajectories of gender and sexuality, and the broad scope of ABCD data collection allows examination of identity development in an intersectional manner.

Adolescent Verbal Memory as a Psychosis Endophenotype: A Genome-Wide Association Study in an Ancestrally Diverse Sample

Wang B, Giannakopoulou O, Austin-Zimmerman I, Irizar H, Harju-Seppänen J, Zartaloudi E, Bhat A, McQuillin A, Kuchenbäcker K, Bramon E. Adolescent Verbal Memory as a Psychosis Endophenotype: A Genome-Wide Association Study in an Ancestrally Diverse Sample. Genes (Basel). 2022 Jan 3;13(1):106. doi: 10.3390/genes13010106. PMID: 35052446.

Verbal memory impairment is one of the most prominent cognitive deficits in psychosis. However, few studies have investigated the genetic basis of verbal memory in a neurodevelopmental context, and most genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been conducted in European-ancestry populations. We conducted a GWAS on verbal memory in a maximum of 11,017 participants aged 8.9 to 11.1 years in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study®, recruited from a diverse population in the United States. Verbal memory was assessed by the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, which included three measures of verbal memory: immediate recall, short-delay recall, and long-delay recall. We adopted a mixed-model approach to perform a joint GWAS of all participants, adjusting for ancestral background and familial relatedness. The inclusion of participants from all ancestries increased the power of the GWAS. Two novel genome-wide significant associations were found for short-delay and long-delay recall verbal memory. In particular, one locus (rs9896243) associated with long-delay recall was mapped to the NSF (N-Ethylmaleimide Sensitive Factor, Vesicle Fusing ATPase) gene, indicating the role of membrane fusion in adolescent verbal memory. Based on the GWAS in the European subset, we estimated the SNP-heritability to be 15% to 29% for the three verbal memory traits. We found that verbal memory was genetically correlated with schizophrenia, providing further evidence supporting verbal memory as an endophenotype for psychosis.

Association of maternal diabetes with offspring childhood hypothalamic gliosis

Olerich, K., Sewaybricker, L., Chandrasekaran, S., Melhorn, S., Kee, S., & Schur, E. A. (2022). Association of maternal diabetes with offspring childhood hypothalamic gliosis. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 226(1), S157-S158.

Objective
Maternal diabetes (MDM) during pregnancy affects the future metabolic health of the offspring. One possible mechanism by which MDM could enduringly impact offspring health is via an effect on the fetal brain. Specifically, we hypothesize that in utero exposure to MDM contributes to long-term alterations in offspring brain microstructure, through an inflammatory process called gliosis, within the energy regulatory centers of the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). MBH gliosis, quantifiable by MRI, is associated with increased adiposity and insulin resistance in children and adults.

Study Design
This is an ancillary analysis of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study of child brain development and health. Children (9-11y) with brain MRIs and a completed maternal pregnancy survey were included. The presence of MDM, during the child’s gestation, was our exposure. Using MRI analytic software, regions of interest were placed in the MBH and reference brain regions. Evidence of MBH gliosis was based on higher T2-signal ratios in the MBH compared to amygdala (MBH/AMY; outcome). Putamen (PUT)/AMY and MBH/PUT were negative and positive control ratios, respectively. Statistical testing was by linear mixed model, adjusted for child age, sex, ethnicity, BMI and study site.

Results
Our analysis included 273 children: 224 MDM-unexposed and 49 MDM-exposed. MDM-exposed children had higher birth weights, BMI z-scores and waist-height ratios (Table 1). Mean MBH/AMY T2-signal ratios were significantly higher in the MDM-exposed children, compared to unexposed, consistent with MBH gliosis (Fig. 1). A region-ratio*MDM-group interaction was significant (chi2(2): 6.13, p=0.046). Post hoc testing confirmed that mean MBH/AMY T2-signal ratios were significantly higher in the MDM-exposed children, compared to unexposed, as were positive, but not negative, control ratios (Fig 1).

Conclusion
MDM-exposed children display greater evidence of MBH gliosis. The association between MDM and offspring MBH gliosis represents one pathway by which the in utero environment may influence the long-term metabolic health of the offspring.

2021
The Emotional Word-Emotional Face Stroop task in the ABCD study: Psychometric validation and associations with measures of cognition and psychopathology

Smolker HR, Wang K, Luciana M, Bjork JM, Gonzalez R, Barch DM, McGlade EC, Kaiser RH, Friedman NP, Hewitt JK, Banich MT. The Emotional Word-Emotional Face Stroop task in the ABCD study: Psychometric validation and associations with measures of cognition and psychopathology. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Dec 21;53:101054. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101054. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34954668.

Characterizing the interactions among attention, cognitive control, and emotion during adolescence may provide important insights into why this critical developmental period coincides with a dramatic increase in risk for psychopathology. However, it has proven challenging to develop a single neurobehavioral task that simultaneously engages and differentially measures these diverse domains. In the current study, we describe properties of performance on the Emotional Word-Emotional Face Stroop (EWEFS) task in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, a task that allows researchers to concurrently measure processing speed/attentional vigilance (i.e., performance on congruent trials), inhibitory control (i.e., Stroop interference effect), and emotional information processing (i.e., difference in performance on trials with happy as compared to angry distracting faces). We first demonstrate that the task manipulations worked as designed and that Stroop performance is associated with multiple cognitive constructs derived from different measures at a prior time point. We then show that Stroop metrics tapping these three domains are preferentially associated with aspects of externalizing psychopathology and inattention. These results highlight the potential of the EWEFS task to help elucidate the longitudinal dynamics of attention, inhibitory control, and emotion across adolescent development, dynamics which may be altered by level of psychopathology.

Impact of COVID-19 on Youth With ADHD: Predictors and Moderators of Response to Pandemic Restrictions on Daily Life

Rosenthal E, Franklin-Gillette S, Jung HJ, Nelson A, Evans SW, Power TJ, Yerys BE, Dever BV, Reckner E, DuPaul GJ. Impact of COVID-19 on Youth With ADHD: Predictors and Moderators of Response to Pandemic Restrictions on Daily Life. J Atten Disord. 2021 Dec 17:10870547211063641. doi: 10.1177/10870547211063641. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34920689.

We examined COVID-19 symptoms and infection rates, disruptions to functioning, and moderators of pandemic response for 620 youth with ADHD and 614 individually matched controls (70% male; Mage = 12.4) participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. There were no group differences in COVID-19 infection rate; however, youth with ADHD were more likely to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (d = 0.25), greater sleep problems (d = -0.52), fear and negative emotions to infection risk (d = -0.56), trouble with remote learning (d = -0.54), rule-breaking behavior related to COVID-19 restrictions (d = -0.23), family conflict (d = -0.13), and were less prepared for the next school year (d = 0.38). Youth with ADHD were less responsive to protective environmental variables (e.g., parental monitoring, school engagement) during the pandemic and may need more specialized support with return to in-person schooling and daily activities.

One-year predictions of delayed reward discounting in the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Owens, M. M., Hahn, S., Allgaier, N., MacKillop, J., Albaugh, M., Yuan, D., Juliano, A., Potter, A., & Garavan, H. (2021). One-year predictions of delayed reward discounting in the adolescent brain cognitive development study. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000532

Delayed reward discounting (DRD) refers to the extent to which an individual devalues a reward based on a temporal delay and is known to be elevated in individuals with substance use disorders and many mental illnesses. DRD has been linked previously with both features of brain structure and function, as well as various behavioral, psychological, and life-history factors. However, there has been little work on the neurobiological and behavioral antecedents of DRD in childhood. This is an important question, as understanding the antecedents of DRD can provide signs of mechanisms in the development of psychopathology. The present study used baseline data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (N = 4,042) to build machine learning models to predict DRD at the first follow-up visit, 1 year later. In separate machine learning models, we tested elastic net regression, random forest regression, light gradient boosting regression, and support vector regression. In five-fold cross-validation on the training set, models using an array of questionnaire/task variables were able to predict DRD, with these findings generalizing to a held-out (i.e., “lockbox”) test set of 20% of the sample. Key predictive variables were neuropsychological test performance at baseline, socioeconomic status, screen media activity, psychopathology, parenting, and personality. However, models using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived brain variables did not reliably predict DRD in either the cross-validation or held-out test set. These results suggest a combination of questionnaire/task variables as antecedents of excessive DRD in late childhood, which may presage the development of problematic substance use in adolescence.

Parent-adolescent discrepancies in adolescent recreational screen time reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Iyer P, Ganson KT, Chu J, Conroy AA. Parent-adolescent discrepancies in adolescent recreational screen time reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acad Pediatr. 2021 Dec 16:S1876-2859(21)00623-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.12.008. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34923146.

Objective: To describe the relationship between parent and adolescent reports of adolescent recreational screen time and to determine sociodemographic predictors of recreational screen time reporting differences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD, N=5,335, ages 10-14) a national prospective cohort study in the US collected in May 2020. We compared parent-reported, adolescent-reported, and a parent-adolescent differences in recreational screen time hours per day across five screen categories.

Results: Adolescents’ total recreational screen time per day was reported as 4.46 hours by parents and 3.87 hours by adolescents. Parents reported higher levels of their child’s texting, video chatting, and total recreational screen time, while adolescents reported higher multi-player gaming and social media use. Larger discrepancies in total recreational screen time were found in older, Black, and Latino/Hispanic adolescents. Larger discrepancies in total recreational screen time were also found among unmarried/unpartnered parents.

Conclusions: Given discrepancies in parent-adolescent recreational screen time reporting during the pandemic, a period of high screen use, pediatricians should encourage family discussions about adolescent media use through the development of a Family Media Use Plan. The digital media industry could provide more opportunities for parental monitoring of recreational screen time within product designs.

Longitudinal Impact of Childhood Adversity on Early Adolescent Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the ABCD Study® Cohort: Does Race or Ethnicity Moderate Findings?

Stinson EA, Sullivan RM, Peteet BJ, Tapert SF, Baker FC, Breslin FJ, Dick AS, Gonzalez MR, Guillaume M, Marshall AT, McCabe CJ, Pelham WE 3rd, Van Rinsveld AM, Sheth CS, Sowell ER, Wade NE, Wallace AL, Lisdahl KM (2021). Longitudinal Impact of Childhood Adversity on Early Adolescent Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the ABCD Study® Cohort: Does Race or Ethnicity Moderate Findings?, Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science, Volume 1, Issue 4, December 2021, Pages 324-335, ISSN 2667-1743. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.08.007.

Background
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, mental health among youth has been negatively affected. Youth with a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as well as youth from minoritized racial-ethnic backgrounds, may be especially vulnerable to experiencing COVID-19–related distress. The aims of this study are to examine whether exposure to pre-pandemic ACEs predicts mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in youth and whether racial-ethnic background moderates these effects.

Methods
From May to August 2020, 7983 youths (mean age, 12.5 years; range, 10.6–14.6 years) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study completed at least one of three online surveys measuring the impact of the pandemic on their mental health. Data were evaluated in relation to youths’ pre-pandemic mental health and ACEs.

Results
Pre-pandemic ACE history significantly predicted poorer mental health across all outcomes and greater COVID-19–related stress and impact of fears on well-being. Youths reported improved mental health during the pandemic (from May to August 2020). While reporting similar levels of mental health, youths from minoritized racial-ethnic backgrounds had elevated COVID-19–related worry, stress, and impact on well-being. Race and ethnicity generally did not moderate ACE effects. Older youths, girls, and those with greater pre-pandemic internalizing symptoms also reported greater mental health symptoms.

Conclusions
Youths who experienced greater childhood adversity reported greater negative affect and COVID-19–related distress during the pandemic. Although they reported generally better mood, Asian American, Black, and multiracial youths reported greater COVID-19–related distress and experienced COVID-19–related discrimination compared with non-Hispanic White youths, highlighting potential health disparities.

Prevalence, predictors, and treatment of eating disorders in children: A national study

Sanzari, C., Levin, R., & Liu, R. (2021). Prevalence, predictors, and treatment of eating disorders in children: A national study. Psychological Medicine, 1-8. doi:10.1017/S0033291721004992\

Background
Although the prevalence rates of preadolescent eating disorders (EDs) are on the rise, considerably less is known about the correlates and treatment of EDs in this age group. Clarifying the epidemiology of EDs in preadolescent children is a necessary first step to understand the nature and scope of this problem in this age group.

Methods
Analysis of data collected in the ABCD Study release 2.0.1. The ABCD cohort was a population-based sample that consisted of 11 721 children ages 9–10 years. Measures included reports of a lifetime and current mental disorders determined using a diagnostic interview for DSM-5 disorders, sociodemographic factors, and psychiatric treatment utilization.

Results
The lifetime prevalence of EDs was 0.95%. Being Black, multiracial, having unmarried parents, and family economic insecurity were significant predictors for developing an ED. Among psychiatric conditions, the major depressive disorder was most robustly associated with EDs in both cross-sectional and temporal analyses. Only 47.40% of children who had a lifetime ED received some type of psychiatric treatment. EDs were not a significant predictor of psychiatric treatment utilization after accounting for sex, sexual orientation, parent marital status, economic insecurity, and all other psychiatric diagnoses.

Conclusions
Despite increasing prevalence rates of preadolescent EDs, the current findings suggest that the majority of children with these disorders remain untreated. Devoting increased attention and resources to reaching families of children with EDs with the least means for receiving care, and screening for EDs in children with depression, may be important steps for reducing this unmet need.

Brain network coupling associated with cognitive performance varies as a function of a child’s environment in the ABCD study

Ellwood-Lowe, M.E., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. & Bunge, S.A. Brain network coupling associated with cognitive performance varies as a function of a child’s environment in the ABCD study. Nat Commun 12, 7183 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27336-y

Prior research indicates that lower resting-state functional coupling between two brain networks, lateral frontoparietal network (LFPN) and default mode network (DMN), relates to cognitive test performance, for children and adults. However, most of the research that led to this conclusion has been conducted with non-representative samples of individuals from higher-income backgrounds, and so further studies including participants from a broader range of socioeconomic backgrounds are required. Here, in a pre-registered study, we analyzed resting-state fMRI from 6839 children ages 9–10 years from the ABCD dataset. For children from households defined as being above poverty (family of 4 with income > $25,000, or family of 5+ with income > $35,000), we replicated prior findings; that is, we found that better performance on cognitive tests correlated with weaker LFPN-DMN coupling. For children from households defined as being in poverty, the direction of association was reversed, on average: better performance was instead directionally related to stronger LFPN-DMN connectivity, though there was considerable variability. Among children in households below poverty, the direction of this association was predicted in part by features of their environments, such as school type and parent-reported neighborhood safety. These results highlight the importance of including representative samples in studies of child cognitive development.

Microstructural development from 9 to 14 years: Evidence from the ABCD Study

Clare E. Palmer, Diliana Pecheva, John R. Iversen, Donald J. Hagler, Leo Sugrue, Pierre Nedelec, Chun Chieh Fan, Wesley K. Thompson, Terry L. Jernigan, Anders M. Dale, Microstructural development from 9 to 14 years: Evidence from the ABCD Study, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 53, 2022, 101044, ISSN 1878-9293,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101044.

During late childhood behavioral changes, such as increased risk-taking and emotional reactivity, have been associated with the maturation of cortico-cortico and cortico-subcortical circuits. Understanding microstructural changes in both white matter and subcortical regions may aid our understanding of how individual differences in these behaviors emerge. Restriction spectrum imaging (RSI) is a framework for modelling diffusion-weighted imaging that decomposes the diffusion signal from a voxel into hindered, restricted, and free compartments. This yields greater specificity than conventional methods of characterizing diffusion. Using RSI, we quantified voxelwise restricted diffusion across the brain and measured age associations in a large sample (n = 8086) from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study aged 9–14 years. Older participants showed a higher restricted signal fraction across the brain, with the largest associations in subcortical regions, particularly the basal ganglia and ventral diencephalon. Importantly, age associations varied with respect to the cytoarchitecture within white matter fiber tracts and subcortical structures, for example age associations differed across thalamic nuclei. This suggests that age-related changes may map onto specific cell populations or circuits and highlights the utility of voxelwise compared to ROI-wise analyses. Future analyses will aim to understand the relevance of this microstructural developmental for behavioral outcomes.

Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study Linked External Data (LED): Protocol and practices for geocoding and assignment of environmental data

Fan CC, Marshall A, Smolker H, Gonzalez MR, Tapert SF, Barch DM, Sowell E, Dowling GJ, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Ross J, Thompson WK, Herting MM. Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study Linked External Data (LED): Protocol and practices for geocoding and assignment of environmental data. Dev Cogn Neurosci, Volume 52, December 2021, 101030. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101030. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34891080.

Our brain is constantly shaped by our immediate environments, and while some effects are transient, some have long-term consequences. Therefore, it is critical to identify which environmental risks have evident and long-term impact on brain development. To expand our understanding of the environmental context of each child, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® incorporates the use of geospatial location data to capture a range of individual, neighborhood, and state level data based on the child’s residential location in order to elucidate the physical environmental contexts in which today’s youth are growing up. We review the major considerations and types of geocoded information incorporated by the Linked External Data Environmental (LED) workgroup to expand on the built and natural environmental constructs in the existing and future ABCD Study data releases. Understanding the environmental context of each youth furthers the consortium’s mission to understand factors that may influence individual differences in brain development, providing the opportunity to inform public policy and health organization guidelines for child and adolescent health.

Measurement matters: An individual differences examination of family socioeconomic factors, latent dimensions of children’s experiences, and resting state functional brain connectivity in the ABCD sample

DeJoseph ML, Herzberg MP, Sifre RD, Berry D, Thomas KM. Measurement matters: An individual differences examination of family socioeconomic factors, latent dimensions of children’s experiences, and resting state functional brain connectivity in the ABCD sample. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Dec 8;53:101043. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101043. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34915436.

The variation in experiences between high and low-socioeconomic status contexts are posited to play a crucial role in shaping the developing brain and may explain differences in child outcomes. Yet, examinations of SES and brain development have largely been limited to distal proxies of these experiences (e.g., income comparisons). The current study sought to disentangle the effects of multiple socioeconomic indices and dimensions of more proximal experiences on resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in a sample of 7834 youth (aged 9-10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We applied moderated nonlinear factor analysis (MNLFA) to establish measurement invariance among three latent environmental dimensions of experience (material/economic deprivation, caregiver social support, and psychosocial threat). Results revealed measurement biases as a function of child age, sex, racial group, family income, and parental education, which were statistically adjusted in the final MNLFA scores. Mixed-effects models demonstrated that socioeconomic indices and psychosocial threat differentially predicted variation in frontolimbic networks, and threat statistically moderated the association between income and connectivity between the dorsal and ventral attention networks. Findings illuminate the importance of reducing measurement biases to gain a more socioculturally-valid understanding of the complex and nuanced links between socioeconomic context, children’s experiences, and neurodevelopment.

Reward Processing in Children With Psychotic-Like Experiences

Harju-Seppänen J, Irizar H, Bramon E, Blakemore SJ, Mason L, Bell V. Reward Processing in Children With Psychotic-Like Experiences. Schizophr Bull Open. 2021 Dec 4;3(1):sgab054. doi: 10.1093/schizbullopen/sgab054. PMID: 35036918; PMCID: PMC8756103.

Alterations to striatal reward pathways have been identified in individuals with psychosis. They are hypothesized to be a key mechanism that generate psychotic symptoms through the production of aberrant attribution of motivational salience and are proposed to result from accumulated childhood adversity and genetic risk, making the striatal system hyper-responsive to stress. However, few studies have examined whether children with psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) also exhibit these alterations, limiting our understanding of how differences in reward processing relate to hallucinations and delusional ideation in childhood. Consequently, we examined whether PLEs and PLE-related distress were associated with reward-related activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). The sample consisted of children (N = 6718) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study aged 9-10 years who had participated in the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task in functional MRI. We used robust mixed-effects linear regression models to investigate the relationship between PLEs and NAcc activation during the reward anticipation and reward outcome stages of the MID task. Analyses were adjusted for gender, household income, ethnicity, depressive symptoms, movement in the scanner, pubertal development, scanner ID, subject and family ID. There was no reliable association between PLEs and alterations to anticipation- or outcome-related striatal reward processing. We discuss the implications for developmental models of psychosis and suggest a developmental delay model of how PLEs may arise at this stage of development.

Associations Between Traumatic Stress, Brain Volumes and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Children: Data from the ABCD Study

Bustamante D, Amstadter AB, Pritikin JN, Brick TR, Neale MC. Associations Between Traumatic Stress, Brain Volumes and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Children: Data from the ABCD Study. Behav Genet. 2021 Dec 3. doi: 10.1007/s10519-021-10092-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34860306.

Reduced volumes in brain regions of interest (ROIs), primarily from adult samples, are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We extended this work to children using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® (N = 11,848; Mage = 9.92). Structural equation modeling and an elastic-net (EN) machine-learning approach were used to identify potential effects of traumatic events (TEs) on PTSD symptoms (PTSDsx) directly, and indirectly via the volumes 300 subcortical and cortical ROIs. We then estimated the genetic and environmental variation in the phenotypes. TEs were directly associated with PTSDsx (r = 0.92) in children, but their indirect effects (r < 0.0004)-via the volumes of EN-identified subcortical and cortical ROIs-were negligible at this age. Additive genetic factors explained a modest proportion of the variance in TEs (23.4%) and PTSDsx (21.3%), and accounted for most of the variance of EN-identified volumes of four of the five subcortical (52.4-61.8%) three of the nine cortical ROIs (46.4-53.3%) and cerebral white matter in the left hemisphere (57.4%). Environmental factors explained most of the variance in TEs (C = 61.6%, E = 15.1%), PTSDsx (residual-C = 18.4%, residual-E = 21.8%), right lateral ventricle (C = 15.2%, E = 43.1%) and six of the nine EN-identified cortical ROIs (C = 4.0-13.6%, E = 56.7-74.8%). There is negligible evidence that the volumes of brain ROIs are associated with the indirect effects of TEs on PTSDsx at this age. Overall, environmental factors accounted for more of the variation in TEs and PTSDsx. Whereas additive genetic factors accounted for most of the variability in the volumes of a minority of cortical and in most of subcortical ROIs.

Psychotic-like experiences associated with sleep disturbance and brain volumes in youth: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Lunsford-Avery JR, Damme KSF, Vargas T, Sweitzer MM, Mittal VA. Psychotic-like experiences associated with sleep disturbance and brain volumes in youth: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study. Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Dec. 2, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcv2.12055.

Background
Sleep disturbance is characteristic of schizophrenia and at-risk populations, suggesting a possible etiological role in psychosis. Biological mechanisms underlying associations between sleep and psychosis vulnerability are unclear, although reduced sleep-regulatory brain structure volumes are a proposed contributor. This study is the first to examine relationships between psychotic-like experiences (PLEs; subclinical symptoms reflecting psychosis vulnerability/risk), sleep, and brain volumes in youth.

Methods
Brain volumes of five sleep-related structures were examined in relation to PLEs and difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS) in 9,260 9- to 11-year-olds participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Analytic models examined relationships between DIMS, PLEs, and brain volumes, as well as DIMS as a mediator of brain volume–PLEs relationships. Although sleep regulation structures (i.e., thalamus, basal forebrain, and hypothalamus) were of primary interest, other potentially relevant structures to sleep-related functioning and psychosis (i.e., hippocampus and amygdala) were also examined.

Results
PLEs were associated with increased DIMS as well as reduced volume in some, but not all, brain structures, including the thalamus and basal forebrain in children. DIMS was also associated with reduced left thalamus volume in youth. Increased DIMS partially, statistically mediated the relationship between left thalamic volume and PLEs, although the effect was relatively small.

Conclusions
Results highlight left thalamic volume as a potential neural mechanism underlying sleep disturbances and PLEs in childhood. Future studies should assess causal relationships between sleep, PLEs, and brain structure across adolescent development, interactions with other psychosis risk factors, and the role of sleep interventions in prevention of psychosis and a range of psychiatric conditions across the lifespan.

Association of Outdoor Ambient Fine Particulate Matter With Intracellular White Matter Microstructural Properties Among Children

Burnor E, Cserbik D, Cotter DL, Palmer CE, Ahmadi H, Eckel SP, Berhane K, McConnell R, Chen JC, Schwartz J, Jackson R, Herting MM. Association of Outdoor Ambient Fine Particulate Matter With Intracellular White Matter Microstructural Properties Among Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Dec 1;4(12):e2138300. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.38300. PMID: 34882178.

Importance: Outdoor particulate matter 2.5 μm or less in diameter (PM2.5) is a ubiquitous environmental neurotoxicant that may affect the developing brain. Little is known about associations between PM2.5 and white matter connectivity.

Objectives: To assess associations between annual residential PM2.5 exposure and white matter microstructure health in a US sample of children 9 to 10 years of age and to examine whether associations are specific to certain white matter pathways or vary across neuroimaging diffusion markers reflective of intracellular and extracellular microstructural processes.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study, the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, was composed of 21 study sites across the US and used baseline data collected from children 9 to 10 years of age from September 1, 2016, to October 15, 2018. Data analysis was performed from September 15, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Exposures: Annual mean PM2.5 exposure estimated by ensemble-based models and assigned to the primary residential addresses at baseline.

Main outcomes and measures: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and tractography were used to delineate white matter tracts. The biophysical modeling technique of restriction spectrum imaging (RSI) was implemented to examine total hindered diffusion and restricted isotropic and anisotropic intracellular diffusion in each tract. Hierarchical mixed-effects models with natural splines were used to analyze the associations between PM2.5 exposure and DWI.

Results: In a study population of 7602 children (mean [SD] age, 119.1 [7.42] months; 3955 [52.0%] female; 160 [ 21.%] Asian, 1025 [13.5%] Black, 1616 [21.3%] Hispanic, 4025 [52.9%] White, and 774 [10.2%] other [identified by parents as American Indian/Native American or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian, Guamanian, Samoan, other Pacific Islander; Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, or other Asian; or other race]), associations were seen between annual ambient PM2.5 and hemispheric differences in white matter microstructure. Hemisphere-stratified models revealed significant associations between PM2.5 exposure and restricted isotropic intracellular diffusion in the left cingulum, in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus, and bilaterally in the fornix and uncinate fasciculus. In tracts with strong positive associations, a PM2.5 increase from 8 to 12 μg/m3 was associated with increases of 2.16% (95% CI, 0.49%-3.84%) in the left cingulum, 1.95% (95% CI, 0.43%-3.47%) in the left uncinate, and 1.68% (95% CI, 0.01%-3.34%) in the right uncinate. Widespread negative associations were observed between PM2.5 and mean diffusivity.

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that annual mean PM2.5 exposure during childhood is associated with increased restricted isotropic diffusion and decreased mean diffusivity of specific white matter tracts, potentially reflecting differences in the composition of white matter microarchitecture.

Racism-Related Diminished Returns of Socioeconomic Status on Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development

Boyce S, Darvishi M, Marandi R, Rahmanian R, Akhtar S, Patterson J, Assari S. Racism-Related Diminished Returns of Socioeconomic Status on Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development. Research in Health Science, 6(4):p1, December 2021, DOI:10.22158/rhs.v6n4p1

Socioeconomic status (SES) influences health, behaviors, and well-being. Emerging information suggests that SES effects on health may be in part be due to SES effects on brain development. We have conducted a mini review of U.S.-based studies examining SES effects on brain development to synthesize the existing knowledge on what brain structures and functions show large and consistent SES influences. We have reviewed SES effects on performance in various cognitive functions such as learning, memory, and language. Additionally, we have reviewed the emerging literature from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study on the effects of social marginalization in reducing the effects of SES on children and youth brain development. These diminished returns of SES in minoritized youth are not due to genetics; rather, we argue that they stem from systemic and structural racism, social stratification, and marginalization that generate inequalities across the SES spectrum. As a result of these diminished returns, inequalities expand from low-SES to mid- and high SES sections of US society.

Predicting multilingual effects on executive function and individual connectomes in children: An ABCD study

Kwon YH, Yoo K, Nguyen H, Jeong Y, Chun MM. Predicting multilingual effects on executive function and individual connectomes in children: An ABCD study. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Dec 7;118(49):e2110811118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2110811118. PMID: 34845019.

While there is a substantial amount of work studying multilingualism’s effect on cognitive functions, little is known about how the multilingual experience modulates the brain as a whole. In this study, we analyzed data of over 1,000 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to examine whether monolinguals and multilinguals differ in executive function, functional brain connectivity, and brain-behavior associations. We observed significantly better performance from multilingual children than monolinguals in working-memory tasks. In one finding, we were able to classify multilinguals from monolinguals using only their whole-brain functional connectome at rest and during an emotional n-back task. Compared to monolinguals, the multilingual group had different functional connectivity mainly in the occipital lobe and subcortical areas during the emotional n-back task and in the occipital lobe and prefrontal cortex at rest. In contrast, we did not find any differences in behavioral performance and functional connectivity when performing a stop-signal task. As a second finding, we investigated the degree to which behavior is reflected in the brain by implementing a connectome-based behavior prediction approach. The multilingual group showed a significant correlation between observed and connectome-predicted individual working-memory performance scores, while the monolingual group did not show any correlations. Overall, our observations suggest that multilingualism enhances executive function and reliably modulates the corresponding brain functional connectome, distinguishing multilinguals from monolinguals even at the developmental stage.

Big Data-Driven Brain Parcellation from fMRI: Impact of Cohort Heterogeneity on Functional Connectivity Maps

Brooks SJ, Parks SM, Stamoulis C. Big Data-Driven Brain Parcellation from fMRI: Impact of Cohort Heterogeneity on Functional Connectivity Maps. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2021 Nov;2021:3133-3136. doi: 10.1109/EMBC46164.2021.9630267. PMID: 34891905.

Ongoing large-scale human brain studies are generating complex neuroimaging data from thousands of individuals that can be leveraged to derive data-driven, anatomically accurate brain parcellations. However, despite their promise and many strengths, these data are highly heterogeneous, a characteristic that may affect the anatomical accuracy and generalization of the template but has received relatively little attention. Using multiple similarity measures and thresholding approaches, this study investigated the topological intra- and inter-individual variability of restingstate (rs) functional edge maps (often used for brain parcellation), estimated from rs-fMRI connectivity in n = 5878 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Findings from this initial investigation indicate that choosing a subject- vs cohort-based threshold for estimating edge maps from connectivity matrices does not significantly impact the map topology. In contrast, the choice of similarity measure and non-linear relationship between similarity and edge map sparsity may have a significant impact on map classification and the generation of parcellation atlases. Multi-level classification revealed multiple clusters with a potentially complex mapping onto biological variables beyond simple demographics.Clinical Relevance- Case-control neuroimaging studies should use domain-specific (e.g., demographics-specific) atlases for parcellating the brain, to improve accuracy and rigor of cohort comparisons. To be generalizable, such atlases need to be derived from large datasets, which are inherently heterogeneous. In a cohort of 5878 children (age ~9-10 years), this study systematically assessed the impact of heterogeneity and similarity of edge maps, which are derived from rs-fMRI connectivity and typically used to generate parcellation atlases.

Multimodal ensemble deep learning to predict disruptive behavior disorders in children

Menon, S. S., & Krishnamurthy, K. (2021). Multimodal ensemble deep learning to predict disruptive behavior disorders in children. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2021.742807

Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, collectively referred to as disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs), are prevalent psychiatric disorders in children. Early diagnosis of DBDs is crucial because they can increase the risks of other mental health and substance use disorders without appropriate psychosocial interventions and treatment. However, diagnosing DBDs is challenging as they are often comorbid with other disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. In this study, a multimodal ensemble 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) deep learning model was used to classify children with DBDs and typically developing children. The study participants included 419 girls and 681 boys, aged 108 to 131 months who were enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Children were grouped based on the presence of DBDs (n=550) and typically developing (n=550); assessments were based on the scores from the Child Behavior Checklist and on the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-age Children–Present and Lifetime version for DSM-5. The diffusion, structural, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data were used as input data to the 3D CNN. The model achieved 72% accuracy in classifying children with DBDs with 70% sensitivity and 72% specificity. In addition, the discriminative power of the classifier was investigated by delineating the cortical and subcortical regions primarily involved in the prediction of DBDs using a gradient class activation map. The classification results were compared with those obtained using the three neuroimaging modalities individually, and a connectome-based graph CNN and a multi-scale recurrent neural network using only the rs-fMRI data.

Graph auto-encoding brain networks with applications to analyzing large-scale brain imaging datasets

Liu M, Zhang Z, Dunson DB. Graph auto-encoding brain networks with applications to analyzing large-scale brain imaging datasets. Neuroimage. 2021 Nov 22:118750. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118750. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34823023.

Brain structural associations with depression in a large early adolescent sample (the ABCD study®)

Shen X, MacSweeney N, Chan SWY, Barbu MC, Adams MJ, Lawrie SM, Romaniuk L, McIntosh AM, Whalley HC. Brain structural associations with depression in a large early adolescent sample (the ABCD study®), EClinicalMedicine, Volume 42, 2021, 101204, ISSN 2589-5370, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101204.

Background
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide with > 50% of cases emerging before the age of 25 years. Large-scale neuroimaging studies in depression implicate robust structural brain differences in the disorder. However, most studies have been conducted in adults and therefore, the temporal origins of depression-related imaging features remain largely unknown. This has important implications for understanding aetiology and informing timings of potential intervention.

Methods
Here, we examine associations between brain structure (cortical metrics and white matter microstructural integrity) and depression ratings (from caregiver and child), in a large sample (N = 8634) of early adolescents (9 to 11 years old) from the US-based, Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Data was collected from 2016 to 2018.

Findings
We report significantly decreased global cortical and white matter metrics, and regionally in frontal, limbic and temporal areas in adolescent depression (Cohen’s d = -0⋅018 to -0⋅041, β = -0·019 to -0⋅057). Further, we report consistently stronger imaging associations for caregiver-reported compared to child-reported depression ratings. Divergences between reports (caregiver vs child) were found to significantly relate to negative socio-environmental factors (e.g., family conflict, absolute β = 0⋅048 to 0⋅169).

Interpretation
Depression ratings in early adolescence were associated with similar imaging findings to those seen in adult depression samples, suggesting neuroanatomical abnormalities may be present early in the disease course, arguing for the importance of early intervention. Associations between socio-environmental factors and reporter discrepancy warrant further consideration, both in the wider context of the assessment of adolescent psychopathology, and in relation to their role in aetiology.

Minding the Gap: Adolescent and Parent/Caregiver Reporter Discrepancies on Symptom Presence, Impact of Covariates, and Clinical Implications

Ford SH, McCoy TP. Minding the Gap: Adolescent and Parent/Caregiver Reporter Discrepancies on Symptom Presence, Impact of Covariates, and Clinical Implications. J Pediatr Health Care. 2021 Nov 18:S0891-5245(21)00238-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.09.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34802858.

Brain signatures in children who contemplate suicide: Learning from the large-scale ABCD study

Wiglesworth, A., Falke, C., Fiecas, M., Luciana, M., Cullen, K., & Klimes-Dougan, B. (2021). Brain signatures in children who contemplate suicide: Learning from the large-scale ABCD study. Psychological Medicine, 1-10. doi:10.1017/S0033291721004074

Background
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in youth. Understanding the neural correlates of suicide ideation (SI) in children is crucial to ongoing efforts to understand and prevent youth suicide. This study characterized key neural networks during rest and emotion task conditions in an epidemiologically informed sample of children who report current, past, or no SI.

Methods
Data are from the adolescent brain cognitive development study, including 8248 children (ages 9–10; mean age = 119.2 months; 49.2% female) recruited from the community. Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and activation to emotional stimuli in the salience (SN) and default mode (DMN) networks were measured through fMRI. Self-reported SI and clinical profiles were gathered. We examined the replicability of our model results through repeated sub-sample reliability analyses.

Results
Children with current SI (2.0%), compared to those without any past SI, showed lower DMN RSFC (B = −0.267, p < 0.001) and lower DMN activation in response to negative as compared to neutral faces (B = −0.204, p = 0.010). These results were robust to the effects of MDD, ADHD, and medication use. Sub-sample analysis further supported the robustness of these results. We did not find support for differences in SN RSFC or in SN activation to positive or negative stimuli for children with or without SI.

Conclusions
Results from a large brain imaging study using robust statistical approaches suggest aberrant DMN functioning in children with current suicide ideation. Findings suggest potential mechanisms that may be targeted in suicide prevention efforts.

Persistent and distressing psychotic-like experiences using adolescent brain cognitive development℠ study data

Karcher NR, Loewy RL, Savill M, Avenevoli S, Huber RS, Makowski C, Sher KJ, & Barch DM. Persistent and distressing psychotic-like experiences using adolescent brain cognitive development℠ study data. Mol Psychiatry (Nov. 16, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01373-x

Childhood psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are associated with a range of impairments; a subset of children experiencing PLEs will develop psychiatric disorders, including psychotic disorders. A potential distinguishing factor between benign PLEs versus PLEs that are clinically relevant is whether PLEs are distressing and/or persistent. The current study used three waves of Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ (ABCD) study PLEs assessments to examine the extent to which persistent and/or distressing PLEs were associated with relevant baseline risk factors (e.g., cognition) and functioning/mental health service utilization domains. Four groups varying in PLE persistence and distress endorsement were created based on all available data in ABCD Release 3.0, with group membership not contingent on complete data: persistent distressing PLEs (n = 272), transient distressing PLEs (n = 298), persistent non-distressing PLEs (n = 221), and transient non-distressing PLEs (n = 536) groups. Using hierarchical linear models, results indicated youth with distressing PLEs, whether transient or persistent, showed delayed developmental milestones (β = 0.074, 95%CI:0.013,0.134) and altered structural MRI metrics (β = −0.0525, 95%CI:−0.100,−0.005). Importantly, distress interacted with PLEs persistence for the domains of functioning/mental health service utilization (β = 0.079, 95%CI:0.016,0.141), other reported psychopathology (β = 0.101, 95%CI:0.030,0.170), cognition (β = −0.052, 95%CI:0.−0.099,−0.002), and environmental adversity (β = 0.045, 95%CI:0.003,0.0.86; although no family history effects), with the interaction characterized by greatest impairment in the persistent distressing PLEs group. These results have implications for disentangling the importance of distress and persistence for PLEs with regards to impairments, including functional, pathophysiological, and environmental outcomes. These novel longitudinal data underscore that it is often only in the context of distress that persistent PLEs were related to impairments.

Neural vulnerability and hurricane-related media are associated with post-traumatic stress in youth

Dick, A.S., Silva, K., Gonzalez, R. et al. Neural vulnerability and hurricane-related media are associated with post-traumatic stress in youth. Nat Hum Behav 5, 1578–1589 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01216-3

The human toll of disasters extends beyond death, injury and loss. Post-traumatic stress (PTS) can be common among directly exposed individuals, and children are particularly vulnerable. Even children far removed from harm’s way report PTS, and media-based exposure may partially account for this phenomenon. In this study, we examine this issue using data from nearly 400 9- to 11-year-old children collected before and after Hurricane Irma, evaluating whether pre-existing neural patterns moderate associations between hurricane experiences and later PTS. The ‘dose’ of both self-reported objective exposure and media exposure predicted PTS, the latter even among children far from the hurricane. Furthermore, neural responses in brain regions associated with anxiety and stress conferred particular vulnerability. For example, heightened amygdala reactivity to fearful stimuli moderated the association between self-reported media exposure and PTS. Collectively, these findings show that for some youth with measurable vulnerability, consuming extensive disaster-related media may offer an alternative pathway to disaster exposure that transcends geography and objective risk.

Widespread attenuating changes in brain connectivity associated with the general factor of psychopathology in 9- and 10-year olds

Sripada C, Angstadt M, Taxali A, Kessler D, Greathouse T, Rutherford S, Clark DA, Hyde LW, Weigard A, Brislin SJ, Hicks B, Heitzeg M. Widespread attenuating changes in brain connectivity associated with the general factor of psychopathology in 9- and 10-year olds. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Nov 9;11(1):575. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01708-w. PMID: 34753911.

Convergent research identifies a general factor (“P factor”) that confers transdiagnostic risk for psychopathology. Large-scale networks are key organizational units of the human brain. However, studies of altered network connectivity patterns associated with the P factor are limited, especially in early adolescence when most mental disorders are first emerging. We studied 11,875 9- and 10-year olds from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, of whom 6593 had high-quality resting-state scans. Network contingency analysis was used to identify altered interconnections associated with the P factor among 16 large-scale networks. These connectivity changes were then further characterized with quadrant analysis that quantified the directionality of P factor effects in relation to neurotypical patterns of positive versus negative connectivity across connections. The results showed that the P factor was associated with altered connectivity across 28 network cells (i.e., sets of connections linking pairs of networks); pPERMUTATION values < 0.05 FDR-corrected for multiple comparisons. Higher P factor scores were associated with hypoconnectivity within default network and hyperconnectivity between default network and multiple control networks. Among connections within these 28 significant cells, the P factor was predominantly associated with “attenuating” effects (67%; pPERMUTATION < 0.0002), i.e., reduced connectivity at neurotypically positive connections and increased connectivity at neurotypically negative connections. These results demonstrate that the general factor of psychopathology produces attenuating changes across multiple networks including default network, involved in spontaneous responses, and control networks involved in cognitive control. Moreover, they clarify mechanisms of transdiagnostic risk for psychopathology and invite further research into developmental causes of distributed attenuated connectivity.

Racism May Interrupt Age-related Brain Growth of African American Children in the United States

Assari S, Mincy R. Racism May Interrupt Age-related Brain Growth of African American Children in the United States. J Pediatr Child Health Care. 2021;6(3):1047. Epub 2021 Nov 9. PMID: 34966911; PMCID: PMC8713722.

Background: Considerable research has documented age-related growth in brain size as a marker of normal brain development. This is particularly important because brain volume has a significant role in overall cognitive performance. However, less research is done on whether age-related changes in the global brain volume differ across diverse racial and ethnic groups. We hypothesized that age-related growth in brain size would be disrupted in African American children who are historically affected by racism.

Purpose: Considering race as a proxy of racism rather than genetics, this study tested racial and ethnic differences in the effects of age on global brain volume using structural brain imaging data. Built on a sociological, rather than a biological theory, we built our study on Marginalization-related Diminished Returns (MDRs) framework, which argues that under racism, resources and assets are less effective for social groups that are historically racialized, discriminated against, marginalized, and segregated. Considering age as an asset/resource that increases the global brain volume, we expected weaker effects of age on overall brain size of African American and Hispanic children, than White and non-Hispanic children, again as a result of racism.

Methods: We borrowed the structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI) data from the Children Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which included 9,311 9-10 year old children. The independent variable was the child’s age treated as a continuous measure (in months). The primary outcome was global brain volume. Sex, parental employment, parental education, household income, and parental marital status were the covariates. Race and ethnicity, as proxies of racism, were the moderators. To analyze the data, we used linear regression models.

Results: Age was positively associated with the global brain size in children. In line with the MDRs, the positive association between age and global brain volume was weaker for African American than White children, while family structure, sex, and family socioeconomic status was controlled.

Conclusions: Under racism, age has unequal effects on global brain size of diverse racial groups. In line with the MDRs, we observe diminished age-related growth of the brain for African American children, which documents detrimental effects of racism. For White children who are not affected by racism, age makes a large difference regarding global brain volume. Age-related growth of global brain size is diminished in African American children, whose daily lives are shaped by racism. School and residential segregation may have a role in reducing the effect of age on children’s brain growth in African American families. The results should not be interpreted as inferiority of one group but social processes that hinder normal development of a historically oppressed group.

Brain-wide functional connectivity patterns support general cognitive ability and mediate effects of socioeconomic status in youth

Sripada C, Angstadt M, Taxali A, Clark DA, Greathouse T, Rutherford S, Dickens JR, Shedden K, Gard AM, Hyde LW, Weigard A, Heitzeg M. Brain-wide functional connectivity patterns support general cognitive ability and mediate effects of socioeconomic status in youth. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Nov 8;11(1):571. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01704-0. PMID: 34750359.

General cognitive ability (GCA) is an individual difference dimension linked to important academic, occupational, and health-related outcomes and its development is strongly linked to differences in socioeconomic status (SES). Complex abilities of the human brain are realized through interconnections among distributed brain regions, but brain-wide connectivity patterns associated with GCA in youth, and the influence of SES on these connectivity patterns, are poorly understood. The present study examined functional connectomes from 5937 9- and 10-year-olds in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) multi-site study. Using multivariate predictive modeling methods, we identified whole-brain functional connectivity patterns linked to GCA. In leave-one-site-out cross-validation, we found these connectivity patterns exhibited strong and statistically reliable generalization at 19 out of 19 held-out sites accounting for 18.0% of the variance in GCA scores (cross-validated partial η2). GCA-related connections were remarkably dispersed across brain networks: across 120 sets of connections linking pairs of large-scale networks, significantly elevated GCA-related connectivity was found in 110 of them, and differences in levels of GCA-related connectivity across brain networks were notably modest. Consistent with prior work, socioeconomic status was a strong predictor of GCA in this sample, and we found that distributed GCA-related brain connectivity patterns significantly statistically mediated this relationship (mean proportion mediated: 15.6%, p < 2 × 10-16). These results demonstrate that socioeconomic status and GCA are related to broad and diffuse differences in functional connectivity architecture during early adolescence, potentially suggesting a mechanism through which socioeconomic status influences cognitive development.

Pubertal Timing and Functional Neurodevelopmental Alterations Independently Mediate the Effect of Family Conflict on Adolescent Psychopathology

Petrican R, Miles S, Rudd L, Wasiewska W, Graham KS, Lawrence AD (2021). Pubertal Timing and Functional Neurodevelopmental Alterations Independently Mediate the Effect of Family Conflict on Adolescent Psychopathology, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 52, December 2021, 101032, 101032, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101032.

This study tested the hypothesis that early life adversity (ELA) heightens psychopathology risk by concurrently altering pubertal and neurodevelopmental timing, and associated gene transcription signatures. Analyses focused on threat (family conflict/neighbourhood crime) and deprivation-related ELAs (parental inattentiveness/unmet material needs), using longitudinal data from 1514 biologically unrelated youths in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Typical developmental changes in white matter microstructure corresponded to widespread BOLD signal variability (BOLDsv) increases (linked to cell communication and biosynthesis genes) and region-specific task-related BOLDsv increases/decreases (linked to signal transduction, immune and external environmental response genes). Increasing resting-state (RS), but decreasing task-related BOLDsv predicted normative functional network segregation. Family conflict was the strongest concurrent and prospective contributor to psychopathology, while material deprivation constituted an additive risk factor. ELA-linked psychopathology was predicted by higher Time 1 threat-evoked BOLDSV (associated with axonal development, myelination, cell differentiation and signal transduction genes), reduced Time 2 RS BOLDsv (associated with cell metabolism and attention genes) and greater Time 1 to Time 2 control/attention network segregation. Earlier pubertal timing and neurodevelopmental alterations independently mediated ELA effects on psychopathology. Our results underscore the differential roles of the immediate and wider external environment(s) in concurrent and longer-term ELA consequences.

Greater radiologic evidence of hypothalamic gliosis predicts adiposity gain in children at risk for obesity

Sewaybricker LE, Kee S, Melhorn SJ, Schur EA. Greater radiologic evidence of hypothalamic gliosis predicts adiposity gain in children at risk for obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Nov;29(11):1770-1779. doi: 10.1002/oby.23286. PMID: 34734493.

Objective: This study investigated, in a large pediatric population, whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of mediobasal hypothalamic (MBH) gliosis is associated with baseline or change over 1 year in body adiposity.

Methods: Cross-sectional and prospective cohort analyses were conducted within the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Study 1 included 169 children with usable baseline T2-weighted MRI images and anthropometrics from baseline and 1-year follow-up study visits. Signal ratios compared T2 signal intensity in MBH and two reference regions (amygdala [AMY] and putamen) as a measure of MBH gliosis. Study 2 included a distinct group of 238 children with overweight or obesity to confirm initial findings in an independent sample.

Results: In Study 1, MBH/AMY signal ratio was positively associated with BMI z score (β = 4.27, p < 0.001). A significant interaction for the association of MBH/AMY signal ratio with change in BMI z score suggested that relationships differed by baseline weight status. Study 2 found that higher MBH/AMY signal ratios associated with an increase in BMI z score for children with overweight (β = 0.58, p = 0.01), but not those with obesity (β = 0.02, p = 0.91).

Conclusions: Greater evidence of hypothalamic gliosis by MRI is associated with baseline BMI z score and predicts adiposity gain in young children at risk of obesity.

Cingulo-opercular and Cingulo-parietal Brain Networks Functional Connectivity in Pre-adolescents: Multiplicative Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Parental Education

Assari S. Cingulo-opercular and Cingulo-parietal Brain Networks Functional Connectivity in Pre-adolescents: Multiplicative Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Parental Education. Res Health Sci. 2021;6(2):76-99. doi: 10.22158/rhs.v6n2p76. PMID: 34734154; PMCID: PMC8562861.

Introduction: A growing body of research has shown a diminished association between socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and a wide range of neuroimaging indicators for racial and ethnic minorities compared to majority groups. However, less is known about these effects for resting-state functional connectivity between various brain networks.

Purpose: This study investigated racial and ethnic variation in the correlation between parental education and resting-state functional connectivity between the cingulo-opercular (CO) and cingulo-parietal (CP) networks in children.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study; we analyzed the resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rsfMRI) data of 8,464 American pre-adolescents between the ages of 9 and 10. The main outcome measured was resting-state functional connectivity between the CO and CP networks calculated using rsfMRI. The independent variable was parental education, which was treated as a nominal variable. Age, sex, and family marital status were the study covariates. Race and ethnicity were the moderators. Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis, with and without interaction terms between parental education and race and ethnicity.

Results: Higher parental education was associated with higher resting-state functional connectivity between the CO and CP networks. Race and ethnicity both showed statistically significant interactions with parental education on children’s resting-state functional connectivity between CO and CP networks, suggesting that the correlation between parental education and the resting-state functional connectivity was significantly weaker for Black and Hispanic pre-adolescents compared to White and non-Hispanic pre-adolescents.

Conclusions: In line with the Minorities’ Diminished Returns theory, the association between parental education and pre-adolescents resting-state functional connectivity between CO and CP networks may be weaker in Black and Hispanic children than in White and non-Hispanic children. The weaker link between parental education and brain functional connectivity for Blacks and Hispanics than for Whites and non-Hispanics may reflect racism, racialization, and social stratification that collectively minimize the returns of SES indicators, such as parental education for non-Whites, who become others in the US.

Smaller Hippocampal Volume Among Black and Latinx Youth Living in High-Stigma Contexts

Hatzenbuehler ML, Weissman DG, McKetta S, Lattanner MR, Ford JV, Barch DM, McLaughlin KA. Smaller Hippocampal Volume Among Black and Latinx Youth Living in High-Stigma Contexts. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 2:S0890-8567(21)01361-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.017. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34481917.

Objective: To determine whether structural and individual forms of stigma are associated with neurodevelopment in children.

Method: Stigma related to gender, race, and Latinx ethnicity was measured at the structural level using objective state-level indicators of social policies and prejudicial attitudes and at the individual level using self-reports of perceived discrimination. Respective associations of stigma with hippocampal volume and amygdala reactivity to threat were examined using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N ¼ 11,534, mean age 9.9 years), the first multisite neuroimaging study that provided substantial variability in sociopolitical contexts and that included individuallevel measures of stigma among youth.

Results: In a preregistered analysis, Black (B ¼ 58.26, p ¼ .023) and Latinx (B ¼ 40.10, p ¼ .044) youths in higher (vs lower) structural stigma contexts were found to have smaller hippocampal volume, controlling for total intracranial volume, demographics, and family socioeconomic status. This association was also observed at a trend-level among girls (p ¼ .082). The magnitude of the difference in hippocampal volume between high and low structural stigma states was equivalent to the predicted impact of a $20,000 difference in annual family income in this sample. As hypothesized, structural stigma was not associated with hippocampal volume in nonstigmatized youths, providing evidence of specificity. Perceived discrimination was unrelated to hippocampal volume in stigmatized groups. No associations between perceived discrimination or structural stigma and amygdala reactivity to threat were observed.

Conclusion: This study provides novel evidence that an objective measure of structural stigma may be more strongly related to hippocampal volume than subjective perceptions of stigma, suggesting that contextual approaches to stigma could yield new insights into neurodevelopment among marginalized youth.

Concussion Among Children in the United States General Population: Incidence and Risk Factors

Cook NE, Iverson GL. Concussion Among Children in the United States General Population: Incidence and Risk Factors. Front Neurol. 2021 Nov 1;12:773927. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2021.773927. PMID: 34790165; PMCID: PMC8591091.

The objective of this study was to examine the incidence of concussion and risk factors for sustaining concussion among children from the United States general population. This prospective cohort study used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Children were recruited from schools across the US, sampled to reflect the sociodemographic variation of the US population. The current sample includes 11,013 children aged 9 to 10 years old (47.6% girls; 65.5% White) who were prospectively followed for an average of 1 year (mean = 367.9 days, SD = 40.8, range 249-601). The primary outcome was caregiver-reported concussion during a 1 year follow-up period. Logistic regression was used to determine which potential clinical, health history, and behavioral characteristics (assessed at baseline) were prospectively associated with concussion. In the 1 year follow-up period between ages 10 and 11, 1 in 100 children (n = 123, 1.1%) sustained a concussion. In univariate models, three baseline predictors (ADHD, prior concussion, and accident proneness) were significantly associated with sustaining a concussion. In a multivariate model, controlling for all other predictors, only prior concussion remained significantly associated with the occurrence of a concussion during the observation period (Odds Ratio = 5.49, 95% CI: 3.40-8.87). The most robust and only independent prospective predictor of sustaining a concussion was history of a prior concussion. History of concussion is associated with 5.5 times greater odds of sustaining concussion between ages 10 and 11 among children from the general US population.

Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Nagata JM, Cortez CA, Cattle CJ, Ganson KT, Iyer P, Bibbins-Domingo K, Baker FC. Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Nov 1. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4334. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34724543.

Methods
Cross-sectional data from the May 2020 COVID-19 survey (COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Release) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study were analyzed. The sample consisted of 5412 adolescents predominantly aged 12 to 13 years. Centralized institutional review board approval was obtained from the University of California, San Diego. This study followed the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline. Written informed consent and assent were obtained from a parent or guardian and the child, respectively, to participate in the ABCD study.

Screen use for the following modalities was determined using adolescents’ self-reported hours of use on a typical day, excluding hours spent on school-related work: multiple-player gaming, single-player gaming, texting, social media, video chatting, browsing the internet, and watching or streaming movies, videos, or television shows.5 Total typical daily screen use, excluding schoolwork, was calculated as the sum. Multiple linear regression analyses estimated associations between mental health and resiliency factors (eMethods in the Supplement provides the measures) and total screen use, after adjustment for potential confounders including sex, race and ethnicity (as self-reported from a list of categories), annual household income, parent educational level, and study site. Analyses were conducted in 2021 using Stata 15.1, weighting data to approximate the American Community Survey by the US Census. Testing was 2-sided, and P < .05 was considered statistically significant.

Results
Among the 5412 adolescents included in our sample, 50.7% were female and 49.3% were male. The sample was racially and ethnically diverse (7.2% Asian; 11.1% Black; 17.2% Hispanic, Latina, and Latino; 2.5% Native American; 60.6% White; and 1.4% self-reported as other). Adolescents reported a mean (SD) of 7.70 (5.74) h/d of screen use, mostly spent on watching or streaming videos, movies, or television shows (2.42 [2.45] h/d), multiple-player gaming (1.44 [2.21] h/d), and single-player gaming (1.17 [1.82] h/d). The mean and SD screen use time for each modality by sociodemographic characteristics are given in Table 1. In adjusted models (Table 2), poorer mental health (B, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.06-0.52; P = .01) and greater perceived stress (B, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.43-0.91; P < .001) were associated with higher total screen use, while more social support (B, −0.32; 95% CI, −0.59 to −0.04; P = .02) and coping behaviors (B, −0.17; 95% CI, −0.26 to −0.09; P < .001) were associated with lower total screen use.

Discussion
In this cross-sectional study of a large, national sample of adolescents surveyed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that the mean total daily screen use was 7.70 h/d. This is higher than prepandemic estimates (3.8 h/d) from the same cohort at baseline, although younger age and slightly different screen time categories could also account for differences.6 Despite the gradual reversal of quarantine restrictions, studies have suggested that screen use may remain persistently elevated.4 Screen time disparities across racial, ethnic, and income groups in adolescents have been reported previously and may be due to structural and systemic racism–driven factors (eg, built environment, access to financial resources, and digital media education)—all of which have been amplified in the COVID-19 pandemic.2 Different screen use modalities may have differential positive or negative consequences for adolescents’ well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adolescents experiencing stress and poor mental health may use screens to manage negative feelings or withdraw from stressors. Although some screen modalities may be used to promote social connection, higher coping behaviors and social support in this sample were associated with lower total screen usage. Limitations of this study include the use of self-reported data. Furthermore, adolescents often multitask on screens; thus, the computed total could be an overestimate. Future studies should examine screen use trends as pandemic restrictions are lifted and also explore mechanisms to prevent sociodemographic disparities.

Demographic and Mental Health Assessments in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Updates and Age-Related Trajectories

Deanna M. Barch, Matthew D. Albaugh, Arielle Baskin-Sommers, Brittany E. Bryant, Duncan B. Clark, Anthony Steven Dick, Eric Feczko, John J. Foxe, Dylan G. Gee, Jay Giedd, Meyer D. Glantz, James J. Hudziak, Nicole R. Karcher, Kimberly LeBlanc, Melanie Maddox, Erin C. McGlade, Carrie Mulford, Bonnie J. Nagel, Gretchen Neigh, Clare E Palmer, Alexandra S. Potter, Kenneth J. Sher, Susan F. Tapert, Wesley K. Thompson, Laili Xie (2021). Demographic and Mental Health Assessments in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Updates and Age-Related Trajectories, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 52, December 2021, 101031, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101031.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study of 11,880 youth incorporates a comprehensive range of measures assessing predictors and outcomes related to mental health across childhood and adolescence in participating youth, as well as information about family mental health history. We have previously described the logic and content of the mental health assessment battery at Baseline and 1-year follow-up. Here, we describe changes to that battery and issues and clarifications that have emerged, as well as additions to the mental health battery at the 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year follow-ups. We capitalize on the recent release of longitudinal data for caregiver and youth report of mental health data to evaluate trajectories of dimensions of psychopathology as a function of demographic factors. For both caregiver and self-reported mental health symptoms, males showed age-related decreases in internalizing and externalizing symptoms, while females showed an increase in internalizing symptoms with age. Multiple indicators of socioeconomic status (caregiver education, family income, financial adversity, neighborhood poverty) accounted for unique variance in both caregiver and youth-reported externalizing and internalizing symptoms. These data highlight the importance of examining developmental trajectories of mental health as a function of key factors such as sex and socioeconomic environment.

Contributions of PTSD polygenic risk and environmental stress to suicidality in preadolescents

Daskalakis NP, Schultz LM, Visoki E, Moore TM, Argabright ST, Harnett NG, DiDomenico GE, Warrier V, Almasy L, Barzilay R. Contributions of PTSD polygenic risk and environmental stress to suicidality in preadolescents. Neurobiol Stress. 2021 Oct 27;15:100411. doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2021.100411. PMID: 34765698; PMCID: PMC8569631.

Suicidal ideation and attempts (i.e., suicidality) are complex behaviors driven by environmental stress, genetic susceptibility, and their interaction. Preadolescent suicidality is a major health problem with rising rates, yet its underlying biology is understudied. Here we studied effects of genetic stress susceptibility, approximated by the polygenic risk score (PRS) for post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), on preadolescent suicidality in participants from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. We further evaluated PTSD-PRS effects on suicidality in the presence of environmental stressors that are established suicide risk factors. Analyses included both European and African ancestry participants using PRS calculated based on summary statistics from ancestry-specific genome-wide association studies. In European ancestry participants (N = 4,619, n = 378 suicidal), PTSD-PRS was associated with preadolescent suicidality (odds ratio [OR] = 1.12, 95%CI 1-1.25, p = 0.038). Results in African ancestry participants (N = 1,334, n = 130 suicidal) showed a similar direction but were not statistically significant (OR = 1.21, 95%CI 0.93-1.57, p = 0.153). Sensitivity analyses using non-psychiatric polygenic score for height and using cross-ancestry PTSD-PRS did not reveal any association with suicidality, supporting the specificity of the association of ancestry-specific PTSD-PRS with suicidality. Environmental stressors were robustly associated with suicidality across ancestries with moderate effect size for negative life events and family conflict (OR 1.27-1.6); and with large effect size (OR ∼ 4) for sexual-orientation discrimination. When combined with environmental factors, PTSD-PRS showed marginal additive effects in explaining variability in suicidality, with no evidence for G × E interaction. Results support use of cross-phenotype PRS, specifically stress-susceptibility, as a genetic marker for suicidality risk early in the lifespan.

Shorter Duration and Lower Quality Sleep Have Widespread Detrimental Effects on Developing Functional Brain Networks in Early Adolescence

Skylar J Brooks, Eliot S Katz, Catherine Stamoulis, Shorter Duration and Lower Quality Sleep Have Widespread Detrimental Effects on Developing Functional Brain Networks in Early Adolescence, Cerebral Cortex Communications, 2021; tgab062, https://doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgab062

Sleep is critical for cognitive health, especially during complex developmental periods such as adolescence. However, its effects on maturating brain networks that support cognitive function are only partially understood. We investigated the impact of shorter duration and reduced quality sleep, common stressors during development, on functional network properties in early adolescence—a period of significant neural maturation, using resting-state fMRI from 5566 children (median age = 120.0 months; 52.1% females) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) cohort. Decreased sleep duration, increased sleep latency, frequent waking up at night, and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms were associated with lower topological efficiency, flexibility, and robustness of visual, sensorimotor, attention, fronto-parietal control, default-mode and/or limbic networks, and with aberrant changes in the thalamus, basal ganglia, hippocampus and cerebellum (p < 0.05). These widespread effects, many of which were BMI-independent, suggest that unhealthy sleep in early adolescence may impair neural information processing and integration across incompletely developed networks, potentially leading to deficits in their cognitive correlates, including attention, reward, emotion processing and regulation, memory, and executive control. Shorter sleep duration, frequent snoring, difficulty waking up and daytime sleepiness had additional detrimental network effects in non-white participants, indicating racial disparities in the influence of sleep metrics.

Large-scale functional brain networks of maladaptive childhood aggression identified by connectome-based predictive modeling

Ibrahim K, Noble S, He G, Lacadie C, Crowley MJ, McCarthy G, Scheinost D, Sukhodolsky DG. Large-scale functional brain networks of maladaptive childhood aggression identified by connectome-based predictive modeling. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 25. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01317-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34690348.

Disruptions in frontoparietal networks supporting emotion regulation have been long implicated in maladaptive childhood aggression. However, the association of connectivity between large-scale functional networks with aggressive behavior has not been tested. The present study examined whether the functional organization of the connectome predicts severity of aggression in children. This cross-sectional study included a transdiagnostic sample of 100 children with aggressive behavior (27 females) and 29 healthy controls without aggression or psychiatric disorders (13 females). Severity of aggression was indexed by the total score on the parent-rated Reactive-Proactive Aggression Questionnaire. During fMRI, participants completed a face emotion perception task of fearful and calm faces. Connectome-based predictive modeling with internal cross-validation was conducted to identify brain networks that predicted aggression severity. The replication and generalizability of the aggression predictive model was then tested in an independent sample of children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Connectivity predictive of aggression was identified within and between networks implicated in cognitive control (medial-frontal, frontoparietal), social functioning (default mode, salience), and emotion processing (subcortical, sensorimotor) (r = 0.31, RMSE = 9.05, p = 0.005). Out-of-sample replication (p < 0.002) and generalization (p = 0.007) of findings predicting aggression from the functional connectome was demonstrated in an independent sample of children from the ABCD study (n = 1791; n = 1701). Individual differences in large-scale functional networks contribute to variability in maladaptive aggression in children with psychiatric disorders. Linking these individual differences in the connectome to variation in behavioral phenotypes will advance identification of neural biomarkers of maladaptive childhood aggression to inform targeted treatments.

Associations of Family Distress, Family Income, and Acculturation on Pediatric Cognitive Performance Using the NIH Toolbox: Implications for Clinical and Research Settings

Thompson RC, Montena AL, Liu K, Watson J, Warren SL. Associations of Family Distress, Family Income, and Acculturation on Pediatric Cognitive Performance Using the NIH Toolbox: Implications for Clinical and Research Settings. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2021 Oct 19:acab082. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acab082. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34664626.

Objective: There is a growing recognition that the use of conventional norms (e.g., age, sex, years of education, race) as proxies to capture a broad range of sociocultural variability on cognitive performance is suboptimal, limiting sample representativeness. The present study evaluated the incremental utility of family income, family conflict, and acculturation beyond the established associations of age, gender,maternal years of education, and race on cognitive performance.

Method: Hierarchical linear regressions evaluated the incremental utility of sociocultural factors on National Institutes of Health Toolbox in a nationally representative sample of pre-adolescent children (n = 11,878; Mage = 10.0 years; Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study). A regression-based norming procedure was implemented for significant models. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare original and newly created demographically corrected T-scores.

Results: Nearly all regression models predicted performance on the NIH-TB subtests and composite scores (p < .005). Greater family income and lower family conflict predicted better performance, although the effect sizes were small by traditional standards. Acculturation scores did not explain additional variance in cognitive performance. Lastly, there were no significant differences between the original and newly created demographically corrected T-scores (Mdiff < 0.50).

Conclusions: The present study highlights that, although family income, family conflict, and acculturation have been shown to routinely influence cognitive performance in preadolescent children, the NIH-TB appears to be highly robust to individual differences in sociocultural factors in children between ages 9 and 10. Contextual and temporal implications of the present results are discussed.

Passive Sensing of Preteens’ Smartphone Use: An Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Cohort Substudy

Wade N, Ortigara JM, Sullivan RM, Tomko RL, Breslin FJ, Baker FC, Fuemmeler BF, Delrahim Howlett K, Lisdahl KM, Marshall AT, Mason MJ, Neale MC, Squeglia LM, Wolff-Hughes DL, Tapert SF, Bagot KS; ABCD Novel Technologies Workgroup. Passive Sensing of Preteens’ Smartphone Use: An Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Cohort Substudy. JMIR Ment Health. 2021 Oct 18;8(10):e29426. doi: 10.2196/29426. PMID: 34661541.

Background: Concerns abound regarding childhood smartphone use, but studies to date have largely relied on self-reported screen use. Self-reporting of screen use is known to be misreported by pediatric samples and their parents, limiting the accurate determination of the impact of screen use on social, emotional, and cognitive development. Thus, a more passive, objective measurement of smartphone screen use among children is needed.

Objective: This study aims to passively sense smartphone screen use by time and types of apps used in a pilot sample of children and to assess the feasibility of passive sensing in a larger longitudinal sample.

Methods: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study used passive, objective phone app methods for assessing smartphone screen use over 4 weeks in 2019-2020 in a subsample of 67 participants (aged 11-12 years; 31/67, 46% female; 23/67, 34% White). Children and their parents both reported average smartphone screen use before and after the study period, and they completed a questionnaire regarding the acceptability of the study protocol. Descriptive statistics for smartphone screen use, app use, and protocol feasibility and acceptability were reviewed. Analyses of variance were run to assess differences in categorical app use by demographics. Self-report and parent report were correlated with passive sensing data.

Results: Self-report of smartphone screen use was partly consistent with objective measurement (r=0.49), although objective data indicated that children used their phones more than they reported. Passive sensing revealed the most common types of apps used were for streaming (mean 1 hour 57 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 32 minutes), communication (mean 48 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 17 minutes), gaming (mean 41 minutes per day, SD 41 minutes), and social media (mean 36 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 7 minutes). Passive sensing of smartphone screen use was generally acceptable to children (43/62, 69%) and parents (53/62, 85%).

Conclusions: The results of passive, objective sensing suggest that children use their phones more than they self-report. Therefore, use of more robust methods for objective data collection is necessary and feasible in pediatric samples. These data may then more accurately reflect the impact of smartphone screen use on behavioral and emotional functioning. Accordingly, the ABCD study is implementing a passive sensing protocol in the full ABCD cohort. Taken together, passive assessment with a phone app provided objective, low-burden, novel, informative data about preteen smartphone screen use.

An Update on the Assessment of Culture and Environment in the ABCD Study®: Emerging Literature and Protocol Updates over Three Measurement Waves

Gonzalez R, Thompson EL, Sanchez M, Morris A, Gonzalez MR, Feldstein Ewing SW, Mason MJ, Arroyo J, Howlett K, Tapert SF, Zucker RA (2021).  An Update on the Assessment of Culture and Environment in the ABCD Study®: Emerging Literature and Protocol Updates over Three Measurement Waves. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 52, December 2021, 101021, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101021.

Advances in our understanding of risk and resilience factors in adolescent brain health and development increasingly demand a broad set of assessment tools that consider a youth’s peer, family, school, neighborhood, and cultural contexts in addition to neurobiological, genetic, and biomedical information. The Culture and Environment (CE) Workgroup (WG) of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study curates these important components of the protocol throughout ten years of planned data collection. In this report, the CE WG presents an update on the evolution of the ABCD Study® CE protocol since study inception (Zucker et al., 2018), as well as emerging findings that include CE measures. Background and measurement characteristics of instruments present in the study since baseline have already been described in our 2018 report, and therefore are only briefly described here. New measures introduced since baseline are described in more detail. Descriptive statistics on all measures are presented based on a total sample of 11,000+ youth and their caregivers assessed at baseline and the following two years. Psychometric properties of the measures, including longitudinal aspects of the data, are reported, along with considerations for future measurement waves. The CE WG ABCD® components are an essential part of the overall protocol that permits characterization of the unique cultural and social environment within which each developing brain is transactionally embedded.

Associations Among Negative Life Events, Changes in Cortico-Limbic Connectivity, and Psychopathology in the ABCD Study

Brieant AE, Sisk LM, Gee DG (2021). Associations Among Negative Life Events, Changes in Cortico-Limbic Connectivity, and Psychopathology in the ABCD Study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Available online 16 October 2021, 101022. Volume 52, December 2021, 101022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101022.

Adversity exposure is a risk factor for psychopathology, which most frequently onsets during adolescence, and prior research has demonstrated that alterations in cortico-limbic connectivity may account in part for this association. In a sample of youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 4006), we tested a longitudinal structural equation model to examine the indirect effect of adversity exposure (negative life events) on later psychopathology via changes in cortico-limbic resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). We also examined the potential protective effects of parental acceptance. Generally, cortico-limbic connectivity became more strongly negative between baseline and year 2 follow-up, suggesting that stronger negative correlations within these cortico-limbic networks may reflect a more mature phenotype. Exposure to a greater number of negative life events was associated with stronger negative cortico-limbic rsFC which, in turn, was associated with lower internalizing (but not externalizing) symptoms. The indirect effect of negative life events on internalizing symptoms via cortico-limbic rsFC was significant. Parental acceptance did not moderate the association between negative life events and rsFC. Our findings highlight how stressful childhood experiences may accelerate neurobiological maturation in specific cortico-limbic connections, potentially reflecting an adaptive process that protects against internalizing problems in the context of adversity.

Association between parental age, brain structure, and behavioral and cognitive problems in children

Du J, Rolls ET, Gong W, Cao M, Vatansever D, Zhang J, Kang J, Cheng W, Feng J. Association between parental age, brain structure, and behavioral and cognitive problems in children. Mol Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 14. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01325-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34650205.

Objective: To investigate the relation between parental age, and behavioral, cognitive and brain differences in the children.

Method: Data with children aged 9-11 of 8709 mothers with parental age 15-45 years were analyzed from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. A general linear model was used to test the associations of the parental age with brain structure, and behavioral and cognitive problems scores.

Results: Behavioral and cognitive problems were greater in the children of the younger mothers, and were associated with lower volumes of cortical regions in the children. There was a linear correlation between the behavioral and cognitive problems scores, and the lower brain volumes (r > 0.6), which was evident when parental age was included as a stratification factor. The regions with lower volume included the anterior cingulate cortex, medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus, and temporal lobe (FDR corrected p < 0.01). The lower cortical volumes and areas in the children significantly mediated the association between the parental age and the behavioral and cognitive problems in the children (all p < 10-4). The effects were large, such as the 71.4% higher depressive problems score, and 27.5% higher rule-breaking score, in the children of mothers aged 15-19 than the mothers aged 34-35.

Conclusions: Lower parental age is associated with behavioral problems and reduced cognitive performance in the children, and these differences are related to lower volumes and areas of some cortical regions which mediate the effects in the children. The findings are relevant to psychiatric understanding and assessment.

Risk of lead exposure, subcortical brain structure, and cognition in a large cohort of 9- to 10-year-old children

Marshall AT, McConnell R, Lanphear BP, Thompson WK, Herting MM, Sowell ER. Risk of lead exposure, subcortical brain structure, and cognition in a large cohort of 9- to 10-year-old children. PLoS One. 2021 Oct 14;16(10):e0258469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258469. PMID: 34648580.

Adolescent civic engagement: Lessons from Black Lives Matter

Baskin-Sommers A, Simmons C, Conley M, Chang SA, Estrada S, Collins M, Pelham W, Beckford E Mitchell-Adams H, Berrian N, Tapert SF, Gee DG, Casey BJ. Adolescent civic engagement: Lessons from Black Lives Matter. PNAS October 12, 2021 118 (41) e2109860118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2109860118.

In 2020, individuals of all ages engaged in demonstrations condemning police brutality and supporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Research that used parent reports and trends commented on in popular media suggested that adolescents under 18 had become increasingly involved in this movement. In the first large-scale quantitative survey of adolescents’ exposure to BLM demonstrations, 4,970 youth (meanage = 12.88 y) across the United States highlighted that they were highly engaged, particularly with media, and experienced positive emotions when exposed to the BLM movement. In addition to reporting strong engagement and positive emotions related to BLM demonstrations, Black adolescents in particular reported higher negative emotions when engaging with different types of media and more exposure to violence during in-person BLM demonstrations. Appreciating youth civic engagement, while also providing support for processing complex experiences and feelings, is important for the health and welfare of young people and society.

A Comprehensive Overview of the Physical Health of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study Cohort at Baseline

Palmer CE, Sheth C, Marshall AT, Adise S, Baker FC, Chang L, Clark DB, Coronado C, Dagher RK, Diaz V, Dowling GJ, Gonzalez MR, Haist F, Herting MM, Huber RS, Jernigan TL, LeBlanc K, Lee K, Lisdahl KM, Neigh G, Patterson MW, Renshaw P, Rhee KE, Tapert S, Thompson WK, Uban K, Sowell ER, Yurgelun-Todd D. A Comprehensive Overview of the Physical Health of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study Cohort at Baseline. Front Pediatr. 2021 Oct 5;9:734184. doi: 10.3389/fped.2021.734184. PMID: 34692610; PMCID: PMC8526338.

Physical health in childhood is crucial for neurobiological as well as overall development, and can shape long-term outcomes into adulthood. The landmark, longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development StudySM (ABCD study®), was designed to investigate brain development and health in almost 12,000 youth who were recruited when they were 9-10 years old and will be followed through adolescence and early adulthood. The overall goal of this paper is to provide descriptive analyses of physical health measures in the ABCD study at baseline, including but not limited to sleep, physical activity and sports involvement, and body mass index. Further this summary will describe how physical health measures collected from the ABCD cohort compare with current normative data and clinical guidelines. We propose this data set has the potential to facilitate clinical recommendations and inform national standards of physical health in this age group. This manuscript will also provide important information for ABCD users and help guide analyses investigating physical health including new avenues for health disparity research as it pertains to adolescent and young adult development.

Recalibrating expectations about effect size: A multi-method survey of effect sizes in the ABCD study

Owens MM, Potter A, Hyatt CS, Albaugh M, Thompson WK, Jernigan T, Yuan D, Hahn S, Allgaier N, Garavan H. Recalibrating expectations about effect size: A multi-method survey of effect sizes in the ABCD study. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 23;16(9):e0257535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257535. PMID: 34555056.

Effect sizes are commonly interpreted using heuristics established by Cohen (e.g., small: r = .1, medium r = .3, large r = .5), despite mounting evidence that these guidelines are mis-calibrated to the effects typically found in psychological research. This study’s aims were to 1) describe the distribution of effect sizes across multiple instruments, 2) consider factors qualifying the effect size distribution, and 3) identify examples as benchmarks for various effect sizes. For aim one, effect size distributions were illustrated from a large, diverse sample of 9/10-year-old children. This was done by conducting Pearson’s correlations among 161 variables representing constructs from all questionnaires and tasks from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study® baseline data. To achieve aim two, factors qualifying this distribution were tested by comparing the distributions of effect size among various modifications of the aim one analyses. These modified analytic strategies included comparisons of effect size distributions for different types of variables, for analyses using statistical thresholds, and for analyses using several covariate strategies. In aim one analyses, the median in-sample effect size was .03, and values at the first and third quartiles were .01 and .07. In aim two analyses, effects were smaller for associations across instruments, content domains, and reporters, as well as when covarying for sociodemographic factors. Effect sizes were larger when thresholding for statistical significance. In analyses intended to mimic conditions used in “real-world” analysis of ABCD data, the median in-sample effect size was .05, and values at the first and third quartiles were .03 and .09. To achieve aim three, examples for varying effect sizes are reported from the ABCD dataset as benchmarks for future work in the dataset. In summary, this report finds that empirically determined effect sizes from a notably large dataset are smaller than would be expected based on existing heuristics.

Covariate Correcting Networks for Identifying Associations Between Socioeconomic Factors and Brain Outcomes in Children

Cho H., Park G., Isaiah A., Kim W.H. (2021) Covariate Correcting Networks for Identifying Associations Between Socioeconomic Factors and Brain Outcomes in Children. In: de Bruijne M. et al. (eds) Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2021. MICCAI 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12907. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87234-2_40

Brain development in adolescence is synthetically influenced by various factors such as age, education, and socioeconomic conditions. To identify an independent effect from a variable of interest (e.g., socioeconomic conditions), statistical models such as General Linear Model (GLM) are typically adopted to account for covariates (e.g., age and gender). However, statistical models may be vulnerable with insufficient sample size and outliers, and multiple tests for a whole brain analysis lead to inevitable false-positives without sufficient sensitivity. Hence, it is necessary to develop a unified framework for multiple tests that robustly fits the observation and increases sensitivity. We therefore propose a unified flexible neural network that optimizes on the contribution from the main variable of interest as introduced in original GLM, which leads to improved statistical outcomes. The results on group analysis with fractional anisotropy (FA) from Diffusion Tensor Images from Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study demonstrate that the proposed method provides much more selective and meaningful detection of ROIs related to socioeconomic status over conventional methods.

Prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in preadolescent children: A US population-based study

Lawrence HR, Burke TA, Sheehan AE, Pastro B, Levin RY, Walsh RFL, Bettis AH, Liu RT. Prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in preadolescent children: A US population-based study. Transl Psychiatry 11, 489 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01593-3.

The present study evaluated sociodemographic and diagnostic predictors of suicidal ideation and attempts in a nationally representative sample of preadolescent youth enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Rates and predictors of psychiatric treatment utilization among suicidal youth also were examined. Eleven thousand eight hundred and seventy-five 9- and 10-year-old children residing in the United States were assessed. Children and their parents/guardians provided reports of children’s lifetime history of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and psychiatric disorders. Parents also reported on sociodemographic characteristics and mental health service utilization. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to evaluate sociodemographic and diagnostic correlates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts among youth with suicidal ideation, and treatment utilization among youth with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Lifetime prevalence rates were 14.33% for suicidal ideation and 1.26% for suicide attempts. Youth who identified as male, a sexual minority, or multiracial had greater odds of suicidal ideation, and sexual minority youth and youth with a low family income had greater odds of suicide attempts. Comorbid psychopathology was associated with higher odds of both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. In youth, 34.59% who have suicidal ideation and 54.82% who had attempted suicide received psychiatric treatment. Treatment utilization among suicidal youth was lower among those who identified as female, Black, and Hispanic. Suicidal ideation and attempts among preadolescent children are concerningly high and targeted assessment and preventative efforts are needed, especially for males, racial, ethnic, and sexual minority youth, and those youth experiencing comorbidity.

Vertex-wise multivariate genome-wide association study identifies 780 unique genetic loci associated with cortical morphology

Shadrin AA, Kaufmann T, van der Meer D, Palmer CE, Makowski C, Loughnan R, Jernigan TL, Seibert TM, Hagler DJ, Smeland OB, Motazedi E, Chu Y, Lin A, Cheng W, Hindley G, Thompson WK, Fan CC, Holland D, Westlye LT, Frei O, Andreassen OA, Dale AM. Vertex-wise multivariate genome-wide association study identifies 780 unique genetic loci associated with cortical morphology. Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 21;244:118603. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118603. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34560273.

Brain morphology has been shown to be highly heritable, yet only a small portion of the heritability is explained by the genetic variants discovered so far. Here we extended the Multivariate Omnibus Statistical Test (MOSTest) and applied it to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of vertex-wise structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cortical measures from N=35,657 participants in the UK Biobank. We identified 695 loci for cortical surface area and 539 for cortical thickness, in total 780 unique genetic loci associated with cortical morphology robustly replicated in 8,060 children of mixed ethnicity from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. This reflects more than 8-fold increase in genetic discovery at no cost to generalizability compared to the commonly used univariate GWAS methods applied to region of interest (ROI) data. Functional follow up including gene-based analyses implicated 10% of all protein-coding genes and pointed towards pathways involved in neurogenesis and cell differentiation. Power analysis indicated that applying the MOSTest to vertex-wise structural MRI data triples the effective sample size compared to conventional univariate GWAS approaches. The large boost in power obtained with the vertex-wise MOSTest together with pronounced replication rates and highlighted biologically meaningful pathways underscores the advantage of multivariate approaches in the context of highly distributed polygenic architecture of the human brain.

Identifying profiles of brain structure and associations with current and future psychopathology in youth

Mattoni M, Wilson S, Olino T. Identifying profiles of brain structure and associations with current and future psychopathology in youth. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 51, October 2021, 101013, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101013.

Brain structure is often studied as a marker of youth psychopathology by examining associations between volume or thickness of individual regions and specific diagnoses. However, these univariate approaches do not address whether the effect of a particular region may depend on the structure of other regions. Here, we identified subgroups of individuals with distinct profiles of brain structure and examined how these profiles were associated with concurrent and future youth psychopathology. We used latent profile analysis to identify distinct neuroanatomical profiles of subcortical region volume and orbitofrontal cortical thickness in the ABCD study (N = 9376, mean age = 9.91, SD = 0.62). We identified a five-profile solution consisting of a reduced subcortical volume profile, a reduced orbitofrontal thickness profile, a reduced limbic and elevated striatal volume profile, an elevated orbitofrontal thickness and reduced striatal volume profile, and an elevated orbitofrontal thickness and subcortical volume profile. While controlling for age, sex, and intracranial volume, profiles exhibited differences in concurrent psychopathology measured dimensionally and categorically and in psychopathology at 1-year follow-up measured dimensionally. Results show that profiles of brain structure have incremental validity for associations with youth psychopathology beyond intracranial volume.

Sleep Disturbances, Obesity, and Cognitive Function in Childhood: A Mediation Analysis

Mattey-Mora PP, Nelson EJ. Sleep Disturbances, Obesity, and Cognitive Function in Childhood: A Mediation Analysis. Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 Sep 15;5(10):nzab119. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzab119. PMID: 34661044; PMCID: PMC8513758.

Background: Childhood cognitive development is influenced by biological and environmental factors. One such factor, obesity, impairs cognitive development and is associated with sleep disturbances.

Objectives: We aimed to examine the mediating role of sleep disturbances on the relation between BMI and cognitive function in children.

Methods: A total of 9951 children aged 9-10 y were included in this cross-sectional study. Children were recruited from the longitudinal ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) Study. Cognitive development was assessed using metrics for fluid, crystallized, and total cognitive function. Mediation analyses were conducted via linear regression modeling, with adjustment for potential confounders (sex, age, ethnicity, household income, parental education, and self-reported physical activity) for each of the 3 outcomes. Mediation significance was determined by bootstrapping.

Results: A statistically significant inverse association was found between BMI and total (β = -0.41, P < 0.001) and fluid (β = -0.49, P < 0.001) cognition, but not for crystallized cognition. Total sleep disturbances partially mediated the association between BMI and fluid cognition (indirect effect: -0.02, P = 0.002; proportion of the total effect: 0.05, P = 0.002), but no mediation was found in the association between BMI and total cognition.

Conclusions: Sleep disturbances partially mediate the effect of childhood obesity on cognitive function, particularly in fluid cognitions. Future work is necessary to understand the effects of sleep disturbances and obesity on reduced childhood cognition throughout time, predominantly across the life course.

Multimodal MR Images-Based Diagnosis of Early Adolescent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Using Multiple Kernel Learning

Zhou X, Lin Q, Gui Y, Wang Z, Liu M, Lu H. Multimodal MR Images-Based Diagnosis of Early Adolescent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Using Multiple Kernel Learning. Front Neurosci. 2021 Sep 14;15:710133. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.710133. PMID: 34594183; PMCID: PMC8477011.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common brain diseases among children. The current criteria of ADHD diagnosis mainly depend on behavior analysis, which is subjective and inconsistent, especially for children. The development of neuroimaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), drives the discovery of brain abnormalities in structure and function by analyzing multimodal neuroimages for computer-aided diagnosis of brain diseases. This paper proposes a multimodal machine learning framework that combines the Boruta based feature selection and Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL) to integrate the multimodal features of structural and functional MRIs and Diffusion Tensor Images (DTI) for the diagnosis of early adolescent ADHD. The rich and complementary information of the macrostructural features, microstructural properties, and functional connectivities are integrated at the kernel level, followed by a support vector machine classifier for discriminating ADHD from healthy children. Our experiments were conducted on the comorbidity-free ADHD subjects and covariable-matched healthy children aged 9-10 chosen from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. This paper is the first work to combine structural and functional MRIs with DTI for early adolescents of the ABCD study. The results indicate that the kernel-level fusion of multimodal features achieves 0.698 of AUC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curves) and 64.3% of classification accuracy for ADHD diagnosis, showing a significant improvement over the early feature fusion and unimodal features. The abnormal functional connectivity predictors, involving default mode network, attention network, auditory network, and sensorimotor mouth network, thalamus, and cerebellum, as well as the anatomical regions in basal ganglia, are found to encode the most discriminative information, which collaborates with macrostructure and diffusion alterations to boost the performances of disorder diagnosis.

Genetic variation in endocannabinoid signaling is associated with differential network-level functional connectivity in youth

Sisk LM, Rapuano KM, Conley MI, Greene AS, Horien C, Rosenberg MD, Scheinost D, Constable RT, Glatt CE, Casey BJ, Gee DG. Genetic variation in endocannabinoid signaling is associated with differential network-level functional connectivity in youth. J Neurosci Res. 2021 Sep 8. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24946. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34496065.

The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of emotional responses such as fear, and a number of studies have implicated endocannabinoid signaling in anxiety. The fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) C385A polymorphism, which is associated with enhanced endocannabinoid signaling in the brain, has been identified across species as a potential protective factor from anxiety. In particular, adults with the variant FAAH 385A allele have greater fronto-amygdala connectivity and lower anxiety symptoms. Whether broader network-level differences in connectivity exist, and when during development this neural phenotype emerges, remains unknown and represents an important next step in understanding how the FAAH C385A polymorphism impacts neurodevelopment and risk for anxiety disorders. Here, we leveraged data from 3,109 participants in the nationwide Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study℠ (10.04 ± 0.62 years old; 44.23% female, 55.77% male) and a cross-validated, data-driven approach to examine associations between genetic variation and large-scale resting-state brain networks. Our findings revealed a distributed brain network, comprising functional connections that were both significantly greater (95% CI for p values = [<0.001, <0.001]) and lesser (95% CI for p values = [0.006, <0.001]) in A-allele carriers relative to non-carriers. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between genotype and the summarized connectivity of functional connections that were greater in A-allele carriers, such that non-carriers with connectivity more similar to A-allele carriers (i.e., greater connectivity) had lower anxiety symptoms (β = -0.041, p = 0.030). These findings provide novel evidence of network-level changes in neural connectivity associated with genetic variation in endocannabinoid signaling and suggest that genotype-associated neural differences may emerge at a younger age than genotype-associated differences in anxiety.

Screen time and early adolescent mental health, academic, and social outcomes in 9- and 10- year old children: Utilizing the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ℠ (ABCD) Study

Paulich KN, Ross JM, Lessem JM, Hewitt JK. Screen time and early adolescent mental health, academic, and social outcomes in 9- and 10- year old children: Utilizing the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ℠ (ABCD) Study. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 8;16(9):e0256591. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256591. PMID: 34496002.

In a technology-driven society, screens are being used more than ever. The high rate of electronic media use among children and adolescents begs the question: is screen time harming our youth? The current study draws from a nationwide sample of 11,875 participants in the United States, aged 9 to 10 years, from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study®). We investigate relationships between screen time and mental health, behavioral problems, academic performance, sleep habits, and peer relationships by conducting a series of correlation and regression analyses, controlling for SES and race/ethnicity. We find that more screen time is moderately associated with worse mental health, increased behavioral problems, decreased academic performance, and poorer sleep, but heightened quality of peer relationships. However, effect sizes associated with screen time and the various outcomes were modest; SES was more strongly associated with each outcome measure. Our analyses do not establish causality and the small effect sizes observed suggest that increased screen time is unlikely to be directly harmful to 9-and-10-year-old children.

Associations Between Neighborhood Disadvantage, Resting-State Functional Connectivity, and Behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study: The Moderating Role of Positive Family and School Environments

Rakesh D, Seguin C, Zalesky A, Cropley V, Whittle S. Associations between neighborhood disadvantage, resting-state functional connectivity, and behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: Moderating role of positive family and school environments. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, Volume 6, Issue 9, September 2021, Pages 877-886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.008

Background
Neighborhood disadvantage has consistently been associated with mental health and cognitive function, in addition to alterations in brain function and connectivity. However, positive environmental influences may buffer these effects. The aim of this study was to examine the association between neighborhood disadvantage and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC), the moderating role of positive parenting and school environment, and relationships between disadvantage-associated rsFC patterns and mental health and cognition.

Methods
In this preregistered study, we tested this hypothesis in a large sample of 7618 children (aged 9–10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Specifically, we analyzed the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and system-level FC. We also tested whether positive family and school environmental factors and sex moderated effects. Finally, we investigated multivariate relationships between disadvantage-associated rsFC patterns and cognition and mental health.

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 well-being. This work highlights the importance of positive family and school environments in mitigating some of these effects.

Cortical Thickness in bilingual and monolingual children: Relationships to language use and language skill

Vaughn KA, Nguyen MVH, Ronderos J, Hernandez AE. Cortical Thickness in bilingual and monolingual children: Relationships to language use and language skill. Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 7;243:118560. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118560. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34506917.

There is a growing body of evidence based on adult neuroimaging that suggests that the brain adapts to bilingual experiences to support language proficiency. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is a useful source of data for evaluating this claim during childhood, as it involves data from a large sample of American children. Using the baseline ABCD Study data collected at ages nine and ten, the goal of this study was to identify differences in cortical thickness between bilinguals and monolinguals and to evaluate how variability in English vocabulary and English use within bilinguals might explain these group differences. We identified bilingual participants as children who spoke a non-English language and were exposed to the non-English language at home. We then identified a matched sample of English monolingual participants based on age, sex, pubertal status, parent education, household income, non-verbal IQ, and handedness. Bilinguals had thinner cortex than monolinguals in widespread cortical regions. Within bilinguals, more English use was associated with greater frontal and parietal cortical thickness; greater English vocabulary was associated with greater frontal and temporal cortical thickness. These findings replicate and extend previous research with bilingual children and highlight unexplained cortical thickness differences between bilinguals and monolinguals.

Children’s Knowledge of Cannabis and Other Substances in States with Different Cannabis Use Regulations

Ross JM, Rieselbach MM, Hewitt JK, Banich MT, Rhee SH. Children’s Knowledge of Cannabis and Other Substances in States with Different Cannabis Use Regulations. Subst Use Misuse. 2021 Sep 5:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2021.1972316. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34486481.

Public acceptance of cannabis continues to increase across the US, yet there has been little research on how cannabis legalization affects young children. The present study compared knowledge of cannabis and other substances among children living in states with different cannabis laws and examined whether the association between such substance knowledge and externalizing behavior varies by state cannabis regulations. Methods: Participants were from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®) at the baseline assessment (N = 11,875, ages 9-11, collected from 2016 to 2018). Chi-square difference tests were used to compare nested models testing group differences in knowledge of substances and the association between externalizing disorder/behavior and substance knowledge as a function of state legality of cannabis use (recreational, medical, low THC/CBD, none). Results: Children living in states with more permissive cannabis laws had a greater knowledge of cannabis and reported more alcohol experimentation. In contrast, knowledge regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs was not greater in children from states with more permissive cannabis laws. Externalizing disorder/behavior was not significantly associated with cannabis knowledge in any group and not significantly different across groups. The association between externalizing disorder/behavior and illicit drug knowledge was significant only in states with the recreational and medical use laws but did not differ significantly across groups. Conclusion: Children living in environments with more permissive cannabis regulations have greater knowledge of cannabis, but not other substances, and report more experimentation with alcohol.

Motivation and Cognitive Abilities as Mediators Between Polygenic Scores and Psychopathology in Children

Pat N, Riglin L, Anney R, Wang Y, Barch DM, Thapar A, Stringaris A. Motivation and Cognitive Abilities as Mediators Between Polygenic Scores and Psychopathology in Children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 3:S0890-8567(21)01363-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34506929.

Objective: Fundamental questions in biological psychiatry concern the mechanisms that mediate between genetic liability and psychiatric symptoms. Genetic liability for many common psychiatric disorders often confers transdiagnostic risk to develop a wide variety of psychopathological symptoms through yet unknown pathways. We examine the psychological and cognitive pathways that might mediate the relationship between genetic liability (indexed by polygenic scores; PS) and broad psychopathology (indexed by p factor and its underlying dimensions).

Method: We first identified which of the common psychiatric PSs (major depressive disorder [MDD], attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism) were associated with p factor. We then focused on three pathways: punishment sensitivity (reflected by behavioral inhibition system; BIS), reward sensitivity (reflected by behavioral activation system; BAS) and cognitive abilities (reflected by g factor based on 10 neurocognitive tasks). We applied structural equation modeling on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset (n=4,814; 2,263 female children; 9-10 years old).

Results: MDD and ADHD PSs were associated with p factor. The association between MDD PS and psychopathology was partially mediated by punishment sensitivity and cognitive abilities: proportion mediated= 22.35%. Conversely, the influence of ADHD PS on psychopathology was partially mediated by reward sensitivity and cognitive abilities: proportion mediated=30.04%. The mediating role of punishment sensitivity was specific to the emotional/internalizing. This mediating role of both reward sensitivity and cognitive abilities was focusing on the behavioral/externalizing and neurodevelopmental dimensions of psychopathology.

Conclusion: We provide a better understanding of how genetic risks for MDD and ADHD confer risks for psychopathology and suggest potential prevention/intervention targets for children at-risk.

Morphology of the Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Body Composition in Early Adolescence: Cognitive Mediators and Environmental Moderators in the ABCD Study

Hall PA, Best J, Beaton EA, Sakib MN, Danckert J. Morphology of the Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Body Composition in Early Adolescence: Cognitive Mediators and Environmental Moderators in the ABCD Study. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2021 Sep 2:nsab104. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsab104. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34471927.

Morphological features of the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in late childhood and early adolescence may provide important clues as to the developmental etiology of clinical conditions such as obesity. Body composition measurements and structural brain imaging were performed on 11,226 youth at baseline (age 9 or 10) and follow-up (age 11 or 12). Baseline morphological features of the lateral PFC were examined as predictors of body composition. Findings revealed reliable associations between mid-frontal gyrus volume, thickness and surface area and multiple indices of body composition. These findings were consistent across both time points, and remained significant after covariate adjustment. Cortical thickness of the inferior frontal gyrus and lateral orbitofrontal cortex were also reliable predictors. Morphology effects on body composition were mediated by performance on a non-verbal reasoning task. Modest but reliable moderation effects were observed with respect to environmental self-regulatory demand after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, income and methodological variables. Overall findings suggest that prefrontal cortex morphology is a reliable predictor of body composition in early adolescence, as mediated through select cognitive functions and partially moderated by environmental characteristics.

Sociodemographic Correlates of Contemporary Screen Time Use among 9-10-Year-Old Children

Nagata JM, Ganson KT, Iyer P, Chu J, Baker FC, Gabriel KP, Garber AK, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K. Sociodemographic Correlates of Contemporary Screen Time Use among 9-10-Year-Old Children. J Pediatr. 2021 Sep 2:S0022-3476(21)00862-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.08.077. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34481807.

Objective: To determine sociodemographic correlates of contemporary screen time use among a diverse population-based sample of 9-10-year-old children.

Study design: In 2021, we analyzed cross-sectional baseline (2016-2018) data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N=10,755). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (sex, race/ethnicity, country of birth, household income, parental education) and six contemporary forms of screen time (television, videos [eg, YouTube], video games, social networking, texting, and video chat).

Results: On average, children reported 3.99 hours of screen time per day across six modalities, with the most time spent watching/streaming television shows/movies (1.31 hours), playing video games (1.06 hours), and watching/streaming videos (1.05 hours). On average, Black children reported 1.58 more hours of screen time per day and Asian children reported 0.35 less hours of screen time per day compared with White children (mean 3.46 hours per day), and these trends persisted across most modalities. Boys reported higher overall screen time (0.75 hours more) than girls, which was primarily attributed to video games and videos. Girls reported more time texting, social networking, and video chatting than boys. Higher income was associated with lower screen time usage across all modalities except video chat. However, in high-income households, Latinx children reported 0.65 more hours of screen time per day than White children.

Conclusions: Given the sociodemographic differences in child screen use, guideline implementation strategies can focus on key populations, encourage targeted counseling by pediatricians, and adapt Family Media Use Plans for diverse backgrounds.

The relationship between brain structure and general psychopathology in preadolescents

Mewton L, Lees B, Squeglia LM, Forbes MK, Sunderland M, Krueger R, Koch FC, Baillie A, Slade T, Hoy N, Teesson M. The relationship between brain structure and general psychopathology in preadolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Sep 1. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13513. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34468031.

Neural response to monetary loss among youth with disruptive behavior disorders and callous-unemotional traits in the ABCD study

Byrd AL, Hawes SW, Waller R, Delgado MR, Sutherland MT, Dick AS, Trucco EM, Riedel MC, Pacheco-Colón I, Laird AR, Gonzalez R. Neural response to monetary loss among youth with disruptive behavior disorders and callous-unemotional traits in the ABCD study. Neuroimage Clin. 2021 Sep 1;32:102810. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102810. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34530359.

Etiological models highlight reduced punishment sensitivity as a core risk factor for disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. The current study examined neural sensitivity to the anticipation and receipt of loss, one key aspect of punishment sensitivity, among youth with DBD, comparing those with and without CU traits. Data were obtained from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM Study (N = 11,874; Mage = 9.51; 48% female). Loss-related fMRI activity during the monetary incentive delay task was examined across 16 empirically-derived a priori brain regions (e.g., striatum, amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex) and compared across the following groups: (1) typically developing (n = 693); (2) DBD (n = 995), subdivided into those (3) with CU traits (DBD + CU, n = 198), and (4) without CU traits (DBD-only, n = 276). Latent variable modeling was also employed to examine network-level activity. There were no significant between-group differences in brain activity to loss anticipation or receipt. Null findings were confirmed with and without covariates, using alternative grouping approaches, and in dimensional models. Network-level analyses also demonstrated comparable activity across groups during loss anticipation and receipt. Findings suggest that differences in punishment sensitivity among youth with DBD are unrelated to loss anticipation or receipt. More precise characterizations of other aspects punishment sensitivity are needed to understand risk for DBD and CU traits.

Similar but distinct – Effects of different socioeconomic indicators on resting state functional connectivity: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®

Rakesh D, Zalesky A, Sarah Whittle S (2021). Similar but distinct – Effects of different socioeconomic indicators on resting state functional connectivity: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 51, October 2021, 101005, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101005.

Early socioeconomic status (SES) has consistently been associated with child health and cognitive outcomes, in addition to alterations in brain function and connectivity. The goal of the present study was to probe the effects of different facets of SES (parent education, income, and neighborhood disadvantage), that likely represent varying aspects of the environment, on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). We investigated this question in a large sample of 9475 children (aged 9-10 years) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Specifically, we analyzed the association between household SES (parent education, income-to-needs ratio) and neighborhood disadvantage, and system-level rsFC using within-sample split-half replication. We then tested whether the associations were unique to each SES measure, and whether household SES and neighborhood disadvantage had interactive effects on rsFC. SES measures had both common and distinct effects on rsFC, with sensory-motor systems (e.g., sensorimotor network) and cognitive networks (e.g., front-parietal network) particularly implicated. The association between neighborhood disadvantage and sensorimotor network connectivity was less pronounced in the presence of high income-to-needs. Findings demonstrate that different facets of SES have distinct and interacting effects on rsFC, highlighting the importance of considering different indicators when studying the effects of SES on the brain.

Reducing the effects of motion artifacts in fMRI: A structured matrix completion approach

Balachandrasekaran A, Cohen AL, Afacan O, Warfield SK, Gholipour A. Reducing the effects of motion artifacts in fMRI: A structured matrix completion approach. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2021 Aug 25;PP. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2021.3107829. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34432631.

Functional MRI (fMRI) is widely used to study the functional organization of normal and pathological brains. However, the fMRI signal may be contaminated by subject motion artifacts that are only partially mitigated by motion correction strategies. These artifacts lead to distance-dependent biases in the inferred signal correlations. To mitigate these spurious effects, motion-corrupted volumes are censored from fMRI time series. Censoring can result in discontinuities in the fMRI signal, which may lead to substantial alterations in functional connectivity analysis. We propose a new approach to recover the missing entries from censoring based on structured low rank matrix completion. We formulated the artifact-reduction problem as the recovery of a super-resolved matrix from unprocessed fMRI measurements. We enforced a low rank prior on a large structured matrix, formed from the samples of the time series, to recover the missing entries. The recovered time series, in addition to being motion compensated, are also slice-time corrected at a fine temporal resolution. To achieve a fast and memory-efficient solution for our proposed optimization problem, we employed a variable splitting strategy. We validated the algorithm with simulations, data acquired under different motion conditions, and datasets from the ABCD study. Functional connectivity analysis showed that the proposed reconstruction resulted in connectivity matrices with lower errors in pair-wise correlation than non-censored and censored time series based on a standard processing pipeline. In addition, seed-based correlation analyses showed improved delineation of the default mode network. These demonstrate that the method can effectively reduce the adverse effects of motion in fMRI analysis.

Early Adolescent Substance Use Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Survey in the ABCD Study Cohort

Pelham III WE, Tapert S, Robledo Gonzalez M, McCabe CJ, Lisdahl KM, Alzueta E, Baker FC, Breslin FJ, Dick AS, Dowling GJ, Guillaume M, Hoffman EA, Marshall AT, McCandliss BD, Sheth CS, Sowell ER, Thompson WK, Van Rinsveld AM, Wade NE, Brown SA. Early Adolescent Substance Use Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Survey in the ABCD Study Cohort. Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 69, Issue 3, P390-397, September 01, 2021. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.06.015.

Purpose
Evaluate changes in early adolescent substance use during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using a prospective, longitudinal, nationwide cohort.

Methods
Participants were enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. A total of 7,842 youth (mean age = 12.4 years, range = 10.5–14.6) at 21 study sites across the U.S. completed a three-wave assessment of substance use between May and August 2020. Youth reported whether they had used alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, or other substances in the past 30 days. Data were linked to prepandemic surveys that the same youth had completed in the years 2018–2020, before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results
Past-30-day substance use remained stable in the 6 months since stay-at-home orders were first issued in U.S. states/counties; was primarily episodic (1–2 days in the past month); and was typically limited to a single substance. Using pretest/posttest and age-period designs, we found that compared to before the pandemic, fewer youth were using alcohol and more youth were using nicotine or misusing prescription drugs. During the pandemic, youth were more likely to use substances when they were more stressed by pandemic-related uncertainty; their family experienced material hardship; their parents used alcohol or drugs; or they experienced greater depression or anxiety. Neither engagement in social distancing nor worry about COVID-19 infection was associated with substance use. Several risk factors were stronger among older (vs. younger) adolescents.

Conclusions
Among youth in early adolescence, advent of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with decreased use of alcohol and increased use of nicotine and misuse of prescription drugs.

Association Between Discrimination Stress and Suicidality in Preadolescent Children

Argabright ST, Visoki E, Moore TM, Ryan DT, DiDomenico GE, Njoroge WFM, Taylor JH, Guloksuz S, Gur RC, Gur RE, Benton TD, Barzilay R. Association Between Discrimination Stress and Suicidality in Preadolescent Children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 20:S0890-8567(21)01355-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34425231.

Objective: US youth suicide rates are increasing in recent years, especially in Black Americans, the reasons for which are unclear. Environmental adversity is key in youth suicidality, hence there is a need to study stressors that disproportionately impact Black youths. We aimed to disentangle the unique contribution of racial/ethnic discrimination from other adversities associated with childhood suicidal ideation and attempts (suicidality).

Method: We analyzed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® that included a large, diverse sample of US children (N=11,235, mean age 10.9 years, 20.2% Black) assessed for multiple environmental adversities including discrimination. Multivariate regression models tested the association of self-reported racial/ethnic discrimination with suicidality, covarying for multiple confounders including other discrimination types (towards non-US-born individuals; sexual orientation-based; weight-based). Matched analyses contrasted effects of racial/ethnic discrimination and racial identity on suicidality.

Results: Black youths reported more discrimination and higher suicidality rates than non-Black youths. High racial/ethnic discrimination was positively and significantly associated with suicidality, adjusting for other discrimination types (odds ratio [OR]=2.6, 95%CI=2.1-3.2). Findings remained significant after adjusting for multiple suicidality risk factors. Once experienced, racial/ethnic discrimination was similarly associated with suicidality in White, Black, and Hispanic youths. Matched analyses revealed that racial/ethnic discrimination was associated with suicidality (relative risk [RR]=2.7, 95%CI=2-3.5), while Black race was not (RR=0.9, 95%CI=0.7-1.2).

Conclusion: Racial/ethnic discrimination is disproportionately experienced by Black children, and is associated with preadolescent suicidality, over and above other adversities. Findings highlight the need to address discrimination as part of suicide prevention strategies. Cross-sectional design hampers causal inferences.

Shared Genetic Etiology between Cortical Brain Morphology and Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis Use

Rabinowitz JA, Campos AI, Ong JS, García-Marín LM, Alcauter S, Mitchell BL, Grasby KL, Cuéllar-Partida G, Gillespie NA, Huhn AS, Martin NG, Thompson PM, Medland SE, Maher BS, Rentería ME. Shared Genetic Etiology between Cortical Brain Morphology and Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis Use. Cereb Cortex. 2021 Aug 11:bhab243. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab243. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34379727.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic variants associated with brain morphology and substance use behaviors (SUB). However, the genetic overlap between brain structure and SUB has not been well characterized. We leveraged GWAS summary data of 71 brain imaging measures and alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use to investigate their genetic overlap using linkage disequilibrium score regression. We used genomic structural equation modeling to model a “common SUB genetic factor” and investigated its genetic overlap with brain structure. Furthermore, we estimated SUB polygenic risk scores (PRS) and examined whether they predicted brain imaging traits using the Adolescent Behavior and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. We identified 8 significant negative genetic correlations, including between (1) alcoholic drinks per week and average cortical thickness, and (2) intracranial volume with age of smoking initiation. We observed 5 positive genetic correlations, including those between (1) insula surface area and lifetime cannabis use, and (2) the common SUB genetic factor and pericalcarine surface area. SUB PRS were associated with brain structure variation in ABCD. Our findings highlight a shared genetic etiology between cortical brain morphology and SUB and suggest that genetic variants associated with SUB may be causally related to brain structure differences.

Predicting fluid intelligence in adolescence from structural MRI with deep learning methods

Susmita Saha, Alex Pagnozzi, Dana Bradford, Jurgen Fripp, Predicting fluid intelligence in adolescence from structural MRI with deep learning methods, Intelligence, Volume 88, Sept-Oct 2021, 101568, ISSN 0160-2896, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2021.101568.

Background
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of unsegmented structural T1w MR images of adolescent brain for predicting uncorrected/actual fluid intelligence scores without any predefined feature extraction. We also examined whether prediction of uncorrected scores is simply a harder problem from both biological and technical point of view, than prediction of residualised scores.

Methods

ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) study data was used from 7709 children aged 9–10, including T1-weighted MRIs and fluid intelligence scores, with data split into training (n = 3739), validation (n = 415) and test (n = 3555) subsets. We developed several deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN) models for both actual and residualised fluid intelligence score prediction from the MR images. State of the art, conventional or reverse 2D/3D CNN architectures were developed to perform the regression task and optimised based on Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r. The models were then compared with published results on the same dataset.

Results

Our proposed model achieved prediction accuracies of r = 0.18 (p < 0.001) for the validation and r = 0.1 (p < 0.05) for the test, for actual IQ prediction. Our results showed that, although we achieved ~10 times higher correlation for the residualised score prediction than the correlations reported by previous CNN studies, using the same unsegmented MR images, it could not exceed the actual IQ prediction performance. This suggests that the image features associated with covariates aided up in the uncorrected score prediction rather than making the task harder.

Conclusion

Our deep learning CNN was able to establish a weak but stable correlation between structural brain features and raw fluid intelligence. To improve neuroimaging-based fluid intelligence prediction performance, future studies will be required to explore ensembled regression strategies with multiple machine learning algorithms on multimodal MRIs.

Relationships between apparent cortical thickness and working memory across the lifespan – effects of genetics and socioeconomic status

Stine K. Krogsrud, Athanasia M. Mowinckel, Donatas Sederevicius, Didac Vidal-Piñeiro, Inge K. Amlien, Yunpeng Wang, Øystein Sørensen, Kristine B. Walhovd, Anders M. Fjell (2021). Relationships between apparent cortical thickness and working memory across the lifespan – effects of genetics and socioeconomic status, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 51, October 2021, 100997, ISSN 1878-9293, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100997.

Working memory (WM) supports several higher-level cognitive abilities, yet we know less about factors associated with development and decline in WM compared to other cognitive processes. Here, we investigated lifespan changes in WM capacity and their structural brain correlates, using a longitudinal sample including 2358 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and WM scores from 1656 participants (4.4-86.4 years, mean follow-up interval 4.3 years). 8764 participants (9.0-10.9 years) with MRI, WM scores and genetic information from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study were used for follow-up analyses. Results showed that both the information manipulation component and the storage component of WM improved during childhood and adolescence, but the age-decline could be fully explained by reductions in passive storage capacity alone. Greater WM function in development was related to apparent thinner cortex in both samples, also when general cognitive function was accounted for. The same WM-apparent thickness relationship was found for young adults. The WM-thickness relationships could not be explained by SNP-based co-heritability or by socioeconomic status. A larger sample with genetic information may be necessary to disentangle the true gene-environment effects. In conclusion, WM capacity changes greatly through life and has anatomically extended rather than function-specific structural cortical correlates.

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. Racial Disparities in Elementary School Disciplinary Actions: Findings From the ABCD Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol 60, Issue 8, P998-1009, AUGUST 01, 2021.

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 versus secondary caregiver) when controlling for typical behaviors associated with detention and suspension such as externalizing symptoms, age, sex, family income, family education, family conflict, and special education needs.

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

Results
5.4% of children received a detention or suspension. Controlling for typical predictors of behaviors, Black and multiracial Black children had up to 3.5 times greater odds of receiving a detention or suspension than White children; there were no disciplinary differences for Hispanic or Asian children compared to White children. Children from single-parent households had 1.4 times the odds of receiving detentions or suspensions than children in homes with a secondary caregiver.

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.

 

Substance use patterns in 9-10 year olds: Baseline findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study

Krista M. Lisdahl, Susan Tapert, Kenneth J. Sher, Raul Gonzalez, Sara Jo Nixon, Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Kevin P. Conway, Alex Wallace, Ryan Sullivan, Kelah Hatcher, Christine Kaiver, Wes Thompson, Chase Reuter, Hauke Bartsch, Natasha E. Wade, Joanna Jacobus, M.D. Albaugh, N. Allgaier, A.P. Anokhin, K. Bagot, F.C. Baker, M.T. Banich, D.M. Barch, A. Baskin-Sommers, F.J. Breslin, S.A. Brown, V. Calhoun, B.J. Casey, B. Chaarani, L. Chang, D.B. Clark, C. Cloak, R.T. Constable, L.B. Cottler, R. Dagher, M. Dapretto, A. Dick, E.K. Do, N.U.F. Dosenbach, G.J. Dowling, D.A. Fair, P. Florsheim, J.J. Foxe, E.G. Freedman, N. Friedman, H.P. Garavan, D.G. Gee, M.D. Glantz, P. Glaser, M.R. Gonzalez, K.M. Gray, S. Grant, F. Haist, S. Hawes, S.G. Heeringa, R. Hermosillo, M.M. Herting, J.M. Hettema, J.K. Hewitt, C. Heyser, E.A. Hoffman, K.D. Howlett, R.S. Huber, M.A. Huestis, L.W. Hyde, W.G. Iacono, A. Isaiah, M.Y. Ivanova, R.S. James, T.L. Jernigan, N.R. Karcher, J.M. Kuperman, A.R. Laird, C.L. Larson, K.H. LeBlanc, M.F. Lopez, M. Luciana, B. Luna, H.H. Maes, A.T. Marshall, M.J. Mason, E. McGlade, A.S. Morris, C. Mulford, B.J. Nagel, G. Neigh, C.E. Palmer, M.P. Paulus, D. Pecheva, D. Prouty, A. Potter, L.I. Puttler, N. Rajapakse, J.M Ross, M. Sanchez, C. Schirda, J. Schulenberg, C. Sheth, P.D. Shilling, E.R. Sowell, N. Speer, L. Squeglia, C. Sripada, J. Steinberg, M.T. Sutherland, R. Tomko, K. Uban, S. Vrieze, S.R.B. Weiss, D. Wing, D.A. Yurgelun-Todd, R.A. Zucker, Mary M. Heitzeg (2021). Substance use patterns in 9-10 year olds: Baseline findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 227, 1 October 2021, 108946, ISSN 0376-8716, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108946.

Background
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development ™ Study (ABCD StudyⓇ) is an open-science, multi-site, prospective, longitudinal study following over 11,800 9- and 10-year-old youth into early adulthood. The ABCD Study aims to prospectively examine the impact of substance use (SU) on neurocognitive and health outcomes. Although SU initiation typically occurs during teen years, relatively little is known about patterns of SU in children younger than 12.

Methods
This study aims to report the detailed ABCD StudyⓇ SU patterns at baseline (n = 11,875) in order to inform the greater scientific community about cohort’s early SU. Along with a detailed description of SU, we ran mixed effects regression models to examine the association between early caffeine and alcohol sipping with demographic factors, externalizing symptoms and parental history of alcohol and substance use disorders (AUD/SUD).

Primary Results
At baseline, the majority of youth had used caffeine (67.6 %) and 22.5 % reported sipping alcohol (22.5 %). There was little to no reported use of other drug categories (0.2 % full alcohol drink, 0.7 % used nicotine, 0.1 % used cannabis, <0.02 % used any other drug of abuse). Analyses revealed that total caffeine use and early alcohol sipping were associated with demographic variables (p’s<.05), externalizing symptoms (caffeine p = 0002; sipping p = .0003), and parental history of AUD (sipping p = .03).

Conclusions
ABCD Study participants aged 9–10 years old reported caffeine use and alcohol sipping experimentation, but very rare other SU. Variables linked with early childhood alcohol sipping and caffeine use should be examined as contributing factors in future longitudinal analyses examining escalating trajectories of SU in the ABCD Study cohort.

Testing whether implicit emotion regulation mediates the association between discrimination and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood: An RDoC perspective

Vargas TG, Mittal VA. Testing whether implicit emotion regulation mediates the association between discrimination and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood: An RDoC perspective. Dev Psychopathol. 2021 Jul 29:1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0954579421000638. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34323206.

Discrimination has been associated with adverse mental health outcomes, though it is unclear how early in life this association becomes apparent. Implicit emotion regulation, developing during childhood, is a foundational skill tied to a range of outcomes. Implicit emotion regulation has yet to be tested as an associated process for mental illness symptoms that can often emerge during this sensitive developmental period. Youth aged 9-11 were recruited for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Associations between psychotic-like experiences, depressive symptoms, and total discrimination (due to race, ethnicity, nationality, weight, or sexual minority status) were tested, as well as associations with implicit emotion regulation measures (emotional updating working memory and inhibitory control). Analyses examined whether associations with symptoms were mediated by implicit emotion regulation. Discrimination related to decreased implicit emotion regulation performance, and increased endorsement of depressive symptoms and psychotic-like experiences. Emotional updating working memory performance partially mediated the association between discrimination and psychotic-like experiences, while emotional inhibitory control did not. Discrimination and implicit emotion regulation could serve as putative transdiagnostic markers of vulnerability. Results support the utility of using multiple units of analysis to improve understanding of complex emerging neurocognitive functions and developmentally sensitive periods.

Prenatal caffeine exposure: association with neurodevelopmental outcomes in 9- to 11-year-old children

Zhang R, Manza P, Volkow ND. Prenatal caffeine exposure: association with neurodevelopmental outcomes in 9- to 11-year-old children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 27. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13495. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34318489.

Background: Despite the widespread use of caffeine including consumption during pregnancy, the effect of prenatal caffeine exposure on child brain development and behavior is unclear.

Methods: To address this, we used data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study (n = 11,875 children aged 9-11 years from 22 sites across the United States). We explored the associations between prenatal caffeine exposure and various developmental outcomes including birth outcomes, physical health, behavior problems, cognition, substance use and brain structure in children, and evaluated dose effects.

Results: Among 9,978 children (4,745 females) who had valid data for prenatal caffeine exposure and whose mothers did not use drugs of abuse after knowing of pregnancy, 4,170 (41.79%) had no prenatal caffeine exposure, 2,292 (22.97%) had daily, 1,933 (19.37%) had weekly, and 1,583 (15.86%) had less than weekly exposures. Prenatal caffeine exposure including the widely recommended ‘safe’ dose was associated with greater externalizing problems, whereas greater BMI and soda consumption were only observed in children with high dose exposures (3+ per day). Notably, the effect size for association of externalizing problems with prenatal caffeine exposure was comparable with that reported for prenatal alcohol (The American Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 2020 and 1060) and prenatal cannabis (JAMA Psychiatry, 78, 2020 and 64) exposures from previous ABCD publications. Additionally, prenatal caffeine exposure was associated with brain structural changes that included greater posterior and lower frontal cortical thickness and altered parietooccipital sulcal depth.

Conclusions: The recommended ‘safe’ dose of caffeine during pregnancy should be carefully studied to assess whether the behavioral and brain correlates observed here are clinically relevant and determine whether it needs adjustment. Because of the high prevalence of caffeine use in the general population, studies on prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse should include prenatal caffeine use as a covariate.

Is executive dysfunction a risk marker or consequence of psychopathology? A test of executive function as a prospective predictor and outcome of general psychopathology in the adolescent brain cognitive development study®

Romer AL, Pizzagalli DA. Is executive dysfunction a risk marker or consequence of psychopathology? A test of executive function as a prospective predictor and outcome of general psychopathology in the adolescent brain cognitive development study®. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2021 Jul 22;51:100994. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100994. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34332330.

A general psychopathology (‘p’) factor captures shared variation across mental disorders. One hypothesis is that poor executive function (EF) contributes to p. Although EF is related to p concurrently, it is unclear whether EF predicts or is a consequence of p. For the first time, we examined prospective relations between EF and p in 9845 preadolescents (aged 9-12) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® longitudinally over two years. We identified higher-order factor models of psychopathology at baseline and one- and two-year follow-up waves. Consistent with previous research, a cross-sectional inverse relationship between EF and p emerged. Using residualized-change models, baseline EF prospectively predicted p factor scores two years later, controlling for prior p, sex, age, race/ethnicity, parental education, and family income. Baseline p factor scores also prospectively predicted change in EF two years later. Tests of specificity revealed that bi-directional prospective relations between EF and p were largely generalizable across externalizing, internalizing, neurodevelopmental, somatization, and detachment symptoms. EF consistently predicted change in externalizing and neurodevelopmental symptoms. These novel results suggest that executive dysfunction is both a risk marker and consequence of general psychopathology. EF may be a promising transdiagnostic intervention target to prevent the onset and maintenance of psychopathology.

Genetic and environmental influences on executive functions and intelligence in middle childhood

Freis SM, Morrison CL, Lessem JM, Hewitt JK, Friedman NP (2021). Genetic and environmental influences on executive functions and intelligence in middle childhood. Dev Sci. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1111/desc.13150. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34288270.

Executive functions (EFs) and intelligence (IQ) are phenotypically correlated. In twin studies, latent variables for EFs and IQ display moderate to high heritability estimates; however, they show variable genetic correlations in twin studies spanning childhood to middle age. We analyzed data from over 11,000 children (9-10-year-olds, including 749 twin pairs) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to examine the phenotypic and genetic relations between EFs and IQ in childhood. We identified two EF factors — Common EF and Updating-Specific — which were both related to IQ (rs = .64-.81). Common EF and IQ were heritable (53-67%), and their genetic correlation (rG = .86) was not significantly different than 1. These results suggest that EFs and IQ are phenotypically but not genetically separable in middle childhood, meaning that this phenotypic separability may be influenced by environmental factors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Heterogeneity Within Youth With Childhood-Onset Conduct Disorder in the ABCD Study

Brislin SJ, Martz ME, Cope LM, Hardee JE, Weigard A, Heitzeg MM. Heterogeneity Within Youth With Childhood-Onset Conduct Disorder in the ABCD Study. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 16;12:701199. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.701199. PMID: 34335337; PMCID: PMC8322519.

The purpose of this study was to examine if personality traits can be used to characterize subgroups of youth diagnosed with childhood-onset conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 11,552 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Data used in this report came from doi: 10.15154/1504041 (M age 9.92; 45.3% female, 49.6% white, 19.0% Hispanic). A subset of this sample (n = 365) met criteria for CD. Latent profile analyses (LPA) were performed on this subgroup (n = 365) to define profiles of individuals with CD based on self-report measures of impulsivity, punishment sensitivity, reward response, and callous-unemotional traits. Follow up analyses determined if these groups differed on clinically relevant variables including psychopathology, environmental risk factors, social risk factors, and neurocognitive functioning. Participants with a CD diagnosis scored significantly higher on psychological, environmental, social, and neurocognitive risk factors. The LPA revealed three unique profiles, which differed significantly on liability for broad psychopathology and domain-specific liability for externalizing psychopathology but were largely matched on environmental and social risk factors. These unique configurations provide a useful way to further parse clinically relevant subgroups within youth who meet criteria for childhood-onset CD, setting the stage for prospective longitudinal research using these latent profiles to better understand the development of youth with childhood-onset CD.

Psychotic-like experiences and polygenic liability in the ABCD Study®

Karcher NR, Paul SE, Johnson EC, Hatoum AS, Baranger DA, Agrawal A, Thompson WK, Barch DM, Bogdan R (2021). Psychotic-like experiences and polygenic liability in the ABCD Study®. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021 Jul 13:S2451-9022(21)00191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.06.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34271214.

Background: Childhood psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) often precede the development of later severe psychopathology. The current study examined whether childhood PLEs are associated with several psychopathology-related polygenic scores (PGS), and additionally examined possible neural and behavioral mechanisms.

Methods: Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ Study baseline data from children with European ancestry (n=4,650; ages 9-10; 46.8% female) were used to estimate associations between PLEs (i.e., both total and presence of significantly distressing) and PGS for psychopathology (i.e., schizophrenia, psychiatric cross-disorder risk, PLEs) and related phenotypes (i.e., educational attainment [EDU]), birth-weight, inflammation). We also assessed whether variability in brain structure indices (i.e., volume, cortical thickness, surface area), as well as behaviors proximal to PGS (e.g., cognition for EDU), indirectly linked PGS to PLEs using mediational models.

Results: Total and significantly distressing PLEs were associated with EDU and cross-disorder PGS (all %ΔR2s=0.202-0.660%; pFDRs<0.006). Significantly distressing PLEs were also associated with higher schizophrenia and PLEs PGS (both %ΔR2=0.120-0.171%; pFDRs<0.03). There was evidence global brain volume metrics and cognitive performance indirectly linked EDU PGS to PLEs (estimated proportion mediated: 3.33-32.22%).

Conclusions: Total and significantly distressing PLEs were associated with genomic risk indices of broad-spectrum psychopathology risk (i.e., EDU and cross-disorder PGS). Significantly distressing PLEs were also associated with genomic risk for psychosis (i.e., schizophrenia, PLEs). Global brain volume metrics and PGS-proximal behaviors represent promising putative intermediary phenotypes that may indirectly link genomic risk to psychopathology. Broadly, polygenic scores derived from genome-wide association studies of adult samples generalize to indices of psychopathology risk among children.

History of depression, elevated BMI, and waist-to-height ratio in pre-adolescent children

Lewis-de Los Angeles WW, Liu RT (2021). History of depression, elevated BMI, and waist-to-height ratio in pre-adolescent children. Psychosom Med. 2021 Jul 13. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000982. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34267084.

Objective: To evaluate whether a history of depression or self-injurious thoughts and behaviors predict elevated BMI and elevated waist-to-height ratio in pre-adolescents.

Methods: Baseline data were evaluated from a large, nationally representative cohort study of 9- and 10-year-old children (unweighted n = 11,875), the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

Results: In the weighted sample, 10.6 % of children had a history of depression, 7.0% had engaged in non-suicidal self-injury, 13.1% had experienced suicidal ideation in their lifetime, and 1.1% had a history of attempted suicide. 34.1% of children had an elevated BMI in the overweight or obese range and 31.9% of children had a waist-to-height ratio > 0.5. In multivariate analyses, history of depression was associated with elevated BMI and waist-to-height ratio. Furthermore, interactions with sex were found; girls with a history of depression were more likely to have an elevated BMI (OR 1.47, 95% CI: 1.24-1.74) and elevated waist-to-height ratio (OR 1.48, 95% CI: 1.18-1.86) than girls without a history of depression, but no differences were observed between boys with and without a history of depression. Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors were not associated with elevated BMI or elevated waist-to-height.

Conclusions: In this study, nine- and ten-year-old girls with a history of depression were more likely to have an elevated BMI and elevated waist-to-height ratio than girls with no history of depression. These results provide important clinical context in caring for pre-adolescents with a history of depression.

Parental Education and Children’s Sleep Disturbance: Minorities’ Diminished Returns

Assari S (2021). Parental Education and Children’s Sleep Disturbance: Minorities’ Diminished Returns. Int J Epidemiol Res. 2021 Winter;8(1):31-39. PMID: 34263059; PMCID: PMC8277116.

Background and aims: While increased parental education reduces children’s sleep problems, less is known about racial variation in such protection. According to Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) theory, economic resources such as parental education show weaker health effects for minority groups such as Blacks and Latinos than non-Latino Whites, which is due to racism and social stratification. In this study, we investigated the association between parental education and children’s sleep problems, as a proxy of sleep problems, by race.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 11718 American children aged 9-10. All participants were recruited to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The independent variable was parental education, a five-level nominal variable. The dependent variable – sleep problems, was a continuous variable. Race/ethnicity was the effect modifier. Age, sex, and marital status were the covariates. Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis.

Results: Parental education was associated with children’s sleep problems. However, there was a weaker inverse association seen in non-Latino Black and Latino families compared to non-Latino White families. This was documented by a significant statistical interaction between race and ethnicity and parental education on children’s sleep problems.

Conclusion: Diminished protective effect of parental education on children’s sleep problems for non- Latino Black and Latino families compared to non-Latino White families is similar to the MDRs in other domains. Worse than expected sleep may contribute to higher-than-expected health risks of middle-class Black and Latino children.

Imaging and health metrics in incidental cerebellar tonsillar ectopia: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD)

Nwotchouang BST, Ibrahimy A, Loth DM, Labuda E, Labuda N, Eppleheimer M, Labuda R, Bapuraj JR, Allen PA, Klinge P, Loth F. Imaging and health metrics in incidental cerebellar tonsillar ectopia: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD). Neuroradiology. 2021 Jul 11. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02759-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34247260.

Purpose: Incidental cerebellar tonsillar ectopia (ICTE) that meets the radiographic criterion for Chiari malformation type I (CMI) is an increasingly common finding in the clinical setting, but its significance is unclear. The present study examined posterior cranial fossa (PCF) morphometrics and a broad range of health instruments of pediatric ICTE cases and matched controls extracted from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset.

Methods: One-hundred-six subjects with ICTE and 106 matched controls without ICTE were identified from 11,411 anatomical MRI of healthy screened pediatric subjects from the ABCD project. Subjects were matched by sex, age, body mass index, race, and ethnicity. Twenty-two brain morphometrics and 22 health instruments were compared between the two groups to identify unrecognized CMI symptoms and assess the general health impact of ICTE.

Results: Twelve and 15 measures were significantly different between the ICTE and control groups for females and males, respectively. Notably, for females, the anterior CSF space was significantly smaller (p = 0.00005) for the ICTE group than controls. For males, the clivus bone length was significantly shorter (p = 0.0002) for the ICTE group compared to controls. No significant differences were found among the 22 health instruments between the two groups.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that pediatric ICTE subjects have similar PCF morphometrics to adult CMI. ICTE alone did not appear to cause any unrecognized CMI symptoms and had no impact on the subjects’ current mental, physical, or behavioral health. Still, given their cranial and brain morphology, these cases may be at risk for adult-onset symptomatic CMI.

Child reward neurocircuitry and parental substance use history: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Kwarteng AE, Rahman MM, Gee DG, Infante MA, Tapert SF, Curtis BL (2021). Child reward neurocircuitry and parental substance use history: Findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study, Addictive Behaviors, Volume 122, 2021, 107034, ISSN 0306-4603, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107034.

Background
Substance use research has focused on family history of alcohol use disorders but less on other addictions in biological family members. We examined how parental substance use history relates to reward system functioning, specifically nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and putamen activation at age 9-10 in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. This research hopes to address limitations in prior literature by focusing analyses on a large, substance-naïve sample.

Method
We included ABCD participants with valid Monetary Incentive Delay task fMRI Baseline data and parent substance use history at project baseline from Data Release 2.0 (N =10,622). Parent-history-positive (PH+) participants had one or both biological parents with a history of two+ problems with alcohol (n = 741; PH+A) and/or other drugs (n =638; Ph+D). Of participants who were parent-history-negative (PH-) for alcohol and/or drugs, a stratified random sample based on six sociodemographic variables was created and matched to the PH+ group (PH-A n = 699; PH-D n = 615). The contrast of interest was anticipation of a large reward vs. neutral response.

Results
PH+A youth had more activation in the right NAcc during large reward anticipation than PH-A. PH+D youth showed enhanced left putamen activation during large reward anticipation than PH-D youth. Bayesian hypothesis testing showed moderate evidence (BF > 3) in favor of the null hypothesis.

Conclusion
These findings suggest that pre-adolescents whose biological parents had a history of substance-related problems show small differences in reward processing compared to their PH- peers.

Psychiatric comorbidity of eating disorders in children between the ages of 9 and 10

Convertino AD, Blashill AJ. Psychiatric comorbidity of eating disorders in children between the ages of 9 and 10. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13484. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34225382.

Background: Eating disorders exhibit high comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders, most notably mood, substance use, and anxiety disorders. However, most studies examining psychiatric comorbidity are conducted in adolescents and adults. Therefore, the comorbidity among children living with eating disorders is unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize co-occurring psychiatric disorders with eating disorders in a US sample of children aged 9-10 years old utilizing the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study.

Methods: The analytic sample included 11,718 children aged 9-10 years. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding and eating disorder subtype diagnoses were examined. Statistical analyses were conducted using complex sampling. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated comparing the likelihood of being diagnosed for a psychiatric disorder when having an eating disorder, as compared to children without an eating disorder, children diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and children diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder using binary logistic regression.

Results: Co-occurring psychiatric disorders were substantially higher in children with eating disorders as compared to children without eating disorders, but not as compared to children diagnosed with major depressive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. The most common comorbidities for the eating disorder group were anxiety disorders (71.4%), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (47.9%), disruptive/impulse control disorders (45.0%), mood disorders (29.6%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (28.8%), largely in line with previous research.

Conclusions: This study extends prior research finding high rates of comorbidity in eating disorders, specifically with anxiety, mood, and disruptive/impulse control disorders. Clinicians assessing for psychiatric disorders should be aware that eating disorders can occur in children 9 and 10 years old and are associated with severe comorbidity. Referrals for specialty mental health care should be considered.

Morphometry of the Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex is Associated With Eating Dispositions in Early Adolescence: Findings From a Large Population-Based Study

Peter A Hall, John Best, James Danckert, Elliott A Beaton, Jessica Lee (2021). Morphometry of the Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex is Associated With Eating Dispositions in Early Adolescence: Findings From a Large Population-Based Study, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2021, nsab084, https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsab084

Early adolescence is a critical period for eating behavior as children gain autonomy around food choice and peer influences increase in potency. From a neurodevelopmental perspective, significant structural changes take place in the prefrontal cortex during this time, including the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which is involved in socially contextualized decision making. We examined morphological features of the OFC in relation to food choice in a sample of 10,309 early adolescent children from the ABCD study. Structural parameters of the OFC and insula were examined for relationships with two important aspects of food choice: limiting consumption of fast/fried food and maximizing consumption of nutritious foods. Raw, partially and fully adjusted models were evaluated. Findings revealed that larger surface area of the lateral OFC was associated with higher odds of limiting fast/fried food consumption in raw (OR=1.07, CI:1.02,1.12, p=.002, pFDR=.012), partially adjusted (OR=1.11, CI:1.03,1.19, p=.004, pFDR=.024), and fully adjusted models (OR=1.11, CI:1.03,1.19, p=.006, pFDR=.036). In contrast, larger insula volume was associated with lower odds of maximizing healthy foods in raw (OR=0.94, CI:.91,0.97, p <.001, pFDR=.003) and partially adjusted (OR=0.93, CI: 0.88-0.98, p=.008, pFDR=.048) models. These findings refine understanding of the OFC as a network node implicated in socially mediated eating behavior.

Symptom-Based Profiling and Multimodal Neuroimaging of a Large Preteenage Population Identifies Distinct Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-like Subtypes With Neurocognitive Differences

Wu X, Yu G, Zhang K, Feng J, Zhang J, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW. Symptom-Based Profiling and Multimodal Neuroimaging of a Large Preteenage Population Identifies Distinct Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-like Subtypes With Neurocognitive Differences. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2021 Jul 2:S2451-9022(21)00175-0. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.06.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34224907.

Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by both internalizing (anxiety) and externalizing (compulsivity) symptoms. Currently, little is known about their interrelationships and their relative contributions to disease heterogeneity. Our goal is to resolve affective and cognitive symptom heterogeneity related to internalized and externalized symptom dimensions by determining subtypes of children with OCD symptoms, and to identify any corresponding neural differences.

Methods: A total of 1269 children with OCD symptoms screened using the Child Behavior Checklist Obsessive-Compulsive Symptom scale and 3987 matched control subjects were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Consensus hierarchical clustering was used to cluster children with OCD symptoms into distinct subtypes. Ten neurocognitive task scores and 20 Child Behavior Checklist syndrome scales were used to characterize cognitive/behavioral differences. Gray matter volume, fractional anisotropy of major white matter fiber tracts, and functional connectivity among networks were used in case-control studies.

Results: We identified two subgroups with contrasting patterns in internalized and externalized dimensions. Group 1 showed compulsive thoughts and repeated acts but relatively low anxiety symptoms, whereas group 2 exhibited higher anxiety and perfectionism and relatively low repetitive behavior. Only group 1 had significant cognitive impairments and gray matter volume reductions in the bilateral inferior parietal lobe, precentral gyrus, and precuneus gyrus, and had white matter tract fractional anisotropy reductions in the corticostriatal fasciculus.

Conclusions: Children with OCD symptoms are heterogeneous at the level of symptom clustering and its underlying neural basis. Two subgroups represent distinct patterns of externalizing and internalizing symptoms, suggesting that anxiety is not its major predisposing factor. These results may have implications for the nosology and treatment of preteenage OCD.

Neurobiological antecedents of multisite pain in children

Kaplan CM, Schrepf A, Mawla I, Ichesco E, Boehnke KF, Beltz A, Foxen-Craft E, Puglia M, Tsodikov A, Williams DA, Hassett AL, Clauw DJ, Harte SE, Harris RE. (2021). Neurobiological antecedents of multisite pain in children. PAIN: July 02, 2021 – doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002431

Altered brain structure and function is evident in adults with multisite chronic pain. Although many such adults trace their pain back to childhood, it has been difficult to disentangle whether central nervous system alterations precede or are consequences of chronic pain. If the former is true, aberrant brain activity may identify children vulnerable to developing chronic pain later in life. We examined structural and functional brain magnetic resonance imaging metrics in a subset of children from the first two assessments of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Children (ages 9-10) who were pain-free at baseline and then developed multisite pain one year later (n=115) were matched to control children who were pain-free at both timepoints (n=230). We analyzed brain structure (cortical thickness and gray matter volume) and function (spontaneous neural activity and functional connectivity). Results were deemed significant at the cluster level p < 0.05 false discovery rate corrected for multiple comparisons. At baseline, children who subsequently developed multisite pain had increased neural activity in superior parietal/primary somatosensory and motor cortices and decreased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. They also exhibited stronger functional connectivity between the salience network, somatosensory and default mode network regions. No significant differences in brain structure were observed. Increased neural activity and functional connectivity between brain regions, consistent to that seen in adults with chronic pain, exist in children prior to developing multisite pain. These findings may represent a neural vulnerability to developing future chronic pain.

Concurrent and prospective associations between fitbit wearable-derived RDoC arousal and regulatory constructs and adolescent internalizing symptoms

Nelson BW, Flannery JE, Flournoy J, Duell N, Prinstein MJ, Telzer E. Concurrent and prospective associations between fitbit wearable-derived RDoC arousal and regulatory constructs and adolescent internalizing symptoms. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 29. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13471. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34184767.

Background: Adolescence is characterized by alterations in biobehavioral functioning, during which individuals are at heightened risk for onset of psychopathology, particularly internalizing disorders. Researchers have proposed using digital technologies to index daily biobehavioral functioning, yet there is a dearth of research examining how wearable metrics are associated with mental health.

Methods: We preregistered analyses using the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study dataset using wearable data collection in 5,686 adolescents (123,862 person-days or 2,972,688 person-hours) to determine whether wearable indices of resting heart rate (RHR), step count, and sleep duration and variability in these measures were cross-sectionally associated with internalizing symptomatology. All models were also run controlling for age, sex, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and race. We then performed prospective analyses on a subset of this sample (n = 143) across 25 months that had Fitbit data available at baseline and follow-up in order to explore directionality of effects.

Results: Cross-sectional analyses revealed a small, yet significant, effect size (R2 = .053) that higher RHR, lower step count and step count variability, and greater variability in sleep duration were associated with greater internalizing symptoms. Cross-lagged panel model analysis revealed that there were no prospective associations between wearable variables and internalizing symptoms (partial R2 = .026), but greater internalizing symptoms and higher RHR predicted lower step count 25 months later (partial R2 = .010), while higher RHR also predicted lower step count variability 25 months later (partial R2 = .008).

Conclusions: Findings indicate that wearable indices concurrently associate with internalizing symptoms during early adolescence, while a larger sample size is likely required to accurately assess prospective or directional effects between wearable indices and mental health. Future research should capitalize on the temporal resolution provided by wearable devices to determine the intensive longitudinal relations between biobehavioral risk factors and acute changes in mental health.

Contemporary screen time usage among children 9-10-years-old is associated with higher body mass index percentile at 1-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study

Nagata JM, Iyer P, Chu J, Baker FC, Gabriel KP, Garber AK, Murray SB, Bibbins-Domingo K, Ganson KT (2021). Contemporary screen time usage among children 9-10-years-old is associated with higher body mass index percentile at 1-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study. Pediatr Obes. 2021 Jun 28:e12827. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12827. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34180585.

Objective: There is a paucity of prospective research exploring the relationship among contemporary screen time modalities (e.g., video streaming, video chatting, texting and social networking) and body mass index (BMI) percentile. The objective of this study was to determine the prospective associations between screen time behaviours in a large and demographically diverse population-based cohort of 9-10-year-old children and BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up.

Methods: We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11 066). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between baseline screen time behaviours (exposure) and BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, depression, binge-eating disorder and baseline BMI percentile.

Results: Each additional hour of total screen time per week was prospectively associated with a 0.22 higher BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up (95% CI 0.10-0.34) after adjusting for covariates. When examining specific screen time behaviours, each additional hour of texting (B = 0.92, 95% CI 0.29-1.55), video chat (B = 0.72, 95% CI 0.09-1.36) and video games (B = 0.42, 95% CI 0.06-0.78) was significantly prospectively associated with higher BMI percentile.

Conclusions: Screen time is prospectively associated with a higher BMI percentile 1 year later among children 9-10 years old.

Brain structure is linked to the association between family environment and behavioral problems in children in the ABCD study

Gong, W., Rolls, E.T., Du, J. et al. (2021). Brain structure is linked to the association between family environment and behavioral problems in children in the ABCD study. Nat Commun 12, 3769 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23994-0

Children’s behavioral problems have been associated with their family environments. Here, we investigate whether specific features of brain structures could relate to this link. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging of 8756 children aged 9-11 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Developmental study, we show that high family conflict and low parental monitoring scores are associated with children’s behavioral problems, as well as with smaller cortical areas of the orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and middle temporal gyrus. A longitudinal analysis indicates that psychiatric problems scores are associated with increased family conflict and decreased parental monitoring 1 year later, and mediate associations between the reduced cortical areas and family conflict, and parental monitoring scores. These results emphasize the relationships between the brain structure of children, their family environments, and their behavioral problems.

Meaningful Associations in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study

Dick AS, Lopez DA, Watts AL, Heeringa S, Reuter C, Bartsch H, Fan CC, Kennedy DN, Palmer C, Marshall A, Haist F, Hawes S, Nichols TE, Barch DM, Jernigan TL, Garavan H, Grant S, Pariyadath V, Hoffman E, Neale M, Stuart EA, Paulus MP, Sher KJ, Thompson WK. Meaningful Associations in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. Neuroimage. 2021 Jun 17:118262. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118262. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34147629.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is the largest single-cohort prospective longitudinal study of neurodevelopment and children’s health in the United States. A cohort of n= 11,880 children aged 9-10 years (and their parents/guardians) were recruited across 22 sites and are being followed with in-person visits on an annual basis for at least 10 years. The study approximates the US population on several key sociodemographic variables, including sex, race, ethnicity, household income, and parental education. Data collected include assessments of health, mental health, substance use, culture and environment and neurocognition, as well as geocoded exposures, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and whole-genome genotyping. Here, we describe the ABCD Study aims and design, as well as issues surrounding estimation of meaningful associations using its data, including population inferences, hypothesis testing, power and precision, control of covariates, interpretation of associations, and recommended best practices for reproducible research, analytical procedures and reporting of results.

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.

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.

Widespread Positive Direct and Indirect Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Developing Functional Connectome in Early Adolescence

Brooks SJ, Parks SM, Stamoulis C (2021). Widespread Positive Direct and Indirect Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Developing Functional Connectome in Early Adolescence, Cerebral Cortex, 2021;, bhab126, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab126

Adolescence is a period of profound but incompletely understood changes in the brain’s neural circuitry (the connectome), which is vulnerable to risk factors such as unhealthy weight, but may be protected by positive factors such as regular physical activity. In 5955 children (median age = 120 months; 50.86% females) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) cohort, we investigated direct and indirect (through impact on body mass index [BMI]) effects of physical activity on resting-state networks, the backbone of the functional connectome that ubiquitously affects cognitive function. We estimated significant positive effects of regular physical activity on network connectivity, efficiency, robustness and stability (P ≤ 0.01), and on local topologies of attention, somatomotor, frontoparietal, limbic, and default-mode networks (P < 0.05), which support extensive processes, from memory and executive control to emotional processing. In contrast, we estimated widespread negative BMI effects in the same network properties and brain regions (P < 0.05). Additional mediation analyses suggested that physical activity could also modulate network topologies leading to better control of food intake, appetite and satiety, and ultimately lower BMI. Thus, regular physical activity may have extensive positive effects on the development of the functional connectome, and may be critical for improving the detrimental effects of unhealthy weight on cognitive health.

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 (???? = 0.08; p < .01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that the interaction between gastric symptoms and maternal acceptance was significant for girls only (???? = -0.06, p < .01), such that low maternal acceptance was associated with a stronger relationship between baseline gastric symptoms and Y1 ED symptoms. No statistically significant main effects or interactions were found in the model for paternal acceptance.

Discussion: Gastric symptoms and low perceived maternal acceptance may interact to result in heightened risk for EDs in young adolescent girls.

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.

Association Between Parental Educational Attainment and Children’s Negative Urgency: Sex Differences

Assari S. Association Between Parental Educational Attainment and Children’s Negative Urgency: Sex Differences. Int J Epidemiol Res. 2021 Winter;8(1):14-22. doi: 10.34172/IJER.2021.04. Epub 2021 Mar 30. PMID: 34604532; PMCID: PMC8486299.

Background and aims: Negative urgency reflects a specific facet of impulsivity and correlates with a wide range of health-related risk behaviors, including, but not limited to, problematic substance use. Negative urgency is also shaped by family socioeconomic position (SEP), such as parental educational attainment (PEA). This study aimed to explore sex differences regarding protective effects of PEA on children’s negative urgency in the US.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study data. Baseline ABCD data included 10,535 American children in the age range of 9-10 years old. The independent variable was PEA, treated as a 5-level categorical variable. The primary outcome was negative urgency measured by the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation Seeking, Positive Urgency, Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS-SS). Mixed-effects regression models were applied for data analysis.

Results: In sex-stratified regression models, high PEA was predictive of lower levels of negative urgency in female but not male children. In the overall sample, sex showed a statistically significant interaction with PEA on children’s negative urgency, indicating a stronger protective effect of high PEA for female compared to male children.

Conclusion: PEA was a more salient determinant of negative urgency in female children than male ones. Our results also showed that American boys tend to have high levels of negative urgency, which is a risk factor of drug use, at all parental education levels.

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.

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.

Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children’s Internalizing Symptoms: Race and Socioeconomic Status Differences

Assari S. Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children’s Internalizing Symptoms: Race and Socioeconomic Status Differences. J Ment Health Clin Psychol. 2021;5(1):19-33. Epub 2021 Mar 19. PMID: 34590080; PMCID: PMC8478356.

Background: In the United States, due to residential segregation, racial minorities and families with low socioeconomic status (SES) tend to live in less safe neighborhoods than their White and high SES counterparts. As such, in the US, race and SES closely correlate with neighborhood safety. Due to the high chronicity of stress in unsafe neighborhoods, perceived neighborhood safety may be a mechanism through which race and SES are linked to children’s mental health. Simultaneously, race and SES may alter the effects of perceived neighborhood safety on children’s mental health.

Aim: To explore racial and SES differences in the effects of neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms, we compared racially and SES diverse groups of American children for the effects of parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10484 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Mixed-effects regression was used for data analysis. The predictor variable was parents’ perceived neighborhood safety which was treated as a continuous measure. The primary outcome was children’s internalizing symptoms reported by children. Race, parental education, household income, and family structure were moderators.

Results: Overall, the parents’ high neighborhood safety was associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms in children. Race and household income showed statistically significant interactions with subjective neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children’s internalizing symptoms for Black than White families. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children’s internalizing symptoms for high income than low-income families. Parental education or family structure did not show any significant interaction with parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms.

Conclusion: The degree to which neighborhood safety may be associated with children’s internalizing symptoms may depend on race and household income. Some of the effects of race and SES on children’s mental health outcomes may be due to interactions with contextual factors such as neighborhood safety. More research is needed on why and how diverse racial and SES groups differ in the association between perceived neighborhood safety and children’s well-being.

The General Factor of Psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: A Comparison of Alternative Modeling Approaches

Clark DA, Hicks BM, Angstadt M, Rutherford S, Taxali A, Hyde L, Weigard A, Heitzeg MM, Sripada C. The General Factor of Psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: A Comparison of Alternative Modeling Approaches. Clin Psychol Sci. 2021 Mar;9(2):169-182. doi: 10.1177/2167702620959317. Epub 2021 Feb 16. PMID: 34621600; PMCID: PMC8494184.

Many models of psychopathology include a single general factor of psychopathology (GFP) or “p factor” to account for covariation across symptoms. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study provides a rich opportunity to study the development of the GFP. However, a variety of approaches for modeling the GFP have emerged, raising questions about how modeling choices impact estimated GFP scores. We used the ABCD baseline assessment (ages 9-10 years-old; N=11,875) of the parent-rated Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to examine the implications of modeling the GFP using items versus scales; using a priori CBCL scales versus data-driven dimensions; and using bifactor, higher-order, or single-factor models. Children’s rank-ordering on the GFP was stable across models, with GFP scores similarly related to criterion variables. Results suggest that while theoretical debates about modeling the GFP continue, the practical implications of these choices for rank-ordering children and assessing external associations will often be modest.

 

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.

Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Correlates of Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Screening and Diagnosis History: Sex/Gender Differences

Assari S. Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Correlates of Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Screening and Diagnosis History: Sex/Gender Differences. J Neurol Neuromedicine. 2021;6(1):1278. doi: 10.29245/2572.942x/2021/1.1278. Epub 2021 Feb 1. PMID: 34632309

Background: While clinical studies have documented sex differences in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive function of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), it is unknown if these sex differences are due to differences in referral and diagnosis or if they can be also seen when we screen a community sample for ADHD. If these sex differences exist in populations with a diagnosis history but cannot be seen in screening, then they are unfair, preventable, and due to gender (social processes in referral and diagnosis) rather than sex.

Aim: Using the data from a community sample of 9-10-year-old healthy developing children, we explored sex differences in the associations between cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and health status with positive screening vs. history of diagnosed ADHD.

Methods: The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study included a national sample of 10,171 American children between ages 9 and 10 years old. This sample included 1,488 children with a history of psychiatric diagnosis and 8,683 children without a diagnosis. The two independent variables were screening and history of ADHD. The following variables were outcomes: symptom severity, cognitive function, body mass index (BMI), internalizing, externalizing, and total behavioral disorders. Sex was the moderator, and age, race, ethnicity, education, household income, and family structure were covariates. Mixed-effects regression models were used to adjust for the nested nature of the data.

Results: Positive screening for ADHD and a history of diagnosis were both associated with worse cognitive function, higher internalizing, externalizing, total problem behaviors, higher inattention (ADHD symptoms), and lower BMI. Sex altered the association between history of diagnosis but not positive screening for ADHD with externalizing, and total behavioral problems as well as cognitive function. Sex did not affect the associations between positive screening for ADHD or a history of diagnosis with BMI or ADHD symptoms. Both history of diagnosis and positive screening for ADHD were associated with higher internalizing for boys than girls.

Conclusion: History of diagnosis, but not positive screening for ADHD, is differently associated with behavioral and cognitive performance of males and females. As sex differences are seen in correlates of history of diagnosis but not positive screening, some of the observed sex differences are due to differential referral and diagnosis rather than differential presentation of ADHD in the community. This finding suggests that some of the so-called “sex differences” that are believed to be due to biology and heritable may be “gender differences” and modifiable. This is important because while gender differences are preventable and modifiable, sex differences are not.

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.

Parental Education Ain’t Enough: A Study of Race (Racism), Parental Education, and Children’s Thalamus Volume

Assari S, Curry TJ. Parental Education Ain’t Enough: A Study of Race (Racism), Parental Education, and Children’s Thalamus Volume. J Educ Cult Stud. 2021;5(1):1-21. doi: 10.22158/jecs.v5n1p1. Epub 2020 Dec 3. PMID: 34308264; PMCID: PMC8297613.

Introduction: The thalamus is the hub of the brain and has a significant role in various brain activities.

Purpose: This study explored racial differences in the association between parental education and thalamus volume among American children.

Methods: Using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), we analyzed the structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI) data of 11141 9-10 years old children. The main outcome was the left thalamus volume. The independent variable was parental education. Age, sex, ethnicity, family marital status, and intracranial volume were the covariates. Race was the moderator. To analyze the data, we used mixed-effects regression models.

Results: In race-stratified models, high parental education was associated with smaller thalamus volume in White but not Black children. In the pooled sample, significant interactions were found between race and parental education suggesting that the effect of parental education on left thalamus volume is significantly smaller for Blacks and mixed/other race children than White children. We did not find similar findings for the right thalamus volume.

Conclusions: The effect of parental education on children’s left thalamus volume seems to be weaker for Black and other/mixed-race children than their White counterparts. This finding is in support of Minorites’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) that suggest due to social stratification and racism, economic resources have weaker-than-expected effects for minority than majority populations.

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