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Poster A40

Adolescent brain development and the impact of adversity and peers: longitudinal insights from the ABCD study

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ms Lara Ayla Pollmann1 (, Divyangana Rakesh1,2, Katie McLaughlin2, Delia Fuhrmann1; 1King's College London, 2Harvard University

Adolescence is a sensitive period marked by biological and social changes, with over two-thirds of young people globally facing adverse experiences before reaching eighteen years of age. The mechanisms through which adversity shapes development, especially during adolescence, are not fully understood. Potential pathways include neurodevelopmental changes, where exposure to adversity may influence neurobiological mechanisms. Research suggests a complex interplay between trauma, brain development, and mental health issues. This study explores the impact of two adverse experiences on brain connectivity during adolescence: family conflict and youth-perceived neighbourhood safety. We will use a random intercept cross-lagged panel model (RI-CLPM) to investigate these relations using the longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD, N ≈ 12.000). We hypothesize that (1) there will be a cross-lagged/spillover effect of adversity to brain connectivity and from brain connectivity to youth issues. We predict (2) autoregressive/within-person carry-over effects of each individual variable. The results of the analysis are currently being analyzed. Preliminary results indicate that family conflict and youths' internal and external mental health issues are highly correlated across ages 10 to 14. Youth issues and brain development appear predictive of the perception of neighbourhood safety. In this study, we highlight the complex interplay of adversity, brain development and youth mental health, shedding light on adolescence as a sensitive period during which adverse experiences may significantly impact development.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024