Family Conflict, Internalizing Symptoms, and Amygdala-Default Mode Network Resting State Functional Connectivity in Healthy Youth from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study
A malfunctioning family environment, indicated by higher family conflict or low parental warmth and acceptance, has been repeatedly associated with adverse psychological outcomes in children. Research on the implications of a negative family environment on the developing brain has identified the amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex as a neural circuit that may be particularly sensitive to adverse effects of parenting. Early maturation of this circuit has been documented in children with negative family and parenting environments. This circuit is part of a larger neural circuit, the default mode network (DMN), and deviations in this have been implicated in psychopathology and may be sensitive to the caregiver environment. The present study analyzed a sample of healthy, typically developing youth ages 9-10.9 years from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study for the mediating effects of amygdala-DMN resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) on the relationship between family conflict and internalizing symptoms, and parental warmth and acceptance and internalizing symptoms. The moderating effects of age and sex on these relationships were also explored. Higher family conflict was significantly associated with greater child internalizing symptoms; however, no significant mediating effect of amygdala-DMN RSFC on this relationship was found. Parental warmth and acceptance was not significantly related to internalizing symptoms. No significant relationships between family conflict or parental warmth and acceptance and amygdala-DMN RSFC were identified in the full sample. However, in boys younger than 9.38 years, higher family conflict was significantly related to greater right amygdala-DMN RSFC. This suggests there may be sex- and age-specific effects on the development of this circuitry and the potential influence of the family environment. Future research should explore these relationships in a wider age range of children in addition to children with specific psychopathology.
Developmental psychology|Psychobiology|Cognitive psychology|Clinical psychology|Individual & family studies|Physiological psychology
Davis, Kaley Ellen, "Family Conflict, Internalizing Symptoms, and Amygdala-Default Mode Network Resting State Functional Connectivity in Healthy Youth from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27955631.