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Emotional maltreatment and neglect impact neural activation upon exclusion in early and mid-adolescence: An event-related fMRI study

Schulz, Charlotte and von Klitzing, Kai and Deserno, Lorenz and Sheridan, Margaret A and Crowley, Michael J and Schoett, Margerete JS and Hoffmann, Ferdinand and Villringer, Arno and Vrticka, Pascal and White, Lars O (2022) 'Emotional maltreatment and neglect impact neural activation upon exclusion in early and mid-adolescence: An event-related fMRI study.' Development and Psychopathology, 34 (2). pp. 573-585. ISSN 0954-5794

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Child maltreatment gives rise to atypical patterns of social functioning with peers which might be particularly pronounced in early adolescence when peer influence typically peaks. Yet, few neuroimaging studies in adolescents use peer interaction paradigms to parse neural correlates of distinct maltreatment exposures. This fMRI study examines effects of abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment (EM) among 98 youth (n = 58 maltreated; n = 40 matched controls) using an event-related Cyberball paradigm affording assessment of both social exclusion and inclusion across early and mid-adolescence (≤13.5 years, n = 50; >13.5 years, n = 48). Younger adolescents showed increased activation to social exclusion versus inclusion in regions implicated in mentalizing (e.g., superior temporal gyrus). Individual exposure-specific analyses suggested that neglect and EM coincided with less reduction of activation to social exclusion relative to inclusion in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/pre-supplementary motor area (dACC/pre-SMA) among younger versus older adolescents. Integrative follow-up analyses showed that EM accounted for this dACC/pre-SMA activation pattern over and above other exposures. Moreover, age-independent results within respective exposure groups revealed that greater magnitude of neglect predicted blunted exclusion-related activity in the parahippocampal gyrus, while EM predicted increased activation to social exclusion in the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescence; emotional maltreatment; neglect; fMRI; social exclusion
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 12:36
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 12:06

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