Processes linking socioeconomic disadvantage and neural correlates of cognitive control in adolescence


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Socioeconomic status (SES) is broadly associated with self-regulatory abilities across childhood and adolescence. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying this association, especially during adolescence when individuals are particularly sensitive to environmental influences. The current study tested perceived stress, household chaos, parent cognitive control, and parent-adolescent relationship quality as potential proximal mediators of the association between family SES and neural correlates of cognitive control. A sample of 167 adolescents and their primary caregivers participated in a longitudinal study across four years. SES was indexed by caregivers’ education and income-to-needs ratio at Time 1. At Time 2, adolescents reported on their perceived stress, household chaos, and relationship with parents, and parents completed a cognitive control task. Two years later, adolescents completed the same cognitive control task while blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) response was monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A parallel mediation model indicated that parent cognitive control, but not other proximal factors, explained the relation between SES and adolescents’ activation in the middle frontal gyrus during a cognitive control task. The results suggest potential targets for intervention and prevention efforts that may positively alter neurocognitive outcomes related to socioeconomic disadvantage.



Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Psychology, Developmental, Neurosciences, Psychology, Neurosciences & Neurology, Socioeconomic status, fMRI, Cognitive control, Adolescence, Environment, Self-regulation, MULTISOURCE INTERFERENCE TASK, BRAIN-DEVELOPMENT, INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION, EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS, HOUSEHOLD CHAOS, STRESS, CHILDHOOD, POVERTY, ASSOCIATIONS, FMRI, 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1109 Neurosciences, 1702 Cognitive Sciences