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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Oct;15:26-34. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2015.08.005. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Buffering effect of positive parent-child relationships on adolescent risk taking: A longitudinal neuroimaging investigation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. Electronic address: yangqu3@illinois.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA; Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Abstract

Adolescence is marked by a steep increase in risk-taking behavior. The serious consequences of such heightened risk taking raise the importance of identifying protective factors. Despite its dynamic change during adolescence, family relationships remain a key source of influence for teenagers. Using a longitudinal fMRI approach, we scanned 23 adolescents twice across a 1.5-year period to examine how changes in parent-child relationships contribute to changes in adolescent risk taking over time via changes in adolescents' neural reactivity to rewards. Results indicate that although parent-child relationships are not associated with adolescent risk taking concurrently, increases in positive parent-child relationships contribute to declines in adolescent risk taking. This process is mediated by longitudinal decreases in ventral striatum activation to rewards during risk taking. Findings highlight the neural pathways through which improvements in positive parent-child relationships serve to buffer longitudinal increases in adolescent risk taking.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Parent–child relationships; Risk taking; fMRI

PMID:
26342184
PMCID:
PMC4639442
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2015.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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