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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Nov;57(11):1287-1296. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12552. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Structural brain correlates of adolescent resilience.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA. Keith.Burt@uvm.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
3
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.
4
Department of Psychiatry, CHU Ste Justine Hospital, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
5
Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
6
Institute of Neuroscience and Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
7
Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
8
Department of Addictive Behaviour and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
9
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM CEA Unit 1000 'Imaging & Psychiatry', University Paris Sud, Orsay, France.
10
AP-HP Department of Adolescent Psychopathology and Medicine, Maison de Solenn, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
11
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
12
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
13
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Braunschweig, Germany.
14
Neurospin, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Paris, France.
15
Rotman Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
16
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
17
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.
18
The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
19
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
20
Department of Experimental Psychology, Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
21
Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
22
MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, London, UK.
23
Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.
24
Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite calls for integration of neurobiological methods into research on youth resilience (high competence despite high adversity), we know little about structural brain correlates of resilient functioning. The aim of the current study was to test for brain regions uniquely associated with positive functioning in the context of adversity, using detailed phenotypic classification.

METHODS:

1,870 European adolescents (Mage  = 14.56 years, SDage  = 0.44 years, 51.5% female) underwent MRI scanning and completed behavioral and psychological measures of stressful life events, academic competence, social competence, rule-abiding conduct, personality, and alcohol use.

RESULTS:

The interaction of competence and adversity identified two regions centered on the right middle and superior frontal gyri; grey matter volumes in these regions were larger in adolescents experiencing adversity who showed positive adaptation. Differences in these regions among competence/adversity subgroups were maintained after controlling for several covariates and were robust to alternative operationalization decisions for key constructs.

CONCLUSIONS:

We demonstrate structural brain correlates of adolescent resilience, and suggest that right prefrontal structures are implicated in adaptive functioning for youth who have experienced adversity.

KEYWORDS:

IMAGEN study; Imaging; adolescence; adversity; competence; resilience

PMID:
27079174
DOI:
10.1111/jcpp.12552
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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