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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;56(11):983-991.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.09.415. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Amygdala Resting Connectivity Mediates Association Between Maternal Aggression and Adolescent Major Depression: A 7-Year Longitudinal Study.

Author information

1
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia; Columbia University, New York.
2
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia.
3
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia; Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
4
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
5
University of Oregon, Eugene.
6
Oregon Research Institute, Eugene.
7
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; University of Oregon, Eugene; Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville.
8
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia; Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: swhittle@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The parent-adolescent relationship is an important predictor of adolescent mental health, especially depressive disorders. This relationship is constructed in the context of maturing emotion neurobiology and could help shape such neurobiology in ways that are important for current and future mental health. Amygdala resting-state functional networks have been linked to depression, but whether such resting connectivity is associated with parent affective behaviors or acts as a salient mediator between parenting and risk for depressive disorder is unknown.

METHOD:

In the present study of 128 individuals, a 7-year longitudinal design was used to examine how observed maternal aggressive behavior during mother-adolescent interactions in early adolescence (12 years) predicted amygdala (whole and subregion)-based resting connectivity in mid adolescence (16 years). In 101 of those participants, whether altered amygdala resting-state connectivity mediated the association between maternal aggressive behavior and the first onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) in late adolescence (19 years) was analyzed.

RESULTS:

Maternal aggression was related to resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and right superior temporal-posterior insula-Heschl gyri, bilateral visual cortex, and left temporal and insula cortices (the latter being driven by the centromedial amygdala subregion; p < .001). Further, amygdala and centromedial amygdala connectivity with the temporal and insula cortices mediated the association between maternal aggression and late adolescent-onset MDD (CI 0.20 to 2.87; CI 0.13 to 2.40, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

These findings are consistent with previous literature documenting the importance of amygdala resting networks for adolescent depression but further suggest the importance of parental affective (particularly aggressive) behavior in the development of such functional connectivity patterns during this period of peak onset for mental health disorders.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent; amygdala; maternal aggression; parent–adolescent relationship; resting state functional connectivity

PMID:
29096781
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaac.2017.09.415
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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