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Interaction between parenting styles and adrenarcheal timing associated with affective brain function in late childhood

journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2018, 00:00 authored by C Barbosa, J G Simmons, Nandi VijayakumarNandi Vijayakumar, P Dudgeon, G C Patton, L K Mundy, N B Allen, S Whittle
Objective: Parenting and pubertal timing have consistently been associated with internalizing and externalizing symptoms in childhood and adolescence, and there is some evidence that the interaction between these factors may be important in conferring risk. However, few studies have investigated whether neurobiological factors mediate these relationships. The current study examined whether interactions between adrenarcheal timing and parenting styles were associated with affective brain function and, in turn, mental health difficulties. Method: Participants were 88 healthy children (46 female and 42 male, mean age 9.42 years, SD = 1.08 years), with 45 classified as relatively early and 43 as relatively late in adrenarcheal development based upon adrenal hormone levels. Participants completed an affective face functional magnetic resonance imaging task, and parents reported on 5 parenting styles and on child internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Results: Negative parenting styles (corporal punishment and poor monitoring) were associated with brain hemodynamic response while viewing affective faces in several subcortical and lateral prefrontal regions, and adrenarcheal timing and/or sex moderated most of these relationships. Sex differences in associations between corporal punishment and brain activation to affective faces indicated that late females might show less adaptive affective neural function when more exposed to this parenting style. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the interaction between parenting styles and adrenarcheal timing is associated with affective brain function in late childhood, with marked sex differences. Further longitudinal research with larger samples is needed to corroborate and expand upon these findings.



Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry






678 - 686.e4




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2019, Elsevier Inc.