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Neural response to monetary and social rewards and familial risk for psychopathology in adolescent females.

Psychological Medicine 2024 January 5
BACKGROUND: Adolescence is a key developmental period for the emergence of psychopathology. Reward-related brain activity increases across adolescence and has been identified as a potential neurobiological mechanism of risk for different forms of psychopathology. The reward positivity (RewP) is an event-related potential component that indexes reward system activation and has been associated with both concurrent and family history of psychopathology. However, it is unclear whether the RewP is also associated with higher-order psychopathology subfactors and whether this relationship is present across different types of reward.

METHODS: In a sample of 193 adolescent females and a biological parent, the present study examined the association between adolescent and parental psychopathology subfactors and adolescent RewP to monetary and social reward.

RESULTS: Results indicated that the adolescent and parental distress subfactors were negatively associated with the adolescent domain-general RewP. The adolescent and parental positive mood subfactors were negatively associated with the adolescent domain-general and domain-specific monetary RewP, respectively. Conversely, the adolescent and parental fear/obsessions subfactors were positively associated with the adolescent domain-general RewP. The associations between parental and adolescent psychopathology subfactors and the adolescent RewP were independent of each other.

CONCLUSIONS: The RewP in adolescent females is associated with both concurrent and parental psychopathology symptoms, suggesting that it indexes both severity and risk for higher-order subfactors.

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