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Associations between maternal negative affect and adolescent's neural response to peer evaluation

  • Author(s): Tan, PZ
  • Lee, KH
  • Dahl, RE
  • Nelson, EE
  • Stroud, LJ
  • Siegle, GJ
  • Morgan, JK
  • Silk, JS
  • et al.
Abstract

Parenting is often implicated as a potential source of individual differences in youths' emotional information processing. The present study examined whether parental affect is related to an important aspect of adolescent emotional development, response to peer evaluation. Specifically, we examined relations between maternal negative affect, observed during parent-adolescent discussion of an adolescent-nominated concern with which s/he wants parental support, and adolescent neural responses to peer evaluation in 40 emotionally healthy and depressed adolescents. We focused on a network of ventral brain regions involved in affective processing of social information: the amygdala, anterior insula, nucleus accumbens, and subgenual anterior cingulate, as well as the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Maternal negative affect was not associated with adolescent neural response to peer rejection. However, longer durations of maternal negative affect were associated with decreased responsivity to peer acceptance in the amygdala, left anterior insula, subgenual anterior cingulate, and left nucleus accumbens. These findings provide some of the first evidence that maternal negative affect is associated with adolescents' neural processing of social rewards. Findings also suggest that maternal negative affect could contribute to alterations in affective processing, specifically, dampening the saliency and/or reward of peer interactions during adolescence. © 2014 The Authors.

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