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REWARD AND PUNISHMENT PROCESSING IN SUBGROUPS OF YOUTH WITH CONDUCT PROBLEMS: CHARACTERIZATION OF THE NEURAL RESPONSE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERVENTION

Byrd, Amy, L. (2015) REWARD AND PUNISHMENT PROCESSING IN SUBGROUPS OF YOUTH WITH CONDUCT PROBLEMS: CHARACTERIZATION OF THE NEURAL RESPONSE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERVENTION. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Extensive research has focused on abnormalities in reward and punishment processing as a mechanism underlying childhood-onset conduct problems (CP), particularly among CP youth with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. However, there is still debate about the neural underpinnings of this mechanism. Moreover, while researchers suggest that these youth may be resistant to social learning based interventions due to deficits in reward and punishment processing, this has not been empirically investigated. This dissertation expands on previous research by 1) examining neural abnormalities in reward and punishment processing among CP youth with and without CU traits relative to healthy controls (HC); and 2) assessing whether individual differences in reward and punishment processing are associated with CP following intervention. Prior to treatment, neural responsivity to reward and punishment was assessed in key regions of interest among a sample of boys (ages 8-11; n=64) using an event-related fMRI task. CP youth were then randomly assigned to an empirically supported treatment (Stop-Now-And-Plan (SNAP) or treatment as usual, and were re-evaluated following intervention. Baseline differences in brain function were examined as a predictor of post-intervention CP. Results demonstrated differences in neural reactivity to be most reliable and robust with regard to amygdala responsivity to punishment. Specifically, boys with CP demonstrated reduced amygdala reactivity to punishment relative to HC; however, there was no difference in responsivity between subgroups of children with CP, suggesting that reduced punishment sensitivity may be characteristic of boys with early-onset CP regardless of CU traits. Regarding reward, CP youth with low levels of CU exhibited reduced reactivity to reward across several key regions of interest (e.g., caudate, amygdala) while CP youth with CU were characterized by significant activation to reward that did not differ from HC; notably, this was reduced to non-significance after controlling for co-occurring internalizing problems. Finally, although random assignment to SNAP resulted in significant reductions in CP at post-treatment follow-up, responsivity to reward and punishment was unrelated to post-treatment levels of CP. Findings highlight the importance continuing to investigate the role of reward and punishment processing in the development of early-onset CP and point to potential implications for intervention.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Byrd, Amy, L.alb202@pitt.eduALB202
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPardini, Dustin, A.dap38@pitt.eduDAP38
Committee CoChairLoeber, Rolfloeberr@upmc.eduRLOE
Committee MemberCampbell, Susan, B.sbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Committee MemberShaw, Daniel, S.danielshaw@pitt.eduCASEY
Committee MemberManuck, Stephen, B.manuck@pitt.edu3
Date: 11 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 October 0014
Approval Date: 11 September 2015
Submission Date: 13 August 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 136
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: conduct problems, callous-unemotional traits, reward, punishment, fMRI, intervention
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 18:11
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:42
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/25954

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