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Understanding the Role of the Brain in Race/Ethnicity Based Stressors and Behavioral Challenges Among Youth of Color

Hanson, Jamie and Booth, Jaime and Hwang, Seong Jae (2021) Understanding the Role of the Brain in Race/Ethnicity Based Stressors and Behavioral Challenges Among Youth of Color. In: Pitt Momentum Fund 2021.

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Racial and ethnic discrimination can impact mental health, with these types of negative experiences linked to later depression, anxiety, and aggression. While these relations have now been well established in large-scale epidemiological studies, how racial and ethnic discrimination get “under the skin” to create mental health challenges is poorly understood. Suggestive data underscores that racial and ethnic discrimination may be best conceptualized as forms of chronic psychosocial stressors, especially as these experiences are linked with multiple forms of physiological dysregulation. With these changes likely impacting the brain and brain development, it will be critical to understand if racial and ethnic discrimination influence brain development during adolescence, a developmental period when the brain is rapidly changing and when mental health problems are increasing. To increase knowledge in this space, this project will leverage, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (Total N=11,875) and use cutting-edge neuroimaging methods to test the hypothesis that higher levels of self-reported racial and ethnic discrimination will influence connectivity in brain circuits involved with reward and emotion-processing. Changes in these neural circuits, we hypothesize, could then create an increased risk for mental health challenges. Pinpointing critical pathways between youth of Color’s context and brain development, pathways that are typically overlooked when youth are aggregated, may be crucial for identifying targets for interventions to prevent mental health issues. Understanding these mechanisms may also give insight into brain development that may be applied to the prevention of other problem behaviors.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hanson, JamieJAMIELH@pitt.edu0000-0002-0469-8886
Hwang, Seong Jaesjh95@pitt.edu0000-0002-3713-5553
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Office of Sponsored Research > Pitt Momentum Fund
Date: 2021
Event Title: Pitt Momentum Fund 2021
Event Type: Other
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18117/08g8-9g65
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
School of Computing and Information > Computer Science
School of Social Work > Social Work
Refereed: No
Other ID: 4138
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2021 19:11
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 19:44


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