(30 lines) Adolescent substance use is a significant public health problem that predicts future substance use disorders in adulthood. Precise understanding of risk factors is needed to develop and target preventions. A large body of research has identified the parenting environment as a strong risk factor for adolescent substance use. However, the brain mechanisms for effects of parenting on substance use are not known. In our current NIDA-funded R01 study, we found that maladaptive parenting behaviors measured in our novel laboratory parent-adolescent interaction task (PAIT) significantly predicted current and future (1 year later) substance use in 245 early adolescents. As a next step, in this R01 renewal application, we propose to team with a neuroscientist (co-PI Thompson) to investigate emotion- and reward-related brain mechanisms of effects of parenting on adolescent substance use. We conducted a pilot fMRI study with 72 of the adolescents from the R01 study and found initial evidence that observed parenting behaviors in the laboratory PAIT task predicted altered fronto-limbic-striatal activation to negative emotion and reward and that these brain responses predicted future adolescent substance use. Further, we found that these brain pathways differed by gender, with girls showing a pathway characterized by heightened fronto-limbic activation to negative emotion and boys showing a pathway characterized by heightened fronto-striatal activation to reward. The proposed renewal study will formally examine gender-differentiated brain pathways from parenting to adolescent substance use in a large sample with a greater range of parenting behavior. We will recruit 326 substance-naive 11-12 year olds and their parents, with 40% oversampled for maladaptive parenting. In a laboratory session, we will measure observed parenting behaviors and adolescent physiological responses in our PAIT task, validated in the current R01 study. Adolescents will complete fMRI sessions to examine brain functional activation (and also functional connectivity) in standardized emotion processing, reward processing, and resting-state tasks which we piloted in the current R01 sample. We will collect detailed behavioral and biological measures of substance use and problem use, emotion and reward sensitivity, and reported parenting at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 year follow-ups into middle adolescence. We will examine: 1. Parenting in PAIT predicting adolescent emotion- and reward-related brain function by gender and 2. Adolescent brain function predicting increases in substance use over three years, by gender. The study will be the first to integrate laboratory assessment of parenting with neuro- imaging to understand brain-based mechanisms of parenting effects on substance use. By identifying brain mechanisms of parenting effects, and gender differences in these, we can better target and strengthen parenting-focused prevention programs and develop gender-sensitive preventions.

Public Health Relevance

Research has demonstrated that poor parenting is a major risk factor for adolescent substance abuse risk, but the mechanisms for parenting effects on substance use are not known. The proposed study will examine emotion- and reward-related brain mechanisms of effects of parenting on adolescent substance use and gender differences in these mechanisms. Findings will identify gender-sensitive brain-based mechanisms of parenting effects, which can be used to develop stronger personalized parenting intervention programs and to develop gender-sensitive interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Addiction Risks and Mechanisms Study Section (ARM)
Program Officer
Gordon, Harold
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George Mason University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Chaplin, Tara M; Niehaus, Claire; Gonçalves, Stefanie F (2018) Stress reactivity and the developmental psychopathology of adolescent substance use. Neurobiol Stress 9:133-139
Turpyn, Caitlin C; Poon, Jennifer A; Ross, Corynne E et al. (2018) Associations Between Parent Emotional Arousal and Regulation and Adolescents' Affective Brain Response. Soc Dev 27:3-18
Chaplin, Tara M; Klein, Melanie R; Cole, Pamela M et al. (2017) Developmental change in emotion expression in frustrating situations: The roles of context and gender. Infant Child Dev 26:
Panjwani, Naaila; Chaplin, Tara M; Sinha, Rajita et al. (2016) Gender Differences in Emotion Expression in Low-Income Adolescents Under Stress. J Nonverbal Behav 40:117-132
Poon, Jennifer A; Turpyn, Caitlin C; Hansen, Amysue et al. (2016) Adolescent Substance Use & Psychopathology: Interactive Effects of Cortisol Reactivity and Emotion Regulation. Cognit Ther Res 40:368-380
Turpyn, Caitlin C; Chaplin, Tara M (2016) Mindful Parenting and Parents' Emotion Expression: Effects on Adolescent Risk Behaviors. Mindfulness (N Y) 7:246-254
Turpyn, Caitlin C; Chaplin, Tara M; Cook, Emily C et al. (2015) A person-centered approach to adolescent emotion regulation: Associations with psychopathology and parenting. J Exp Child Psychol 136:1-16
Cook, Emily C; Chaplin, Tara M; Stroud, Laura R (2015) The Relationship Between Autonomy and Relatedness and Adolescents' Adrenocortical and Cardiovascular Stress Response. J Youth Adolesc 44:1999-2011
Chaplin, Tara M (2015) Gender and Emotion Expression: A Developmental Contextual Perspective. Emot Rev 7:14-21
Chaplin, Tara M; Visconti, Kari Jeanne; Molfese, Peter J et al. (2015) Prenatal cocaine exposure differentially affects stress responses in girls and boys: associations with future substance use. Dev Psychopathol 27:163-80

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