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Risk-taking, peer-influence and child maltreatment: A neurocognitive investigation

Hoffmann, F; Puetz, VB; Viding, E; Sethi, A; Palmer, A; McCrory, EJ; (2017) Risk-taking, peer-influence and child maltreatment: A neurocognitive investigation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience , 13 (1) pp. 124-134. 10.1093/scan/nsx124. Green open access

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Abstract

Maltreatment is associated with increased risk of a range of psychiatric disorders, many of which are characterized by altered risk-taking propensity. Currently, little is known about the neural correlates of risk-taking in children exposed to maltreatment, nor whether their risk-taking is atypically modulated by peer influence. Seventy-five 10-14 year-old children (maltreated (MT) group: N = 41; non-maltreated Group (NMT): N = 34) performed a Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), under three different peer influence conditions: while alone; while being observed by a peer; while being encouraged by a peer to take risks. The MT group engaged in less risk-taking irrespective of peer influence. There was no differential effect of peer influence on risk-taking behaviour across groups. At the neural level the right anterior insula (rAI) exhibited altered risk-sensitivity across conditions in the MT group. Across groups and conditions, rAI risk-sensitivity was negatively associated with risk-taking and within the MT group greater rAI risk-sensitivity was related to more anxiety symptoms. These findings suggest that children with a history of maltreatment show reduced risk-taking but typical responses to peer influence. Abnormal rAI functioning contributes to the pattern of reduced risk-taking and may predispose children exposed to maltreatment to develop future psychopathology.

Type: Article
Title: Risk-taking, peer-influence and child maltreatment: A neurocognitive investigation
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsx124
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsx124
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Childhood maltreatment, risk-taking, peer influence, fMRI
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10029085
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