Publications by authors named "Philip Fisher"

146 Publications

Improving Caregiver Self-Efficacy and Children's Behavioral Outcomes via a Brief Strength-Based Video Coaching Intervention: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Prev Sci 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Psychology and Center for Translational Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.

Many existing preventive intervention programs focus on promoting responsive parenting practices. However, these parenting programs are often long in duration and expensive, and meta-analytic evidence indicates that families facing high levels of adversity typically benefit less. Moreover, due to a lack of specification and evaluation of conceptual models, the mechanisms underlying program-related changes in caregivers and their children often remain unclear. The current study aimed to test the effectiveness of a video feedback parenting intervention program, Filming Interactions to Nurture Development (FIND), in improving caregivers' self-efficacy and reducing children's behavioral problems. Data derived from a randomized controlled trial using pretest-posttest design with low-income families reporting high levels of stress (N = 91, children aged 4 to 36 months old, 41.8% female). Families were randomly assigned to an active control or FIND intervention group. Results indicated that caregivers in the FIND group exhibited significant improvement in self-report sense of parenting competence and self-efficacy in teaching tasks. These program impacts were particularly pronounced among caregivers who experience high levels of childhood adversity. Findings provide preliminary support for the FIND conceptual model. Specifically, caregivers' improved self-efficacy in teaching tasks was linked to children's reduced internalizing and externalizing problems (notably, direct FIND intervention effects on children's behavioral outcomes were not observed). Overall, results support the effectiveness of FIND in enhancing caregivers' sense of parenting competence and potentially promoting optimal child development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11121-021-01251-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Alpha electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry among toddlers in foster care.

Dev Psychopathol 2020 12;32(5):1743-1753

University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, OR, USA.

The majority of children living in foster care in the United States have a history of maltreatment and/or disrupted caregiving. Maltreatment in early childhood adversely affects development at many levels, including neurobiology and behavior. One neurobiological measure associated with maltreatment is alpha electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry. Prior research has found greater right frontal asymmetry among children with a history of maltreatment. However, little research has been extended developmentally downward to examine alpha asymmetry and its behavioral correlates among toddlers in foster care; this was the purpose of the present study. Differences in EEG asymmetry were examined between a sample of foster toddlers (mean age = 3.21 years, n = 38) and a community comparison, low-income sample without a history of foster care (mean age = 3.04 years, n = 16). The toddlers in the foster care group exhibited greater right alpha asymmetry, primarily driven by differences in parietal asymmetry. Neither frontal nor parietal asymmetry were clearly related to internalizing or externalizing behaviors, measured concurrently or at previous time points. These findings reveal differences in alpha EEG asymmetry among toddlers in foster care, and highlight the need to better understand associations between neurobiological and behavioral functioning following early adversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579420001212DOI Listing
December 2020

Characterizing the impact of adversity, abuse, and neglect on adolescent amygdala resting-state functional connectivity.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2021 Feb 8;47:100894. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.

Characterizing typologies of childhood adversity may inform the development of risk profiles and corresponding interventions aimed at mitigating its lifelong consequences. A neurobiological grounding of these typologies requires systematic comparisons of neural structure and function among individuals with different exposure histories. Using seed-to-whole brain analyses, this study examined associations between childhood adversity and amygdala resting-state functional connectivity (rs-fc) in adolescents aged 11-19 years across three independent studies (N = 223; 127 adversity group) in both general and dimensional models of adversity (comparing abuse and neglect). In a general model, adversity was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc with clusters within the left anterior lateral prefrontal cortex. In a dimensional model, abuse was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc within the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/anterior mid-cingulate cortex, as well as within the dorsal attention, visual, and somatomotor networks. Neglect was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc with the hippocampus, supplementary motor cortex, temporoparietal junction, and regions within the dorsal attention network. Both general and dimensional models revealed unique regions, potentially reflecting pathways by which distinct histories of adversity may influence adolescent behavior, cognition, and psychopathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100894DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7786040PMC
February 2021

Stress system reactivity moderates the association between cumulative risk and children's externalizing symptoms.

Int J Psychophysiol 2020 12 24;158:248-258. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada.

This study examined children's stress system reactivity via the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPAA) during an acute stressor as moderators of predicted relations between cumulative risk (CR) and mental health symptoms in a sociodemographically diverse sample of young children (n = 58). We employed a reliable stressor paradigm to allow assessment of individual differences in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period (PEP), indexing ANS reactivity, and salivary cortisol, indexing HPAA reactivity. Children's behaviours were assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). Cumulative risk was indexed by eight parent-reported sociodemographic and psychosocial risk factors. There was a significant main effect of CR on externalizing but not internalizing behaviours. Significant moderations emerged showing that among children with high CR, less RSA withdrawal during the acute stressor and less cortisol recovery following the stressor were associated with to greater externalizing behaviours. Among children with low CR, RSA and cortisol recovery were unrelated to internalizing or externalizing symptoms. Cortisol and PEP reactivity were not significant moderators. Results highlight the relevance of stress system function for understanding differential susceptibility to the early emergence of externalizing symptoms, linked to cumulative risk exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2020.09.016DOI Listing
December 2020

Expectations of Social Consequences Impact Anticipated Involvement in Health-Risk Behavior During Adolescence.

J Res Adolesc 2020 12 10;30(4):1008-1024. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

University of Oregon.

This study examined how individual differences in expectations of social consequences relate to individuals' expected involvement in health-risk behaviors (HRBs). A total of 122 adolescents (aged 11-17) reported their expected involvement in a number of risk behaviors and whether or not they expect to be liked more or less by engaging in the behavior: the expected social benefit. Higher perceived social benefit was associated with higher anticipated involvement in said behavior. This relationship was stronger for adolescents who reported a higher degree of peer victimization, supporting the hypothesis that experiencing victimization increases the social value of peer interactions. Findings suggest that adolescents incorporate expectations of social consequences when making decisions regarding their involvement in HRBs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12576DOI Listing
December 2020

Measurement of parental executive function in early childhood settings: Instrument reliability and validity in community-led research projects.

J Community Psychol 2020 09 15;48(7):2277-2289. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Center for Translational Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

A growing number of early childhood (EC) parenting programs target adult executive function (EF) to build responsive parenting behaviors and to promote positive child development. Although measurement of EF is well understood in academic research, little work has examined EF measurement in community settings. The present study examined psychometric properties of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version among 203 parents whose children were enrolled in EC programs serving under-resourced communities. We calculated Cronbach's α and mean-item correlations to test internal consistency reliability. To test factor structure, we conducted exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analyses. Results suggest adequate internal consistency and that factor structures, beyond the original proposed, are appropriate for our community sample. Together, findings indicate that self-report measures of adult EF may perform differently for families experiencing adversity, raising questions about the acceptability of clinical EF tools in in underserved communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22413DOI Listing
September 2020

Using item response theory to evaluate the Children's Behavior Questionnaire: Considerations of general functioning and assessment length.

Psychol Assess 2020 Oct 25;32(10):928-942. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Department of Psychology.

Although the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ; Rothbart, Ahadi, Hershey, & Fisher, 2001) is the most popular assessment for childhood temperament, its psychometric qualities have yet to be examined using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods. These methods highlight in detail the specific contributions of individual items for measuring different facets of temperament. Importantly, with 16 scales for tapping distinct aspects of child functioning (195 items total), the CBQ's length can be prohibitive in many contexts. The detailed information about item functioning provided by IRT methods is therefore especially useful. The current study used IRT methods to analyze the CBQ's 16 temperament scales and identify potentially redundant items. An abbreviated "IRT form" was generated based on these results and evaluated across four independent validation samples. The IRT form was compared to the original and short CBQ forms (Putnam & Rothbart, 2006). Results provide fine-grained detail on the CBQ's psychometric functioning and suggest it is possible to remove up to 39% of the original form's items while largely preserving the measurement precision and content coverage of each scale. This study provides considerable psychometric information about the CBQ's items and scales and highlights future avenues for creating even more efficient high-quality temperament assessments. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000883DOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of a school readiness intervention on electrophysiological indices of external response monitoring in children in foster care.

Dev Psychopathol 2020 Jun 3:1-11. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.

This study examined the impact of a school readiness intervention on external response monitoring in children in foster care. Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data were collected during a flanker task from children who received the Kids In Transition to School (KITS) Program (n = 26) and children who received services as usual (n = 19) before and after the intervention. While there were no significant group differences on the behavioral data, the ERP data for the two groups of children significantly differed. Specifically, in contrast to the children who received services as usual, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback over time for the N1, which reflects early attention processes, and feedback-related negativity, which reflects evaluation processes. In addition, although the two groups did not differ on amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback for these ERP components before the intervention, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences than the children who received services as usual after the intervention. These results suggest that the KITS Program had an effect on responsivity to external performance feedback, which may be beneficial during the transition into kindergarten.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579420000164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710616PMC
June 2020

Identifying causal role of COVID-19 in immunopsychiatry models.

Brain Behav Immun 2020 08 29;88:6-8. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States; Center for Translational NeuroScience, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7256562PMC
August 2020

Advancing preventive interventions for pregnant women who are opioid using via the integration of addiction and mental health research.

Curr Addict Rep 2020 Mar 28;7(1):61-67. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR.

Purpose Of Review: This review examines how research focused on treatment for opioid use in perinatal populations and preventive interventions for postpartum psychopathology have remained separate, despite significant overlap.

Recent Findings: Guidelines for best practice in caring for pregnant women with opioid use disorder suggest the use of medication-assisted treatment with additional comprehensive care, including behavioral and mental health interventions. However, intervention research often mutually excludes these two populations, with studies of behavioral interventions for opioid use excluding women with psychopathology and research on preventive interventions for postpartum psychopathology excluding women who are substance using.

Summary: There is a limited evidence-base to inform the selection of appropriate preventive interventions for pregnant women with opioid use disorder that can address opioid use and/or treatment adherence and concurrent mental health risks. We argue it is critical to integrate research on pregnant women who are opioid using and preventive perinatal mental health interventions to catalyze pivotal change in how we address the opioid epidemic within this growing population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40429-020-00296-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083585PMC
March 2020

Feeling left out or just surprised? Neural correlates of social exclusion and overinclusion in adolescence.

Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 2020 04;20(2):340-355

Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403, USA.

Social belonging is an important human drive that influences mood and behavior. Neural responses to social exclusion are well-characterized, but the specificity of these responses to processing rejection-related affective distress is unknown. The present study compares neural responses to exclusion and overinclusion, a condition that similarly violates fairness expectations but does not involve rejection, with a focus on implications for models of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula (AI) function. In an fMRI adaptation of the Cyberball paradigm with adolescents aged 11.1-17.7 years (N = 69), we employed parametric modulators to examine scaling of neural signal with cumulative exclusion and inclusion events, an approach that overcomes arbitrary definitions of condition onsets/offsets imposed on fluid, continuous gameplay. We identified positive scaling of dACC and posterior insula response with cumulative exclusion events, but these same regions exhibited trending signal decreases with cumulative inclusion events. Furthermore, areas within the dACC and insula also responded to context incongruency (throws to the participant in the exclusion run; throws between computer players in the overinclusion run). These findings caution against interpretations that responses in these regions uniquely reflect the affective distress of exclusion within social interaction paradigms. We further identified that the left ventrolateral PFC, rostromedial PFC, and left intraparietal sulcus responded similarly to cumulative exclusion and inclusion. These findings shed light on which neural regions exhibit patterns of differential sensitivity to exclusion or overinclusion, as well as those that are more broadly engaged by both types of social interaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13415-020-00772-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338003PMC
April 2020

Gut Feelings Begin in Childhood: the Gut Metagenome Correlates with Early Environment, Caregiving, and Behavior.

mBio 2020 01 21;11(1). Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Psychosocial environments impact normative behavioral development in children, increasing the risk of problem behaviors and psychiatric disorders across the life span. Converging evidence demonstrates that early normative development is affected by the gut microbiome, which itself can be altered by early psychosocial environments. However, much of our understanding of the gut microbiome's role in early development stems from nonhuman animal models and predominately focuses on the first years of life, during peri- and postnatal microbial colonization. As a first step to identify if these findings translate to humans and the extent to which these relationships are maintained after initial microbial colonization, we conducted a metagenomic investigation among a cross-sectional sample of early school-aged children with a range of adverse experiences and caregiver stressors and relationships. Our results indicate that the taxonomic and functional composition of the gut microbiome correlates with behavior during a critical period of child development. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that both socioeconomic risk exposure and child behaviors associate with the relative abundances of specific taxa (e.g., and species) as well as functional modules encoded in their genomes (e.g., monoamine metabolism) that have been linked to cognition and health. While we cannot infer causality within this study, these findings suggest that caregivers may moderate the gut microbiome's link to environment and behaviors beyond the first few years of life. Childhood is a formative period of behavioral and biological development that can be modified, for better or worse, by the psychosocial environment that is in part determined by caregivers. Not only do our own genes and the external environment influence such developmental trajectories, but the community of microbes living in, on, and around our bodies-the microbiome-plays an important role as well. By surveying the gut microbiomes of a cross-sectional cohort of early school-aged children with a range of psychosocial environments and subclinical mental health symptoms, we demonstrated that caregiving behaviors modified the child gut microbiome's association to socioeconomic risk and behavioral dysregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02780-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974564PMC
January 2020

Exploring the Psychometric Properties of the Parent Daily Report - Toddler Version (PDR-T).

Int J Behav Dev 2019 Sep 6;43(5):447-456. Epub 2019 May 6.

University of Oregon, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

The present study examined the psychometric properties of a brief parent-report daily checklist of toddler behavior (Parent Daily Report - Toddler Version; PDR-T). Data were collected from three groups of 18-36 month-olds who were followed longitudinally for approximately 1 year: 1) internationally adopted children ( = 156), 2) children placed in foster care due to child maltreatment ( = 79), and 3) community comparison children raised by their biological families ( = 80). An exploratory factor analysis of this measure resulted in three factors, measuring aggressive/noncompliant, positive, and distress behaviors. While there were estimation issues with the positive and distress factors, the aggressive/noncompliant factor exhibited invariance across time and groups, and partial invariance between genders. Significant correlations were observed between this factor and measures of externalizing behavior and inhibitory control ( = .26-.56), but not shyness, fearfulness, or negative affect. This provides support for both convergent and discriminant validity. Reliability of this factor was adequate to good across time and group. Results provide preliminary support for the utility, reliability, and consistency of one factor of the PDR-T as an easy parent-report tool to assess daily patterns and changes in child aggressive/noncompliant behavior over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165025419844030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959486PMC
September 2019

Levers and barriers to success in the use of translational neuroscience for the prevention and treatment of mental health and promotion of well-being across the lifespan.

J Abnorm Psychol 2020 Jan;129(1):38-48

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon.

Neuroscientific tools and approaches such as neuroimaging, measures of neuroendocrine and psychoneuroimmune activity, and peripheral physiology are increasingly used in clinical science and health psychology research. We define translational neuroscience (TN) as a systematic, theory-driven approach that aims to develop and leverage basic and clinical neuroscientific knowledge to aid the development and optimization of clinical and public health interventions. There is considerable potential across basic and clinical science fields for this approach to provide insights into mental and physical health pathology that had previously been inaccessible. For example, TN might hold the potential to enhance diagnostic specificity, better recognize increased vulnerability in at-risk populations, and augment intervention efficacy. Despite this potential, there has been limited consideration of the advantages and limitations of such an approach. In this article, we articulate extant challenges in defining TN and propose a unifying conceptualization. We illustrate how TN can inform the application of neuroscientific tools to realistically guide clinical research and inform intervention design. We outline specific leverage points of the TN approach and barriers to progress. Ten principles of TN are presented to guide and shape the emerging field. We close by articulating ongoing issues facing TN research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/abn0000465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7131983PMC
January 2020

Dermal absorption study OECD TG 428 mass balance recommendations based on the EFSA database.

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 2019 Nov 17;108:104475. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

BASF Oesterreich GmbH, Handelskai 94-96, 1200, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance (EFSA, 2017) for dermal absorption (DA) studies recommends stringent mass balance (MB) limits of 95-105%. EFSA suggested that test material can be lost after penetration and requires that for chemicals with <5% absorption the non-recovered material must be added to the absorbed dose if MB is <95%. This has huge consequences for low absorption pesticides. Indeed, one third of the MBs in the EFSA DA database are outside the refined criteria. This is also true for DA data generated by Cosmetics Europe (Gregoire et al., 2019), indicating that this criterion is often not achieved even when using highly standardized protocols. While EFSA hypothesizes that modern analytical and pipetting techniques would enable to achieve this criterion, no scientific basis was provided. We describe how protocol procedures impact MB and evaluate the EFSA DA database to demonstrate that MB is subject to random variation. Generic application of "the addition rule" skews the measured data and increases the DA estimate, which results in unnecessary risk assessment failure. In conclusion, "missing material" is just a random negative deviation to the nominal dose. We propose a data-driven MB criterion of 90-110%, fully in line with OECD recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2019.104475DOI Listing
November 2019

Acute stress impairs children's sustained attention with increased vulnerability for children of mothers reporting higher parenting stress.

Dev Psychobiol 2020 05 10;62(4):532-543. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Despite evidence that acute stress impairs attention in adults, there has been minimal research in children. Here, the effects of acute stress on Go/No-go performance were examined in young children (M age = 5.41 years). Given the critical role of the parent-child relationship to children's self-regulatory development, the extent to which parenting stress predicts children's cognitive vulnerability to acute stress and autonomic reactivity was also investigated. A between-groups design (n = 58 stress, n = 26 control) was used with oversampling of the stressor-exposed children to examine individual differences. The Parenting Stress Index and subscales were employed as a measure of parenting stress. Acute stress impaired children's sustained attention, but not inhibitory control. Higher parenting stress was associated with vulnerability to attentional impairment. Parenting distress was also positively associated with sympathetic reactivity to acute stress, but neither sympathetic nor parasympathetic reactivity was associated with attentional impairment. A conceptual model of pathways through which repetitive acute stress may contribute to self-regulatory difficulties is presented, including the potential buffering role of caregivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21915DOI Listing
May 2020

A Parent Treatment Program for Preschoolers With Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Pediatrics 2019 08 12;144(2). Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention, and Technology.

Background And Objectives: Early obesity treatment seems to be the most effective, but few treatments exist. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of a parent-only treatment program with and without booster sessions (Booster or No Booster) focusing on parenting practices and standard treatment (ST).

Methods: Families of children 4 to 6 years of age with obesity were recruited from 68 child care centers in Stockholm County and randomly assigned to a parent-only program (10 weeks) with or without boosters (9 months) or to ST. Treatment effects on primary outcomes (BMI score) and secondary outcomes (BMI and waist circumference) during a 12-month period were examined with linear mixed models. The influence of sociodemographic factors was examined by 3-way interactions. The clinically significant change in BMI score (-0.5) was assessed with risk ratios.

Results: A total of 174 children (mean age: 5.3 years [SD = 0.8]; BMI score: 3.0 [SD = 0.6], 56% girls) and their parents (60% foreign background; 39% university degree) were included in the analysis (Booster, = 44; No Booster, = 43; ST, = 87). After 12 months, children in the parent-only treatment had a greater reduction in their BMI score (0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.45 to -0.15) compared with ST (0.07; 95% CI: -0.19 to 0.05). Comparing all 3 groups, improvements in weight status were only seen for the Booster group (-0.54; 95% CI: -0.77 to -0.30). The Booster group was 4.8 times (95% CI: 2.4 to 9.6) more likely to reach a clinically significant reduction of ≥0.5 of the BMI score compared with ST.

Conclusion: A parent-only treatment with boosters outperformed standard care for obesity in preschoolers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-3457DOI Listing
August 2019

Early adversity, child neglect, and stress neurobiology: From observations of impact to empirical evaluations of mechanisms.

Int J Dev Neurosci 2019 Nov 26;78:139-146. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Department of Psychology and Center for Translational Science, University of Oregon, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403, USA.

Research on the effects of early life adversity, and in particular on the absence of responsive caregiving, has shown long-term impacts on well-being and development. These investigations have been conducted both in human populations and in animal models. The work has demonstrated that neglect experienced in the early years can affect not only behavior but also neurobiological functioning. In particular, studies of children in the foster care system show convergence with research on children adopted following institutional rearing in terms of dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which produces the neuroendocrine hormone cortisol. The characteristic pattern that has been most commonly observed involves diminished diurnal cortisol production, particularly in terms of low levels of cortisol upon awakening. Notably, however, a number of evidence-based interventions for infant, toddler, and preschool-aged foster children have been shown to produce more typical patterns of cortisol production, in combination with improved behavioral, socioemotional, and foster care placement outcomes. In this paper, we review the literature on the effects of early disruptions in care on biobehavioral development, and summarize the results of the interventions for young foster children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2019.06.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824940PMC
November 2019

Childhood adversity, mental health, and oxidative stress: A pilot study.

PLoS One 2019 26;14(4):e0215085. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States of America.

Childhood adversity is a potent risk factor for mental health conditions via disruptions to stress response systems. Dysregulations in oxidative stress systems have been associated with both childhood adversity and several psychological disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder) in adult populations. However, few studies have examined associations between childhood adversity, oxidative stress, and mental health in pediatric populations. Childhood adversity (Adverse Childhood Events [ACE]), oxidative stress [F2t-isoprostanes (IsoPs)], and mental health pathology were assessed in 50 adolescent females recruited primarily through the Department of Youth Services. Standard ordinary least squares regression models were run co-varying for age, race/ethnicity, adolescent nicotine use, study condition, and parent history of ACEs. Adolescents who reported experiencing four or more ACEs had significantly elevated IsoP levels. Further, internalizing symptom scores across diagnoses were significantly associated with elevated IsoPs, whereas no externalizing symptoms scores, except Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, were related to altered oxidative stress. Results indicate that IsoPs may be a global marker of childhood adversity and mental health symptomatology, particularly within internalizing symptom domains. A limitation is that body mass index was not collected for this sample. Future studies are needed to replicate and extend these findings in larger, more diverse samples.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215085PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485615PMC
January 2020

A Preliminary Study Investigating Maternal Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying a Child-Supportive Parenting Intervention.

Front Behav Neurosci 2019 12;13:16. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Center for Translational Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States.

Although interventions that promote child-supportive parenting for children have been shown to positively impact caregiving behaviors as well as child behavioral and neurobiological functioning, less is known about which aspects of maternal brain functioning are affected by such interventions. In the present study, we conducted a preliminary evaluation of the impact of the Filming Interactions to Nurture Development (FIND) video coaching program on mothers with at least one child age four or younger. We employed a waitlist control design with pre-post data. Compared to mothers in the control condition ( = 16), mothers who received FIND ( = 16) showed changes in neural measures of inhibitory control and behavioral measures of parenting self-evaluation during a series of functional neuroimaging tasks. Specifically, we found a group by time interaction in clusters in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and insula for the Correct Stop > Correct Go contrast of the stop signal task (SST), where FIND increased brain activity associated with inhibitory control compared to mothers in the control condition; and FIND increased mothers' endorsement of child-supportive parenting traits in the parenting self-evaluation task (PSET). Exploratory moderators, study limitations, and the implications of these findings for strength-based parenting programs are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396725PMC
February 2019

Is adolescence the missing developmental link in Microbiome-Gut-Brain axis communication?

Dev Psychobiol 2019 07 28;61(5):783-795. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Gut microbial research has recently opened new frontiers in neuroscience and potentiated novel therapies for mental health problems (Mayer, et al., 2014). Much of our understanding of the gut microbiome's role in brain function and behavior, however, has been largely derived from research on nonhuman animals. Even less is known about how the development of the gut microbiome influences critical periods of neural and behavioral development, particularly adolescence. In this review, we first discuss why the gut microbiome has become increasingly relevant to developmental cognitive neuroscience and provide a synopsis of the known connections of the gut microbiome with social-affective brain function and behavior, specifically highlighting human developmental work when possible. We then focus on adolescence, a key period of neurobiological and social-affective development. Specifically, we review the links between the gut microbiome and six overarching domains of change during adolescence: (a) social processes, (b) motivation and behavior, (c) neural development, (d) cognition, (e) neuroendocrine function, and (f) physical health and wellness. Using a developmental science perspective, we summarize key changes across these six domains to underscore the promise for the gut microbiome to bidirectionally influence and transform adolescent development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6776431PMC
July 2019

Comparison of Institutionally Reared and Maltreated Children on Socioemotional and Biological Functioning.

Child Maltreat 2019 08 27;24(3):235-243. Epub 2019 Jan 27.

1 Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

The current study compared behavioral and adrenocortical functioning of maltreated ( = 91) and comparably aged (1.5-3 years) institutionally-reared children soon after (1.5-2.5 months) placement in foster care or adoptive homes, respectively. Foster and adoptive parents reported on the children's socioemotional competence and behavior problems, experimenters scored fear and positive affect to laboratory tasks, and diurnal cortisol measures were obtained. We sought to address whether these early contexts, characterized by different types of neglect and deprivation, have differential effects on young children's development. We found little support for the argument that either context results in uniformly poorer functioning soon after removal from adversity. Maltreated children were less fearful and more positive when exposed to both positive and novel events than institutionally-reared children. However, maltreated children were reported to have more behavior problems than did institutionally-reared children, and institutionally-reared children showed more typical declines in cortisol throughout the day than the maltreated children. These findings increase our ability to construct more targeted and effective interventions for these populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077559518823074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612568PMC
August 2019

Leveraging translational neuroscience to inform early intervention and addiction prevention for children exposed to early life stress.

Neurobiol Stress 2018 Nov 26;9:231-240. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, Eugene, OR, United States.

Substance use and addiction are disproportionately experienced by individuals with a history of exposure to early life stress (ELS), such as maltreatment, domestic violence and parent psychopathology. Unfortunately, extant interventions have mixed effectiveness at improving outcome trajectories for ELS-exposed children, who are often underserved by evidenced-based programs. Here, we employ a translational neuroscience framework to delineate how neuroscience can deepen our understanding of ELS-linked alterations in children's function to inform the development of more targeted, effective early intervention and addiction prevention programs. Candidate neural pathways altered by ELS and linked to addiction are described across sensory, affective, motivational, and executive function domains. Next, we provide an example of the application of translational neuroscience principles in a family of early interventions (i.e. Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care - Preschool, Kids in Transition to School) focused on improving self-regulation in ELS-exposed children. Future directions and areas of unmet need in intervention research detail the significant potential of translational neuroscience to advance interventionists' ability to support positive adjustment in ELS-exposed children and prevent harmful addiction outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2018.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6236514PMC
November 2018

Neuroendocrine and immune pathways from pre- and perinatal stress to substance abuse.

Neurobiol Stress 2018 Nov 17;9:140-150. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97402, USA.

Early life adversity is a documented risk factor for substance abuse and addiction. The pre- and perinatal period (i.e., from implantation, through pregnancy, to 6 months of age) is a critical period marked by high biological plasticity and vulnerability, making perinatal stress a particularly robust form of adversity. The neuroendocrine and immune systems are key mechanisms implicated in the transmission of addiction risk. We review animal and human studies that provide preliminary evidence for links between perinatal stress, neuroendocrine and immune dysregulation, and risk for substance abuse and addiction. perspective is employed to elucidate pre- and perinatally-induced biological mechanisms linked to addiction and discuss implications for prevention and intervention efforts. Significant evidence supports associations between pre- and perinatal stress and dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and immune systems as well as links between neuroendocrine/immune functioning and addiction risk. More work is needed to explicitly examine the interplay between pre- and perinatal stress and neuroendocrine/immune disruptions that together heighten substance abuse risk. Future work is needed to fully understand how pre- and perinatal stress induces biological alterations to predispose individuals to higher risk for addiction. Such knowledge will strengthen theoretically-driven and empirically-supported prevention efforts for substance abuse and addiction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2018.09.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6236513PMC
November 2018

General Cognitive Ability as an Early Indicator of Problem Behavior Among Toddlers in Foster Care.

J Dev Behav Pediatr 2019 Feb/Mar;40(2):144-149

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

Objective: Children who have experienced maltreatment and subsequent placement in foster care are at increased risk of problem behavior. Increased knowledge of the development of problem behavior in this population, particularly during toddlerhood, can greatly inform preventive intervention efforts. This study examined variability in problem behavior among toddlers entering new foster care placements and identified related child and parenting characteristics.

Methods: Ninety-one toddlers in foster care (mean = 2.26 years) and their caregivers completed an initial assessment and were reassessed 6 months later. A child's general cognitive ability was assessed via performance on a standardized developmental measure, and child problem behavior, parenting stress, frequency of family routines, and harsh discipline were assessed via caregiver report.

Results: Upon entering a new foster care placement and 6 months after placement, respectively, 38% and 25% of the toddlers were within the borderline clinical or clinical range in terms of problem behavior when assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist. There was not a significant difference in problem behavior over this 6-month period, suggesting that problem behavior was quite stable among the toddlers as a group. However, general cognitive ability was a significant predictor of individual differences in change in problem behavior, with toddlers with lower general cognitive ability displaying increased problem behavior over this period.

Conclusion: An increased number of toddlers in foster care displayed clinically significant levels of problem behavior, further demonstrating that these children are an extremely high-risk group. The association between general cognitive ability and change in problem behavior highlights the importance of early developmental screenings, which may help identify children at greatest risk of problem behavior and most in need of preventive intervention efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6372318PMC
May 2020

Brief, computerized inhibitory control training to leverage adolescent neural plasticity: A pilot effectiveness trial.

Appl Neuropsychol Child 2019 Oct-Dec;8(4):366-382. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Department of Psychology, University of Oregon , Eugene , Oregon , USA.

Adolescence is a time of heightened neural plasticity. Many brain networks show protracted development through this period, such as those underlying inhibitory control (IC), a neurocognitive skill implicated in risk-taking and therefore relevant to public health. Although IC appears to be trainable in adults and young children, whether and how IC may be malleable during adolescence is not fully understood. In this pilot RCT, we tested the effects of a school-based IC training paradigm (versus active control) on IC performance and neural function in adolescents (N = 19) aged 15 to 17 recruited from a low-income school district. We also examined the extent to which training effects transferred to a nontrained IC task and real-world risk behavior, as well as potential moderation effects by early adversity exposure. Training altered brain function related to attention during IC preparation and implementation, though it did not alter IC performance in the training group compared to the control group. There was limited evidence of training transfer. Results have implications for translational neuroscience research in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2018.1495567DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438765PMC
February 2020

Examining Morning HPA Axis Activity as a Moderator of Hostile, Over-reactive Parenting on Children's Skills for Success in School.

Infant Child Dev 2018 Jul-Aug;27(4). Epub 2018 Feb 22.

University of Oregon.

This study examined children's morning HPA axis activation as a moderator of links between hostile, over-reactive parenting at age 4.5 years and children's skills for success in school (higher executive function and literacy, and less externalizing behavior) at age 6. Participants included 361 adoptive families. Parenting was self-reported. HPA axis activation was measured by basal levels in morning cortisol. Executive function and literacy were assessed via standardized tasks. Externalizing behavior was reported by teachers. Results indicated that hostile, over-reactive parenting predicted more externalizing behavior and lower executive functioning regardless of children's morning HPA axis activation. HPA axis activation moderated the effects of hostile, over-reactive parenting on literacy. Among children with moderate to high morning HPA axis activation (approximately 60% of the sample), harsh parenting was linked with lower literacy; children with low morning HPA axis activation exhibited better literacy in the context of more hostile, over-reactive parenting. Yet, across the sample, hostile, over-reactive parenting remained in the low to moderate range, not in the high range. Findings are discussed in the context of considering not only whether children's stress system activation moderates responses to their environments, but also how these processes operate for different developmental outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/icd.2083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107075PMC
February 2018

Novel insights from the Yellow Light Game: Safe and risky decisions differentially impact adolescent outcome-related brain function.

Neuroimage 2018 11 22;181:568-581. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Prevention Science Institute, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA. Electronic address:

Changes across the span of adolescence in the adolescent reward system are thought to increase the tendency to take risks. While developmental differences in decision and outcome-related reward processes have been studied extensively, existing paradigms have largely neglected to measure how different types of decisions modulate reward-related outcome processes. We modified an existing decision-making paradigm (the Stoplight Task; Chein et al., 2011) to create a flexible laboratory measure of decision-making and outcome processing, including the ability to assess modulatory effects of safe versus risky decisions on reward-related outcome processes: the Yellow Light Game (YLG). We administered the YLG in the MRI scanner to 81 adolescents, ages 11-17 years, recruited from the community. Results showed that nucleus accumbens activation was enhanced for (1) risky > safe decisions, (2) positive > negative outcomes, and (3) outcomes following safe decisions compared to outcomes following risky decisions, regardless of whether these outcomes were positive or negative. Outcomes following risky decisions (compared to outcomes following safe decisions) were associated with enhanced activity in cortical midline structures. Furthermore, while there were no developmental differences in risk-taking behavior, more pubertally mature adolescents showed enhanced nucleus accumbens activation during positive > negative outcomes. These findings suggest that outcome processing is modulated by the types of decisions made by adolescents and highlight the importance of investigating processes involved in safe as well as risky decisions to better understand the adolescent tendency to take risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.06.058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777552PMC
November 2018

Replication and reproducibility issues in the relationship between C-reactive protein and depression: A systematic review and focused meta-analysis.

Brain Behav Immun 2018 10 19;73:85-114. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97402, United States.

One of the most common inflammatory markers examined in depression is C-reactive protein (CRP). However, the magnitude of the association between CRP and depression when controlling for potentially confounding factors such as age, sex, socio-economic status, body mass index, medication and other substance use, and medical illness, is unclear. Inconsistencies in other methodological practices, such as sample collection, assaying, and data cleaning and transformation, may contribute to variations in results. We aggregate studies that examined the association between CRP and depression in two ways. First, a systematic review summarizes how studies of CRP and depression have reported on methodological issues. Second, a tiered meta-analysis aggregates studies that have adhered to various levels of methodological rigor. Findings from the systematic review indicate a lack of protocol detail provided. The effect between depression and CRP was small, but highly significant across all stages of the meta-analysis (p < 0.01). The effect size in the most methodologically rigorous stage of the meta-analysis, which included studies controlling for age, sex, obesity, medical conditions and substance, medication, or psychosocial factors, was small (r = 0.05). There were also only 26 articles in this stage (13% of studies from the systematic review), suggesting that more studies that consistently account for these confounding factors are needed. Additionally, an a priori quality score of methodological rigor was a significant moderator in this stage of the meta-analysis. The effect size was strikingly attenuated (r = 0.005) and non-significant in studies with higher quality scores. We describe a set of recommended guidelines for future research to consider, including sample collection and assaying procedures, data cleaning and statistical methods, and control variables to assess.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2018.06.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6800199PMC
October 2018