Journal article

Positive parenting predicts the development of adolescent brain structure: A longitudinal study

Sarah Whittle, Julian G Simmons, Meg Dennison, Nandita Vijayakumar, Orli Schwartz, Marie BH Yap, Lisa Sheeber, Nicholas B Allen



Little work has been conducted that examines the effects of positive environmental experiences on brain development to date. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the effects of positive (warm and supportive) maternal behavior on structural brain development during adolescence, using longitudinal structural MRI. Participants were 188 (92 female) adolescents, who were part of a longitudinal adolescent development study that involved mother-adolescent interactions and MRI scans at approximately 12 years old, and follow-up MRI scans approximately 4 years later. FreeSurfer software was used to estimate the volume of limbic-striatal regions (amygdala, hippocampus, caudate, putame..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Australia)

Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Colonial Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Australia; Program Grant 350241), the Australian Research Council (ARC; Discovery Grant DP0878136), and the University of Melbourne. Dr. Whittle is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (ID: 1007716).