The impact of bullying and early life trauma on cognitive and MRI indices in children, adolescents and adults

Proposal details

Title: The impact of bullying and early life trauma on cognitive and MRI indices in children, adolescents and adults
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: Previous studies have demonstrated relationships between early life stress and neuroimaging indices in adults. Studies have also demonstrated relationships between early life stress and measures of current depression, anxiety, and stress in otherwise healthy adults. It is unclear, however, whether specific types of ELS are differentially related to these outcomes. Of particular interest is the effect of bullying on cognitive, emotional, and neuroimaging outcomes. Further, where our previous studies have focused on the impact of early life stress on adult outcomes, it is unclear how early life stress, especially bullying, impacts cognitive, emotional, and neuroimaging outcomes among children and adolescents.
Aims: In the present study we will examine the impact of early life stress on cognitive, emotional, and neuroimaging indices among four groups of individuals including 8-12 year olds, 13-18 year olds, 19-50 year olds, and 60-80 year olds. A sub analyses will exam the specific effect of bullying vs. sexual/physical trauma on these outcomes. We expect that individuals with ELS will exhibit abnormalities on measures of memory and executive function, higher depression, anxiety, and stress scores, and reduced FA in the corpus callosum in all age groups. We also expect no significant differences between individuals with histories of bullying and individuals with histories of sexual/physical trauma on these outcome measures.
Method: Group analysis of Integ, DASS, and DTI measures.