Behavioral and neural responses to social rejection: Individual differences in developmental trajectories across childhood and adolescence

Jeroen D. Mulder, Simone Dobbelaar, Michelle Achterberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Dealing with social rejection is challenging, especially during childhood when behavioral and neural responses to social rejection are still developing. In the current longitudinal study, we used a Bayesian multilevel growth curve model to describe individual differences in the development of behavioral and neural responses to social rejection in a large sample (n > 500). We found a peak in aggression following negative feedback (compared to neutral feedback) during late childhood, as well as individual differences during this developmental phase, possibly suggesting a sensitive window for dealing with social rejection across late childhood. Moreover, we found evidence for individual differences in the linear development of neural responses to social rejection in our three brain regions of interest: The anterior insula, the medial prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In addition to providing insights in the individual trajectories of dealing with social rejection during childhood, this study also makes a meaningful methodological contribution: Our statistical analysis strategy (and online supplementary information) can be used as an example on how to take into account the many complexities of developmental neuroimaging datasets, while still enabling researchers to answer interesting questions about individual-level relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101365
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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Research programs

  • ESSB PED

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