Margaret Sheridan

Margaret Sheridan
Boston Children's Hospital · Boston Children's Hospital

About

128
Publications
37,592
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
7,249
Citations

Publications

Publications (128)
Article
Over the last 20 years, we have learned much about the extent to which early‐life deprivation affects the mental health of children and adolescents. This body of evidence comes predominantly from studies of children raised in institutional care. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is the only randomized controlled trial designed to eval...
Preprint
Recent conceptual models posit that threat and deprivation are dimensions of adverse environmental experiences with distinct neurodevelopmental consequences. We examined these dimensions, separately and jointly, with brain structure in a sample of 149 youth aged 8-17–half recruited based on exposure to threat-related experiences. We predicted that...
Article
Full-text available
Background The association between adversity and psychopathology in adolescents and adults is characterized by equifinality. These associations, however, have not been assessed during early childhood when psychopathology first emerges. Defining adversity using both dimensional and cumulative risk approaches, we examined whether specific types of ad...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to adversity in childhood is associated with elevations in numerous physical and mental health outcomes across the life course. The biological embedding of early experience during periods of developmental plasticity is one pathway that contributes to these associations. Dimensional models specify mechanistic pathways linking different dime...
Article
Full-text available
Following a traumatic event, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are common. Considerable research has identified a relationship between physiological responses during fear learning and PTSD. Adults with PTSD display atypical physiological responses, such as increased skin conductance responses (SCR) to threatening cues during fear learni...
Article
Full-text available
Two extant frameworks – the harshness-unpredictability model and the threat-deprivation model – attempt to explain which dimensions of adversity have distinct influences on development. These models address, respectively, why, based on a history of natural selection, development operates the way it does across a range of environmental contexts, and...
Article
Full-text available
Low childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with increased risk for psychopathology, because in part of heightened exposure to environmental adversity. Adverse experiences can be characterized along dimensions, including threat and deprivation, that contribute to psychopathology via distinct mechanisms. The current study investigated a n...
Article
Autonomic nervous system reactivity has been posited to be a mechanism contributing to social and emotional problems among children exposed to early adversity. Leveraging data from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a longitudinal randomized controlled trial of foster care versus institutional care of abandoned children in Romania, we assess...
Preprint
Exposure to adversity in childhood is associated with elevations in numerous physical and mental health outcomes across the life-course. The biological embedding of early experience during periods of developmental plasticity is one pathway that contributes to these associations. While a rich literature documents associations between early adversity...
Article
Full-text available
Background Although there is evidence that family violence increased in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have characterized longitudinal trends in family violence across the course of initial stay-at-home orders. Objective The purpose of the present study is to investigate patterns and predictors of family violence, such...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective Identifying brain differences associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) in young people is critical to understanding their development and generating effective approaches to early intervention and prevention. The ENIGMA Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours (ENIGMA-STB) consortium analyzed neuroimaging data harmonized across sites...
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in the timing of developmental processes are often of interest in longitudinal studies, yet common statistical approaches to modeling change cannot directly estimate the timing of when change occurs. The time-to-criterion framework was recently developed to incorporate the timing of a prespecified criterion value; however, th...
Article
Exposure to early adversity has been linked to variations in emotional functioning. To date, however, the precise nature of these variations has been difficult to pinpoint given widespread differences in the ways in which aspects of emotional functioning are defined and measured. Here, more consistent with models of emotional functioning in typical...
Article
Full-text available
We review the three prevailing approaches—specificity, cumulative risk, and dimensional models—to conceptualizing the developmental consequences of early-life adversity and address fundamental problems with the characterization of these frameworks in a recent Perspectives on Psychological Science piece by Smith and Pollak. We respond to concerns ra...
Article
Background Altered aversive learning represents a potential mechanism through which childhood trauma (CT) might influence risk for psychopathology. This study examines the temporal dynamics of neural activation and patterns of functional connectivity during aversive learning in children with and without exposure to CT involving interpersonal violen...
Article
Childhood exposure to violence is strongly associated with psychopathology. High resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is associated with lower levels of psychopathology in children exposed to violence. High RSA may help to protect against psychopathology by facilitating fear extinction learning, allowing more flexible autonomic responses to l...
Preprint
Background: Low childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with increased risk for psychopathology, due in part to heightened exposure to environmental adversity. Adverse experiences can be characterized along dimensions, including threat and deprivation, that contribute to psychopathology via distinct mechanisms. The current study investig...
Article
Full-text available
A growing number of studies have examined alterations in white matter organization in people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using diffusion MRI (dMRI), but the results have been mixed which may be partially due to relatively small sample sizes among studies. Altered structural connectivity may be both a neurobiological vulnerability for,...
Article
Child abuse is associated with elevated risk for psychopathology. The current study examined the role of automatic emotion regulation as a potential mechanism linking child abuse with internalizing psychopathology. A sample of 237 youth aged 8–16 years and their caregivers participated. Child abuse severity was assessed by self-report questionnaire...
Article
Importance Many studies have demonstrated an association between early-life adversity (ELA) and executive functioning in children and adolescents. However, the aggregate magnitude of this association is unknown in the context of threat and deprivation types of adversity and various executive functioning domains. Objective To test the hypothesis th...
Article
The interactions of brain regions with other regions at the network level likely provide the infrastructure necessary for cognitive processes to develop. Specifically, it has been theorized that in infancy brain networks become more modular, or segregated, to support early cognitive specialization, before integration across networks increases to su...
Article
Full-text available
Background Adolescence is a period of increased vulnerability for internalizing problems, particularly following stressful life events. We examine how emotion regulation and brain structure and function are associated with internalizing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, and moderate the association between pandemic-related stressors and intern...
Article
Full-text available
Spanking remains common around the world, despite evidence linking corporal punishment to detrimental child outcomes. This study tested whether children (Mage = 11.60) who were spanked (N = 40) exhibited altered neural function in response to stimuli that suggest the presence of an environmental threat compared to children who were not spanked (N =...
Article
There is a strong positive association between childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and academic achievement. This disparity may, in part, be explained by differences in early environmental experiences and language development. Cognitive stimulation—including language exposure, access to learning materials, caregiver involvement in children’s learn...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction Cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) are established biomarkers of brain pathology in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Structural covariance networks (SCN) constructed from CT and SA may represent developmental associations, or unique interactions between brain regions, possibly influenced by a common causal antecedent. T...
Article
Full-text available
The neural processes that support inhibitory control in the face of stimuli with a history of reward association are not yet well understood. Yet, the ability to flexibly adapt behavior to changing reward-contingency contexts is important for daily functioning and warrants further investigation. This study aimed to characterize neural and behaviora...
Article
Full-text available
Children who spend their early lives in institutions experience profound psychosocial deprivation that is associated with altered stress response system development. Here, we used data from a longitudinal randomized controlled trial of foster care for institutionally reared children to examine whether caregiving quality and stressful life events (S...
Article
Exposure to early life adversity (ELA) is associated with increased rates of psychopathology and poor physical health. The present study builds on foundational work by Megan Gunnar identifying how ELA results in poor long-term outcomes through alterations in the stress response system, leading to major disruptions in emotional and behavioral regula...
Article
Full-text available
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed psychological disorder of childhood. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy are effective treatments for many children; however, adherence to medication and therapy regimens is low. Thus, identifying effective adjunct treatments is imperative. Previous studies explo...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Adolescence has been proposed to be a period of heightened sensitivity to environmental influence. If true, adolescence may present a window of opportunity for recovery for children exposed to early-life adversity. Recent evidence supports adolescent recalibration of stress response systems following early-life adversity. However, it i...
Article
It has been robustly shown that stimuli with reward history receive attentional priority. However, the majority of this research tests reward history effects on attentional bias using similar tasks for both the reward learning phase and the unrewarded testing phase, which limits our understanding of how the effects of reward history generalize beyo...
Article
Full-text available
Background Stressful life events are more likely to trigger depression among individuals exposed to childhood adversity. However, the mechanisms underlying this stress sensitization remain largely unknown. Any such mechanism must be altered by childhood adversity and interact with recent stressful life events, magnifying their association with depr...
Article
The cover image is based on the Original Article Network structure reveals clusters of associations between childhood adversities and development outcomes by Margaret Sheridan et al., https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12934.
Article
Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalent and impairing neurodevelopmental disorder. While early childhood is a crucial time for early intervention, it is characterized by instability of ADHD diagnosis. Neural correlates of ADHD have potential to improve diagnostic accuracy; however, minimal research has focus...
Article
Full-text available
During adolescence, rapid development and reorganization of the dopaminergic system supports increasingly sophisticated reward learning and the ability to exert behavioral control. Disruptions in the ability to exert control over previously rewarded behavior may underlie some forms of adolescent psychopathology. Specifically, symptoms of externaliz...
Article
Background Early adversity consistently predicts youth psychopathology. However, the pathways linking unique dimensions of early adversity, such as deprivation, to psychopathology are understudied. Here, we evaluate a theoretical model linking early deprivation exposure with psychopathology prospectively through language ability. Methods Participa...
Article
Background Disruptions in neural circuits underlying emotion regulation (ER) may be a mechanism linking child maltreatment with psychopathology. We examined the associations of maltreatment with neural responses during passive viewing of negative emotional stimuli and attempts to modulate emotional responses. We investigated whether the influence o...
Article
Exposure to childhood adversity is common and associated with a host of negative developmental outcomes. The most common approach used to examine the consequences of adversity exposure is a cumulative risk model. Recently, we have proposed a novel approach, the dimensional model of adversity and psychopathology (DMAP), where different dimensions of...
Article
Exposure to adverse events is prevalent among youths and robustly associated with risk for depression, particularly during adolescence. The Dimensional Model of Adversity and Psychopathology (DMAP) distinguishes between adverse events that expose youths to deprivation versus threat, positing unique mechanisms of risk (cognitive functioning deficits...
Article
Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with numerous aspects of cognitive development and disparities in academic achievement. The specific environmental factors that contribute to these disparities remain poorly understood. We used observational methods to characterize three aspects of the early environment that may contribute to SES-r...
Preprint
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE: Stressful life events are more likely to trigger depression among individuals exposed to childhood adversity. However, the mechanisms underlying this stress sensitization remain largely unknown. Any such mechanism must be altered by childhood adversity and interact with recent stressful life events, magnifying their association with depr...
Article
Full-text available
Executive functions (EF), including working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility, vary as a function of socioeconomic status (SES), with children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds having poorer performance than their higher SES peers. Using observational methods, we investigated cognitive stimulation in the home as a mechanism li...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background PTSD and depression commonly co-occur and have been associated with smaller hippocampal volumes compared to healthy and trauma-exposed controls. However, the hippocampus is heterogeneous, with subregions that may be uniquely affected in individuals with PTSD and depression. Methods We used random effects regressions and a harmonized neu...
Article
Objective Exposure to violence in childhood is associated with increased risk for multiple forms of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. We evaluated how exposure to violence in early life influences neural responses to neutral and threat-related stimuli in childhood and adolescence, developmental variation in these associations, and wh...
Preprint
Full-text available
A growing number of studies have examined alterations in white matter organization in people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using diffusion MRI (dMRI), but the results have been mixed, which may be partially due to relatively small sample sizes among studies. Altered structural connectivity may be both a neurobiological vulnerability for...
Article
Adverse childhood experiences have been associated with more negative coupling between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala, a brain network involved in emotion regulation in both children and adults. This pattern may be particularly likely to emerge in individuals exposed to threatening experiences during childhood (e.g., exposu...
Article
Full-text available
Early-life adversity (ELA) is strongly associated with risk for psychopathology. Within adversity, deprivation, and threat may lead to psychopathology through different intermediary pathways. Specifically, deprivation, defined as the absence of expected cognitive and social inputs, is associated with lower performance on complex cognitive tasks whe...
Article
Full-text available
Low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with greater risk for symptoms of Attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One mechanism through which SES may confer risk for ADHD is by influencing brain structure. Alterations to cortical thickness, surface area and subcortical volume have been associated with low SES and with the presence of...
Article
Little is known about how childhood adversity influences the development of learning and memory and underlying neural circuits. We examined whether violence exposure in childhood influenced hippocampus-dependent associative learning and whether differences: a) were broad or specific to threat cues, and b) exhibited developmental variation. Children...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood maltreatment is associated with increased risk for most forms of psychopathology. We examine emotion dysregulation as a transdiagnostic mechanism linking maltreatment with general psychopathology. A sample of 262 children and adolescents participated; 162 (61.8%) experienced abuse or exposure to domestic violence. We assessed four emotion...
Article
Full-text available
Failures in emotion regulation, especially as a result of interpersonal stress, are implicated as transdiagnostic risk factors for psychopathology. This study examines the effects of an experimentally-timed targeted interpersonal rejection on emotion reactivity and regulation in typically developing adolescent girls. Girls (N = 33, ages 9-16, M = 1...
Article
Statistical learning can be used to gain sensitivity to many important regularities in our environment, including structure that is foundational to language and visual perception. As yet, little is known about how statistical learning takes place in the human brain, especially in children's developing brains and with regard to the broader neurobiol...
Article
The cover image, by Maya L. Rosen et al., is based on the Paper Salience network response to changes in emotional expressions of others is heightened during early adolescence: relevance for social functioning, DOI: 10.1111/desc.12571.
Article
Full-text available
Prior research demonstrates a link between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology later in development. However, work on mechanisms linking adversity to psychopathology fails to account for specificity in these pathways across different types of adversity. Here, we test a conceptual model that distinguishes deprivation and threat as di...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Experiences in early life lay the foundation for later development and functioning. Severe psychosocial deprivation, as experienced by children in early institutional care, constitutes an adverse experience with long-term negative consequences. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project sought to examine the effects of foster care as an...
Article
Childhood adversity is associated with increased risk for psychopathology. Neurodevelopmental pathways underlying this risk remain poorly understood. A recent conceptual model posits that childhood adversity can be deconstructed into at least two underlying dimensions, deprivation and threat, that are associated with distinct neurocognitive consequ...
Article
Childhood adversity is associated with altered reward processing, but little is known about whether this varies across distinct types of adversity. In a sample of 94 children (6–19 years), we investigated whether experiences of material deprivation, emotional deprivation, and trauma have differential associations with reward-related behavior and wh...
Article
Full-text available
Violence exposure during childhood is common and associated with poor cognitive and academic functioning. However, little is known about how violence exposure influences cognitive processes that might contribute to these disparities, such as working memory, or their neural underpinnings, particularly for cognitive processes that occur in emotionall...
Article
Associative learning underlies the formation of new episodic memories. Associative memory improves across development, and this age-related improvement is supported by the development of the hippocampus and pFC. Recent work, however, additionally suggests a role for visual association cortex in the formation of associative memories. This study inve...