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The role of perceived threats on mental health, social, and neurocognitive youth outcomes: A multicontextual, person-centered approach
Development and Psychopathology  (IF5.317),  Pub Date : 2022-03-02, DOI: 10.1017/s095457942100184x
May I. Conley, Jasmine Hernandez, Joeann M. Salvati, Dylan G. Gee, Arielle Baskin-Sommers

Perceived threat in youth’s environments can elevate risk for mental health, social, and neurocognitive difficulties throughout the lifespan. However, few studies examine variability in youth’s perceptions of threat across multiple contexts or evaluate outcomes across multiple domains, ultimately limiting our understanding of specific risks associated with perceived threats in different contexts. This study examined associations between perceived threat in youth’s neighborhood, school, and family contexts at ages 9–10 and mental health, social, and neurocognitive outcomes at ages 11–12 within a large US cohort (N = 5525) enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®). Latent profile analysis revealed four distinct profiles: Low Threat in all contexts, Elevated Family Threat, Elevated Neighborhood Threat, and Elevated Threat in all contexts. Mixed-effect models and post hoc pairwise comparisons showed that youth in Elevated Threat profile had poorer mental health and social outcomes 2 years later. Youth in the Elevated Family Threat profile uniquely showed increased disruptive behavior symptoms, whereas youth in the Elevated Neighborhood Threat profile predominantly displayed increased sleep problems and worse neurocognitive outcomes 2 years later. Together, findings highlight the importance of considering perceptions of threat across multiple contexts to achieve a more nuanced developmental picture.