||3U24DA041147-06S1 Interpret this number
||University Of California, San Diego
||Abcd-Usa Consortium: Coordinating Center
Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) is the largest long-term study of brain development and child
health in the United States. ABCD consists of a Coordinating Center, a Data Analysis and Informatics
Resource Center, and 21 research sites across the U.S. ABCD has enrolled a diverse sample of 11,878 9-10
year-olds, and is tracking their biological and behavioral development through adolescence into young
adulthood. All participants receive repeated state-of-the-art neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing,
bioassays, and detailed youth and parent assessments of substance use, mental health, physical health, and
culture and environment.
In March 2020, when our participants are ages 11-13, the world became substantially affected by the COVID-
19 pandemic, leading to an upheaval in the economy and the lives of almost every family. The majority of U.S.
schools closed to reduce viral spread. Many parents incurred changes in work (from home, longer shifts,
reduced wages, and/or job loss), some services and support systems became disrupted, and case counts and
death tolls surge. The massive multifaceted impact of this unprecedented event has the potential to affect for
decades those who are currently children. The proposed research immediately leverages the ABCD cohort,
infrastructure, and existing protocol to rapidly characterize the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on each
child in the study. By collecting this situational information as soon as possible, we can use existing ABCD data
to examine perturbations in developmental trajectories of brain functioning, cognition, substance use,
academic achievement, social functioning, and physical and mental health.
The proposed project would query all ABCD participants and their parents multiple times about the impact of
the pandemic on their lives and, in a subset of participants, examine their physical activity and sleep objectively
with activity trackers (Fitbits), over the months of school closures, job loss, and disease spread. This will allow
the consortium and scientific community at large to test multiple aims regarding how various facets of the
pandemic affect development. This includes: (1) characterizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on brain
and cognitive development and onset of substance use; (2) evaluating the extent to which alternative schooling
approaches exacerbate or mitigate the impact of the pandemic on brain and cognitive development and
substance use outcomes; and (3) evaluating the extent to which family stressors exacerbate or mitigate the
impact of the pandemic on neurobiological, cognitive, and substance use outcomes. This unprecedented crisis
provides an opportunity to make use of ABCD’s elaborate infrastructure and rigorous scientific processes to
discern critical dimensions of development not previously envisioned.
None. See parent grant details.