AbstractChildren’s behavioral problems have been associated with their family environments. Here, we investigate whether specific features of brain structures could relate to this link. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging of 8756 children aged 9-11 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Developmental study, we show that high family conflict and low parental monitoring scores are associated with children’s behavioral problems, as well as with smaller cortical areas of the orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and middle temporal gyrus. A longitudinal analysis indicates that psychiatric problems scores are associated with increased family conflict and decreased parental monitoring 1 year later, and mediate associations between the reduced cortical areas and family conflict, and parental monitoring scores. These results emphasize the relationships between the brain structure of children, their family environments, and their behavioral problems.
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