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Publication Detail
Neurocognitive Adaptation and Mental Health Vulnerability Following Maltreatment: The Role of Social Functioning
Childhood maltreatment is associated with a lifetime increase in risk of mental health disorder. We propose that such vulnerability may stem in large part from altered patterns of social functioning. Here, we highlight key findings from the psychological and epidemiological literature indicating that early maltreatment experience compromises social functioning and attenuates social support in ways that increase mental health vulnerability. We then review the extant neuroimaging studies of children and adolescents, focusing on three domains implicated in social functioning: threat processing, reward processing, and emotion regulation. We discuss how adaptations in these domains may increase latent vulnerability to mental health problems by impacting on social functioning via increased stress susceptibility as well as increased stress generation. Finally, we explore how computational psychiatry approaches, alongside systematically reported measures of social functioning, can complement studies of neural function in the creation of a mechanistic framework aimed at informing approaches to prevention and intervention.
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Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
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