Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



Recent interest has emerged in understanding the neural mechanisms by which deficits in emotion regulation (ER) may relate to the development of depression. Cortico-limbic alterations reported in emotion dysregulation and depression may be one possible link. We examined the relationships between emotion dysregulation in school age, corticolimbic resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) in preadolescence, and depressive symptoms in adolescence. Participants were 143 children from a longitudinal preschool onset depression study who completed the Children Sadness Management Scale (CSMS), Child Depression Inventory (CDI), and two resting state MRI scans. We examined rs-FC between four primary regions of interest (ROIs; bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and amygdalae) and six target ROIs thought to contribute to ER. Findings showed that greater school-age emotion dysregulation (higher CSMS) predicted: 1) increased bilateral dlPFC connectivity with bilateral insula and vmPFC in children with and without a history of depression; 2) greater right dlPFC- dACC rs-FC in children with a history of depression; and 3) greater positive rs-FC change from childhood to preadolescence between the bilateral dlPFC and right insula in all children. rs-FC during preadolescence, but not school age emotion dysregulation, predicted later CDI scores. These results suggest that childhood emotion dysregulation predicts rs-FC in preadolescence, which in turn, predicts depressive symptoms in adolescence. These findings elucidate one possible neurobehavioral trajectory for the developmental psychopathology of depression.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Deanna Barch

Committee Members

Ryan Bogdan Desiree White


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