Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Peer victimization and its impact on adolescent brain development and psychopathology

Quinlan, Erin Burke; Barker, Edward D.; Luo, Qiang; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bokde, Arun L. W.; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Desrivières, Sylvane; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Garavan, Hugh; Chaarani, Bader; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Brühl, Rüdiger; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Martinot, Marie-Laure Paillère; Nees, Frauke; Orfanos, Dimitri Papadopoulos; Paus, Tomáš; Poustka, Luise; Hohmann, Sarah; Smolka, Michael N.; Fröhner, Juliane H.; Walter, Henrik; Whelan, Robert; Schumann, Gunter; IMAGEN Consortium


Erin Burke Quinlan

Edward D. Barker

Qiang Luo

Tobias Banaschewski

Arun L. W. Bokde

Uli Bromberg

Christian Büchel

Sylvane Desrivières

Herta Flor

Vincent Frouin

Hugh Garavan

Bader Chaarani

Andreas Heinz

Rüdiger Brühl

Jean-Luc Martinot

Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot

Frauke Nees

Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos

Tomáš Paus

Luise Poustka

Sarah Hohmann

Michael N. Smolka

Juliane H. Fröhner

Henrik Walter

Robert Whelan

Gunter Schumann

IMAGEN Consortium


Chronic peer victimization has long-term impacts on mental health; however, the biological mediators of this adverse relationship are unknown. We sought to determine whether adolescent brain development is involved in mediating the effect of peer victimization on psychopathology. We included participants (n = 682) from the longitudinal IMAGEN study with both peer victimization and neuroimaging data. Latent profile analysis identified groups of adolescents with different experiential patterns of victimization. We then associated the victimization trajectories and brain volume changes with depression, generalized anxiety, and hyperactivity symptoms at age 19. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed time-by victimization interactions on left putamen volume (F = 4.38, p = 0.037). Changes in left putamen volume were negatively associated with generalized anxiety (t = −2.32, p = 0.020). Notably, peer victimization was indirectly associated with generalized anxiety via decreases in putamen volume (95% CI = 0.004–0.109). This was also true for the left caudate (95% CI = 0.002–0.099). These data suggest that the experience of chronic peer victimization during adolescence might induce psychopathology-relevant deviations from normative brain development. Early peer victimization interventions could prevent such pathological changes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 12, 2018
Journal Molecular Psychiatry
Print ISSN 1359-4184
Electronic ISSN 1476-5578
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Quinlan, E. B., Barker, E. D., Luo, Q., Banaschewski, T., Bokde, A. L. W., Bromberg, U., …IMAGEN Consortium, . (2018). Peer victimization and its impact on adolescent brain development and psychopathology. Molecular Psychiatry,
Keywords Molecular Biology; Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience; Psychiatry and Mental health
Publisher URL


Peer victimization and its impact on adolescent brain development (198 Kb)

You might also like

Downloadable Citations