Does resting-state frontostriatal connectivity moderate relations between substance abuse vulnerability and trait impulsivity?

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The Ohio State University

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Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a major public health concern, affecting 9.9% of American adults. Trait impulsivity, a highly heritable difference expressed as a preference for immediate rewards, portends risk for developing SUDs over time. Functional alterations within the frontostriatal circuit are associated with both trait impulsivity and SUDs. Thus, the current study evaluated whether resting-state frontostriatal connectivity strength moderated the relation between family history of substance abuse and impulsivity among young children. Using a sample of 5566 children from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, I conducted moderation analyses using PROCESS macro with familial drug history as the independent variable, impulsivity, measured by the UPPS-P and CBCL scale, as the dependent variable, and network-to-ROI connectivity correlations between the frontoparietal network and reward processing subcortical regions as the moderators. In addition, I conducted moderated moderations to examine whether race and sex further moderated these relations. I found that resting-state frontostriatal connectivity did not moderate relations between family history of SUDs and trait impulsivity and that there was no evidence of moderated moderation effects of sex or race on this pathway. Furthermore, neither familial history of SUDs, race, nor sex were correlated with impulsivity. These results suggest that the frontostriatal network may not contribute to the relation between familial drug history and impulsivity. However, limitations regarding the non-clinical sample, diagnostic validity, and non-representative family income may explain the null findings in light of multiple replications on associations between blunted striatal responding, trait impulsivity, and substance abuse vulnerability.



Substance use disorders, Resting-state functional connectivity, Triat impulsivity, Familial history of substance abuse, Frontostriatal network