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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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14. Childhood psychopathology and inflammation: A replication study

Robust research indicates associations between psychopathology and immune function in adult samples. Evidence for this association in the pediatric literature remains underdeveloped. For this presentation, we will present findings from two geographically and temporally distinct studies. In both studies, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatization in children (Mage=11yrs) were assessed in conjunction with immune system activation via concentrations of inflammatory markers. Study 1: 476 children-caregiver dyads were recruited as a subsample of the Family Life Project, a prospective longitudinal study of children growing up poor in rural Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Study 2: 188 children-caregiver dyads were recruited from ambulatory pediatric clinics in Rochester, NY. Children were assessed at multiple visits over a 3-yr period. Blood was drawn via venipuncture for cytokine assays. Data on recent illness, BMI, medication use and general health and fitness were also collected and considered as potential covariates. Preliminary analyses suggest weak to modest associations between psychopathology and various inflammatory markers (e.g., IL-6, CRP, TNF-alpha). Given this signal, longitudinal modeling to fully leverage data collected at multiple timepoints will be presented. Overall, findings from both studies suggest the association between inflammation and psychopathology in adults can be assessed and replicated in pediatric samples.

Ana Vallejo Sefair
University of Rochester

Tom O'Connor
University of Rochester School of Medicine


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