The structure of cognition in 9 and 10 year-old children and associations with problem behaviors: Findings from the ABCD study's baseline neurocognitive battery

Wesley K. Thompson, Deanna M. Barch, James M. Bjork, Raul Gonzalez, Bonnie J. Nagel, Sara Jo Nixon, Monica Luciana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is poised to be the largest single-cohort long-term longitudinal study of neurodevelopment and child health in the United States. Baseline data on N= 4521 children aged 9–10 were released for public access on November 2, 2018. In this paper we performed principal component analyses of the neurocognitive assessments administered to the baseline sample. The neurocognitive battery included seven measures from the NIH Toolbox as well as five other tasks. We implemented a Bayesian Probabilistic Principal Components Analysis (BPPCA) model that incorporated nesting of subjects within families and within data collection sites. We extracted varimax-rotated component scores from a three-component model and associated these scores with parent-rated Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) internalizing, externalizing, and stress reactivity. We found evidence for three broad components that encompass general cognitive ability, executive function, and learning/memory. These were significantly associated with CBCL scores in a differential manner but with small effect sizes. These findings set the stage for longitudinal analysis of neurocognitive and psychopathological data from the ABCD cohort as they age into the period of maximal adolescent risk-taking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100606
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2019



  • Adolescence
  • Child behavior checklist
  • Externalizing
  • Internalizing
  • NIH toolbox
  • Neurocognition
  • Principal components analysis
  • Stress reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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