BJ Casey headshot


On January 27, 2023, BJ Casey, Christina L. Williams Professor of Neuroscience, co-authored new research in the journal Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, alongside Yale professor of psychology Arielle Baskin-Sommers and jointly mentored Yale grad student May Conley. Titled, “Executive Network Activation Moderates the Association between Neighborhood Threats and Externalizing Behavior in Youth,” the research analyzes how youths’ exposure to different forms of violence relates to brain and cognitive function as well as risk for externalizing problems, including aggressive, oppositional, and delinquent behavior. 

Analyzing data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the researchers identified four profiles of youth based on perceived threats in their neighborhoods, families, and schools: the low threat in all contexts, elevated family threat, elevated neighborhood threat, and elevated threat in all contexts. Their findings reveal that interactions between threats are concentrated in youth's neighborhoods and attenuated executive network function may contribute to risk for externalizing problems.