Caregiver monitoring, but not caregiver warmth, is associated with general cognition in two large sub-samples of youth

Arielle S. Keller, Allyson P. Mackey, Adam Pines, Damien Fair, Eric Feczko, Mauricio S. Hoffmann, Giovanni A. Salum, Ran Barzilay, Theodore D. Satterthwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Individual differences in cognitive abilities emerge early during development, and children with poorer cognition are at increased risk for adverse outcomes as they enter adolescence. Caregiving plays an important role in supporting cognitive development, yet it remains unclear how specific types of caregiving behaviors may shape cognition, highlighting the need for large-scale studies. In the present study, we characterized replicable yet specific associations between caregiving behaviors and cognition in two large sub-samples of children ages 9—10 years old from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® (ABCD). Across both discovery and replication sub-samples, we found that child reports of caregiver monitoring (supervision or regular knowledge of the child's whereabouts) were positively associated with general cognition abilities, after covarying for age, sex, household income, neighborhood deprivation, and parental education. This association was specific to the type of caregiving behavior (caregiver monitoring, but not caregiver warmth), and was most strongly associated with a broad domain of general cognition (but not executive function or learning/memory). Additionally, we found that caregiver monitoring partially mediated the association between household income and cognition, furthering our understanding of how socioeconomic disparities may contribute to disadvantages in cognitive development. Together, these findings underscore the influence of differences in caregiving behavior in shaping youth cognition. Research Highlights: Caregiver monitoring, but not caregiver warmth, is associated with cognitive performance in youth Caregiver monitoring partially mediates the association between household income and cognition Results replicated across two large matched samples from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study® (ABCD).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13337
JournalDevelopmental Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data used in the preparation of this article were obtained from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study ( ), held in the NIMH Data Archive (NDA). This is a multisite, longitudinal study designed to recruit more than 10,000 children age 9–10 and follow them over 10 years into early adulthood. The ABCD Study® is supported by the National Institutes of Health and additional federal partners under award numbers U01DA041048, U01DA050989, U01DA051016, U01DA041022, U01DA051018, U01DA051037, U01DA050987, U01DA041174, U01DA041106, U01DA041117, U01DA041028, U01DA041134, U01DA050988, U01DA051039, U01DA041156, U01DA041025, U01DA041120, U01DA051038, U01DA041148, U01DA041093, U01DA041089, U24DA041123, U24DA041147. A full list of supporters is available at‐partners.html . A listing of participating sites and a complete listing of the study investigators can be found at . ABCD consortium investigators designed and implemented the study and/or provided data but did not necessarily participate in the analysis or writing of this report. This manuscript reflects the views of the authors and may not reflect the opinions or views of the NIH or ABCD consortium investigators. The ABCD data repository grows and changes over time. The ABCD data used in this report came from [NIMH Data Archive Digital Object Identifier 10.15154/1523041]. DOIs can be found at . SM

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health: R01MH113550 (TDS & DSB), R01MH120482 (TDS), R01EB022573 (TDS), R37MH125829 (TDS & DAF). ASK was supported by a Neuroengineering and Medicine T32 Fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (5T32NS091006‐08). Additional support was provided by the Penn‐CHOP Lifespan Brain Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • ABCD
  • caregiving
  • cognition
  • monitoring
  • socioeconomic status
  • warmth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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