Childhood socioeconomic status is prospectively associated with surface morphometry in adulthood. Academic Article uri icon


  • Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) has been associated with brain cortex surface area in children. However, the extent to which childhood SES is prospectively associated with brain morphometry in adulthood is unclear. We tested whether childhood SES (income-to-needs ratio averaged across ages 9, 13, and 17) is prospectively associated with cortical surface morphometry in adulthood. Average childhood income-to-needs ratio had a positive, prospective association with cortical thickness in adulthood in the precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and caudal middle frontal gyrus (p<.05, FWE corrected). Childhood income-to-needs ratio also had a positive, prospective association with cortical surface area in adulthood in multiple regions, including the rostral and caudal middle frontal gyri and superior frontal gyrus (p<.05, FWE corrected). Concurrent income-to-needs ratio (measured at age 24) was not associated with cortical thickness or surface area in adulthood. The results underscore the importance of addressing poverty in childhood for brain morphological development.

published proceedings

  • Dev Psychobiol

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Dufford, A. J., Evans, G. W., Liberzon, I., Swain, J. E., & Kim, P.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Dufford, Alexander J||Evans, Gary W||Liberzon, Israel||Swain, James E||Kim, Pilyoung

publication date

  • July 2021