Social processing in early adolescence: Associations between neurophysiological, self-report, and behavioral measures
Abstract Peer relationships play a major role in adolescent development, but few methods exist for measuring social processing at the neurophysiological level. This study extends our pilot study of Island Getaway, a task for eliciting event-related potentials (ERPs) to peer feedback. We differentiated ERPs using principal components analysis (PCA) and examined associations with behavioral and self-report measures in young adolescents ( N = 412). PCA revealed an early negativity in the ERP enhanced for rejection feedback, followed by a series of positivities (consistent with reward positivity [RewP], P300, and late positive potential) that were enhanced for acceptance feedback. Greater self-reported task engagement correlated with a larger RewP to acceptance and lower rates of rejecting peers. Youth higher in depressive symptoms exhibited a blunted RewP to social acceptance and reported lower engagement. Results highlight ERP components sensitive to peer feedback that may inform understanding of social processes relevant to typical and atypical development.