Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Matthew Price


Childhood maltreatment is a major public health concern and is associated with both psychological and brain changes in adulthood. Conceptualization of childhood maltreatment can be categorized along two axes, threat and deprivation, each of which can be associated with varying outcomes of psychopathology and brain changes. The brain is organized into broad connectivity networks, including the Salience Network (SN), the Default-Mode Network (DMN), and the Central Executive Network (CEN). Prior work has examined the relationship between these networks and psychopathology associated with childhood maltreatment, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

This study assessed the differences in functional connectivity between those with a history of threat and deprivation and healthy controls in the SN, DMN, and CEN in a sample of 99 emerging adults (n = 62 maltreatment exposed participants; n = 37 healthy control participants). The relationship between maltreatment, PTSD, and MDD symptoms as mediated by functional brain connectivity was also examined. Increased coupling between DMN and CEN connectivity was found in those with threat exposure, while increased anticorrelated connectivity was found between the SN and CEN in deprivation exposed participants. There was no evidence, however, that these differences mediated the relation between childhood maltreatment and psychopathology. This study may have important implications for developmental models of brain integration in those with experiences of childhood maltreatment.



Number of Pages

83 p.