Publication date: Jul 08, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for youths and families, dramatically increasing exposure to stressors and stress-related psychopathology. Increasing work has leveraged pre-pandemic neuroimaging data to predict adolescent psychopathology and stress responses during the pandemic, with a particular focus on internalizing symptoms. We review this recent literature on pre-pandemic brain structure and function and adolescent internalizing psychopathology during the pandemic. At present, existing studies have not consistently identified specific alterations in brain structure and function that predict anxiety or depressive symptoms during the pandemic. In contrast, exposure to stress and adversity before and during the pandemic as well as access to peer and family support have emerged as consistent and reliable predictors of youth mental health during the pandemic.