Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Thomas Borowski

Reader 2

Amy Margolis

Reader 3


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Exposure to stress and socioeconomic disadvantage has consistently been linked to psychopathology and deleterious cognitive outcomes. The neural correlates for this association have been thoroughly explored in specific regions of the brain. We sought to determine what environmental factors can be related to systems level aging in the brain. Brain aging was quantified using a brain age algorithm that relied on the covariation of six key shape measures (i.e. cortical thickness, GM volume, surface area, mean curvature, travel depth, WM volume) and several structural volumes. With 440 children and adolescents from New York’s Healthy Brain Network, we employed a general linear model to highlight the environmental factors that best predicted accelerated or decelerated brain aging. Our findings demonstrate that household resources, as measured by income to needs ratio (INR), negatively associates with aging in the brain, where occupational prestige and parent involvement are high. Socioeconomic disadvantage may have more widespread implications in the brain than has been previously realized. Moderation effects suggest that socioeconomic disadvantage’s impact on the brain may be conditioned on other environmental factors.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.