Shared psychological processes between individuals occur most between a mother and her child because the mother–child bond is one of the closest forms of human attachment, in which a mother and her child are essentially wired to connect. We recruited mother–child pairs (Ndyad = 19; adolescent: Mage = 13.74, 11 males; mothers: Mage = 44.26), who each completed an fMRI scan. We examined dyadic neural representational similarity as adolescents completed a stress task and mothers observed their child's performance during the same task. On average, mothers and their children did not show similar neural patterns during stress. However, neural similarity varied depending on family connectedness, such that only dyads reporting high family connectedness showed similar neural profiles. Importantly, increased neural similarity was associated with reduced stress in youth, suggesting that shared neural profiles in mother–child dyads enhance adolescents’ psychological well-being.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience