Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study Linked External Data (LED): Protocol and practices for geocoding and assignment of environmental data


Our brain is constantly shaped by our immediate environments, and while some effects are transient, some have long-term consequences. Therefore, it is critical to identify which environmental risks have evident and long-term impact on brain development. To expand our understanding of the environmental context of each child, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® incorporates the use of geospatial location data to capture a range of individual, neighborhood, and state level data based on the child’s residential location in order to elucidate the physical environmental contexts in which today’s youth are growing up. We review the major considerations and types of geocoded information incorporated by the Linked External Data Environmental (LED) workgroup to expand on the built and natural environmental constructs in the existing and future ABCD Study data releases. Understanding the environmental context of each youth furthers the consortium’s mission to understand factors that may influence individual differences in brain development, providing the opportunity to inform public policy and health organization guidelines for child and adolescent health.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience