Study Procedures

Participation involves 2 separate visits to UAMS. Adolescents will be followed for 9 months after participating with a series of three 15-minute follow-up phone calls.  School excuse notes will be provided for adolescents.


Visit 1: Participants will be asked to come to the Psychiatric Research Institute on the UAMS campus for approximately 3-4 hours. We will first go over a Consent Form which will describe the study in more detail and give you a chance to ask questions.  If you decided to participate at that time we will ask you to complete a series of interviews and questionnaires.  Adolescents will also have their parents complete some questionnaires.  Some of the questions we ask will be about how you have been feeling, if you have ever been in a stressful or abusive situation, and about any drug use.  All information that you provide us with throughout the study will be kept confidential which means we will not share it with anyone else.  Also, we will not tell parents about any drug use adolescents tell us about.  Compensation will be provided for participating at this visit.

Visit 2: Following this first visit we ask that you come back one more time for approximately 2 hours to complete the MRI scan.  For adolescents, parents will need to be present but will not be asked to do anything for this visit.  The MRI scan is harmless and takes about one hour to complete.  You will be asked to complete a few different tasks while you are in the scanner.  These tasks are described below. Compensation will be provided for participating in this visit.

MRI Scanning Tasks

Stop Signal: We will display letters on screen one at a time. Participants are instructed to press a button if a letter is displayed and to not press if the letter is accompanied with a box around it.

Delay Discounting: Participants will be asked to make decisions about receiving certain amounts of money, either a smaller amount available immediately, or a larger amount available after a delay.

Stress Imagery: At Visit 1, participants will be asked to write about a stressful experience (such as a tough day at work, difficult school project, etc.). This will be recorded and played back while the participant is in the scanner.

Resting State: Participants will be asked to lay still in the scanner and let their minds wander freely.

Our MRI scans are safe, pain-free, and do not involve any harmful radiation. We do not use any contrast agents or chemical dyes. Some participants may be excluded from scanning due to safety concerns. For more information on our MRI scanning procedures, please see our MRI Frequently Asked Questions or send us an email (