Meta-Analysis of the RDoC Social Processing Domain across Units of Analysis in Children and Adolescents

Tessa Clarkson, Erin Kang, Nicole Capriola-Hall, Matthew D. Lerner, Johanna Jarcho, Mitchell J. Prinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: This meta-analysis advances a framework to understand correspondence among units of analysis of the social processing construct within Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). Method: As requested for this special issue, eligible studies cited an RDoC-initiative paper or mentioned RDoC in the abstract, title, or keywords were empirical and peer reviewed, and described a correlation or regression analysis (r, β, or odds ratio) between two different units of analysis in the social processing domain in youth. We examined the frequency (descriptive statistics) and magnitude of correspondence between unit-pairs (random effects models), and predefined moderators (meta-regression). Results: Eight of the twenty-eight possible unit-by-unit pairs were identified, with subjective-by-behavior units being the most common. Of those, only subjective-by-circuit had significant correspondence between units. Moderator analysis revealed that the age and diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder moderated correspondence between subjective-by-circuit units of analysis, and that a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder moderated correspondence between subjective-by-gene units of analysis. Younger ages and inclusion of either diagnostic group reduced correspondence. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the RDoC initiative has generated limited research within the social processing domain across units of analysis in youth to date. Moreover, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded studies do not appear to be biased toward supporting the RDoC framework. However, the limited number of included studies precludes the generalizability of these findings and underscores the need for further research. Despite this, results suggest that the NIMH model for providing standard batteries of measurement tools may effectively reduce spurious correlations between subjective-by-behavior units of analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-321
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 May 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Meta-Analysis of the RDoC Social Processing Domain across Units of Analysis in Children and Adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this