About the Study

During adolescence, the brain undergoes major change. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are working to better understand brain development during early-to-mid adolescence. In particular, this study is focused on the brain systems that manage negative emotion, self-understanding, and impulse-control. BRIDGES is working to understand how self-injury (a common problem in teenagers) influences brain development by studying the change in the brain and behavior patterns over time in girls with versus without self-injury. 


Inclusion Criteria (for all participants): 

  • 12-16 years old
  • Female 
  • Already had first menstrual cycle 

Exclusion Criteria (for all participants): 

  • Male 
  • Pregnancy
  • Inability to undergo an MRI procedure
  • IQ < 80
  • Major medical illness
  • A diagnosis of any of the following: Primary Psychotic Disorder, Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Substance Use Disorder 

Study Visits

Interview and Clinical Assessment: 

Your first visit will be a complete diagnostic interview in order to determine your medical and psychiatric symptoms and history. This visit will involve a number of questionnaires/interviews and take place at the Ambulatory Research Center (ARC) at the Fairview Riverside Hospital. A parent/guardian will be asked to attend and participate in a separate interview. This appointment takes 2.5-3 hours. 

Speech Task and Computer Assessments: 

At the second visit, you will be asked to prepare a five-minute speech and then deliver the speech to an audience, followed by an additional short task. During this visit, we also ask you to complete some computer assessments in the form of games that measure attention and memory.​ During your second visit, we will be collecting a number of saliva samples in order to measure a stress hormone called Cortisol. This visit takes 1.5-2 hours and must begin between the hours of 1:00PM and 4:00PM.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): 

For your third visit, you will come to the ​Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Campus for a brain scan. You will lie in the MRI while the machine takes pictures of your brain. While you're in the scanner, you will be doing things like listening to music, resting, and playing a game using a button box. Before the scan, we will have you do a urine toxicology screen (drug test) and pregnancy test. If the result is positive, we will not continue with the scan. This visit takes 2.5 hours.

One of the aims of this study is to look at brain development over time. As such, you will be asked to return and repeat these visits one and two years following the completion of the first set of visits. 


Participants will be compensated for each of the study visits that they complete (ranging $30-$50 per visit).

Contact Information

For more information about the study, please call ​612-626-8534 or email [email protected]


Question Mark
For more information about the study, please call ​612-626-8534 or email [email protected].