Measuring retention within the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD)SM study

Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Genevieve F. Dash, Wesley K. Thompson, Chase Reuter, Vanessa G. Diaz, Andrey Anokhin, Linda Chang, Linda B. Cottler, Gayathri J. Dowling, Kimberly LeBlanc, Robert A. Zucker, Susan F. Tapert, Sandra A. Brown, Hugh Garavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)SM study aims to retain a demographically diverse sample of youth and one parent across 21 sites throughout its 10-year protocol while minimizing selective (systematic) attrition. To evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts, the ABCD Retention Workgroup (RW) has employed a data-driven approach to examine, track, and intervene via three key metrics: (1) which youth completed visits late; (2) which youth missed visits; and (3) which youth withdrew from the study. The RW actively examines demographic (race, education level, family income) and site factors (visit satisfaction, distance from site, and enrollment in ancillary studies) to strategize efforts that will minimize disengagement and loss of participating youth and parents. Data showed that the most robust primary correlates of late visits were distance from study site, race, and parental education level. Race, lower parental education level, parental employment status, and lower family income were associated with higher odds of missed visits, while being enrolled in one of the ancillary studies was associated with lower odds of missed visits. Additionally, parents who were primary Spanish speakers withdrew at slightly higher rates. These findings provide insight into future targets for proactive retention efforts by the ABCD RW.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101081
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • ABCD study®
  • Adolescents
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Metrics
  • Retention


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