Heart Rate and Psychosocial Correlates of Antisocial Behavior in High-Risk Adolescents
Children and adolescents with antisocial behavior show a relatively low resting heart rate (Raine, 1993). This is explained through theories predicting autonomic under-arousal, passive emotional withdrawal, increased vagal tone, and reduced fear of punishment in antisocial individuals (Quay, 1993; Raine, 1993). Consistencies between cardiovascular, electrodermal, and cortical response systems (Raine, Venables, & Williams, 1990) and symmetrical findings for inhibited children (Kagan, 1989) support such psychophysiologic concepts. Although measurement problems, developmental changes, and alternative theoretical explanations must be taken into account, results on the relationship between heart rate (HR) and antisocial behavior (ASB) are rather consistent and substantial in effect size (Raine, 1993). Lower HR in childhood and adolescence is even a long-term predictor of crime and violence (Farrington, 1987, this volume; Raine et al., 1990, Wadsworth, 1976). In contrast, high autonomic arousal has a protective effect against adult criminality (Raine et al., 1995).
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baumrind, D. (1989). Rearing competent children. In W. Damon (Ed.), Child development today and tomorrow (pp. 349–378). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Hare, R.D. (1978). Electrodermal and cardiovascular correlates of psychopathy. In R.D. Hare & D. Schalling (Eds.), Psychopathic behaviour (pp. 107–144). London: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Mezzacappa, E., Tremblay, R.E., Kindlon, D., Saul, J.P., Arsenault, L., Seguin, J., Pihl, R.O., & Earls, F. (in press). Anxiety, antisocial behavior and heart rate regulation in adolescent males. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.Google Scholar
- Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Raine, A. (1993). The psychopathology of crime: Criminal behavior as a clinical disorder. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Raine, A., Venables, P.H., & Williams, M. (1995). High autonomic arousal and electrodermal orienting at age 15 years as protective factors against criminal behavior at age 29 years. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 1595–1600.Google Scholar
- Schneewind, K.A., Beckmann, M., & Hecht-Jackl, A. (1985). Das Familienklima-Testsystem. [Family Climate Test]. München: Institut für Psychologie der Universität.Google Scholar
- Wadsworth, M. E. J. (1976). Delinquency, pulse rate and early emotional deprivation. British Journal of Criminology, 16, 245–256.Google Scholar