Reduced Heart Rate Levels in Aggressive Children

  • Traci Bice Pitts
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


Heart rate is one of the best studied and well replicated psychophysiological correlates of antisocial behavior in children. In a recent review (Raine, 1993), 14 studies of antisocial children all found lower resting heart rates in antisocial youth relative to same age peers. Despite this strong empirical link, there remain a number of important theoretical and methodological issues which need to be addressed. First, this literature does not explore psychophysiological arousal during tasks which aggressively challenge these youth. This is important because a trait theory of fearlessness would suggest that aggressive youths heart rates would remain low even during an aggression challenge situation, while stimulation seeking theory (Quay, 1965) would predict that aggressive youths heart rates would increase back to normal during an aggressively challenging situation.


Antisocial Behavior Proactive Aggression Aggressive Child Aggressive Group Aggressive Youth 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Traci Bice Pitts
    • 1
  1. 1.RenoUSA

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