Biosocial Bases of Aggressive Behavior in Childhood

Resting Heart Rate, Skin Conductance Orienting, and Physique
  • Adrian Raine
  • Chandra Reynolds
  • Peter H. Venables
  • Sarnoff A. Mednick
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


This chapter aims to follow up some of the biosocial issues outlined in Chapter 1, and attempt an initial answer to some of the questions posed by the biosocial model developed in that chapter. In doing so, new results will be presented from the Mauritius study, a longitudinal psychophysiological study of child and adult psychopathology conducted on the island of Mauritius. A specific focus will be placed on two main risk factors for antisocial behavior which have been pursued by the first author over the past two decades, namely, low resting heart rate, and reduced electrodermal orienting. The longitudinal approach will be emphasized in this chapter because it is felt that clearer answers to the questions posed in chapter 1 will emerge from prospective studies. In particular, this chapter is concerned with links between psychophysiological and social measures taken at age 3, and aggressive behavior measured at age 11 years in a large sample of 1,795 males and females, Indian and Creole participants. Interactions with temperament will also be explored because this construct has been linked with both autonomic activity (Scarpa et al., 1996; Kagan, 1988; Kagan et al. 1989) and aggression (Caspi et al. 1995; Caspi and Silva, in press).


Aggressive Behavior Antisocial Behavior Skin Conductance Rest Heart Rate Violent Offender 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Raine
    • 1
  • Chandra Reynolds
    • 1
  • Peter H. Venables
    • 1
  • Sarnoff A. Mednick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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