A wealth of past research has examined the relationship between low physiological arousal and violence or antisocial behavior. Relatively little research; however, has examined the relationship between low physiological arousal and psychopathic traits, with even less having been conducted with juveniles. The current study attempts to fill this gap by evaluating juveniles’ physiological arousal using resting heart rate and their levels of psychopathic traits. Results suggest that there is indeed an inverse relationship between resting heart rate and the affective traits of psychopathy (Uncaring, Callousness, and Unemotionality) as well as Thrill or Sensation Seeking in males. No significant relationship was found in females. Implications of the findings as well as study limitations and future directions are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful for support from Department of Education R305F100013 (Dr. Sharon Vaughn) and NIH Grants: K08 HD068545-01A1 (Dr. Barth). The authors are also grateful for support from the Texas Education Agency, Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, the Institute on Educational Sciences Grants (R305F100013, R305A150058, R324A100022 & R324B080008), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50 HD052117).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health