Research > Publications

Publications

Publication single view

Article

Title: Being hot-tempered: Autonomic, emotional, and behavioral distinctions between childhood reactive and proactive aggression
Author(s): A. Scarpa, S.C. Haden and A. Tanaka
Journal: Biological Psychology
Year: 2010
Volume: 84
Issue: 3
Pages: 488--496
Publisher address: Virginia Polytech Inst & State Univ, Dept Psychol, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA Long Isl Univ, Dept Psychol, Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
ISSN: 0301-0511
File URL: vuams-pubs/Scarpa_2010.pdf
Keywords: Aggression, Anger, ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR, Arousal, Attention, AUTONOMIC AROUSAL, Autonomic Nervous System, Behavior problems, BOYS, Child, CHILDHOOD, CHILDREN, Heart, HEART PERIOD VARIABILITY, Heart Rate, HEART-RATE, INFORMATION-PROCESSING MECHANISMS, LEVEL, METAANALYSIS, Netherlands, Parents, Proactive aggression, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, Reactive aggression, RESPIRATORY SINUS ARRHYTHMIA, SYMPTOMS, Time, VAGAL CONTROL, VARIABILITIES, VARIABILITY
Abstract: Reactive aggression (RA) is an angry response to perceived provocation. Proactive aggression (PA) is a pre-meditated act used to achieve some goal. This study test hypotheses that (1) individuals high in RA and PA will differ in resting levels of autonomic arousal and (2) RA will be related to emotional and behavioral problems, while PA only to behavioral problems. Parents of 68 children (age 6-13) reported on child symptoms, reactive/proactive aggression, and behavior problems. Resting heart rate (HR), skin conductance (SC), and HR variability (HRV) were measured in 42 of the children. RA was significantly related to decreased HRV and a trend for decreased SC, while PA was significantly related to increased SC and HRV. RA was significantly related to increased internalizing behaviors and attention deficits, while PA was significantly related to increased hyperactivity/impulsivity and delinquent behavior problems. Findings support a distinction between child reactive (hot-tempered) and proactive (cold-tempered) aggression in autonomic, emotional (i.e., internalizing problems), and behavioral (i.e., attention deficits, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and delinquent behavior) functioning, and are discussed in relation to theories of antisocial behavior. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Back to the list view