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Low skin conductance activity in infancy predicts aggression in toddlers 2 years later

Baker, Erika Claire, Shelton, Katherine Helen, Baibazarova, Eugenia, Hay, Dale F. and Van Goozen, Stephanie Helena Maria 2013. Low skin conductance activity in infancy predicts aggression in toddlers 2 years later. Psychological Science 24 (6) , pp. 1051-1056. 10.1177/0956797612465198

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Abstract

Low autonomic nervous system activity is claimed to be a biomarker for aggressive and antisocial behavior. Although there is evidence that low skin conductance activity (SCA) accounts for variation in the severity of antisocial behavior and predicts the onset of aggression in children and adults, it is unknown whether SCA measured in infancy can predict the development of aggression. We measured SCA in 70 typically developing 1-year-old infants at baseline, during an orienting habituation paradigm, and during a fear challenge. We also observed the infants’ fear behavior, and each mother rated her infant’s temperament and her attachment to her child. At follow-up, mothers rated the children at 3 years old for aggressive and nonaggressive behavior problems. Low infant SCA predicted aggressive behavior, but there was no association between SCA and nonaggressive behavior problems. Mothers’ ratings of the infants’ temperament and their maternal attachment and the infants’ observed fearlessness did not predict later aggression. These results suggest that SCA is a specific biomarker for aggression in low-risk samples of infants.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RL Dermatology
Uncontrolled Keywords: aggressive behavior; fear; electrophysiology; infant development; emotional development
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0956-7976
Funders: MRC
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 19:39
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/46339

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