ERIC Number: EJ878663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Reduced Electrodermal Fear Conditioning from Ages 3 to 8 Years Is Associated with Aggressive Behavior at Age 8 Years
Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H.; Dawson, Michael E.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v51 n5 p550-558 May 2010
Background: Poor fear conditioning characterizes adult psychopathy and criminality, but it is not known whether it is related to aggressive/antisocial behavior in early childhood. Methods: Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, electrodermal activity was recorded from 200 male and female children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 years. Antisocial/aggressive and hyperactive-inattentive measures were collected at age 8. Results: Poor electrodermal fear conditioning from ages 3 to 8 years was associated with aggressive behavior at age 8 in both males and females. Conclusions: Results indicate that the relationship between poor fear conditioning and aggression occurs early in childhood. Enhanced electrodermal fear conditioning may protect children against future aggressive/violent behavior. Abnormal amygdala functioning, as indirectly assessed by fear conditioning, may be one of the factors influencing the development of childhood aggression.
Descriptors: Violence, Aggression, Conditioning, Fear, Psychopathology, Antisocial Behavior, Correlation, Children, Adults, Diagnostic Tests, Hyperactivity, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Neurological Impairments, Attention Control
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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