Heart period variability and psychopathology in urban boys at risk for delinquency

Daniel S. Pine, Gail A. Wasserman, Laurie Miller, Jeremy D. Coplan, Emilia Bagiella, Pavel Kovelenku, Michael M. Myers, Richard P. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine associations between heart period variability (HPV) and psychopathology in young urban boys at risk for delinquency, a series of 69 7-11-year-old younger brothers of adjudicated delinquents received a standardized psychiatric evaluation and an assessment of heart period variability (HPV). Psychiatric symptoms were rated in two domains: externalizing and internalizing psychopathology. Continuous measures of both externalizing and internalizing psychopathology were associated with reductions in HPV components related to parasympathetic activity. These associations could not be explained by a number of potentially confounding variables, such as age, ethnicity, social class, body size, or family history of hypertension. Although familial hypertension predicted reduced HPV and externalizing psychopathology, associations between externalizing psychopathology and HPV were independent of familial hypertension. Psychiatric symptoms are associated with reduced HPV in young urban boys at risk for delinquency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Autonomic control
  • Cardiovascular indices
  • Children
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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