Early life adversities and adolescent antisocial behavior: The role of cardiac autonomic nervous system reactivity in the TRAILS study
In the current study, the role of pre-ejection period (PEP) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was studied in the association between prior adversities and antisocial behavior in adolescence. PEP and RSA task reactivity and recovery to a public speaking task were assessed in adolescents from a longitudinal population-based study (N=624, Mage=16.14 years, 49.2% boys). Perinatal adversities were unrelated to antisocial behavior, but experiencing more stressful adversities between age 0 and 15 was associated with antisocial behavior at age 16 in boys with blunted PEP reactivity and smaller PEP differences from rest to recovery. Number of adversities between age 0 and 15 was associated with antisocial behavior in boys with blunted and girls with heightened RSA reactivity and larger PEP differences from rest to recovery. The association between prior adversities and antisocial behavior were small in effect size and depended upon sex and PEP and RSA reactivity and recovery.