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J Abnorm Psychol. 2005 May;114(2):187-96.

Reduced electrodermal activity in psychopathy-prone adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA. mfung@usc.edu

Abstract

This study tests the hypothesis that psychopathy-prone adolescents show reduced anticipatory skin conductance responding. Electrodermal activity was recorded while participants anticipated and responded to a 105 dB signaled or unsignaled white-noise burst. Using an extreme groups design, the authors used Child Psychopathy Scale (D. R. Lynam, 1997) scores from a community sample of 335 male adolescents (age 16) to form control (n = 65) and psychopathy-prone (n = 65) groups. Significantly more psychopathy-prone participants were nonresponders in the signaled anticipatory (p = .014), signaled responsivity (p = .037), and unsignaled responsivity (p = .003) conditions compared with controls. Anticipatory hyporesponsivity of psychopathy-prone adolescents similar to the electrodermal hyporesponsivity found in psychopathic adults suggests that this autonomic impairment is present by adolescence and may predispose individuals to adult psychopathy.

Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.

PMID:
15869350
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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