Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Psychobiol. 2012 Mar;54(2):207-14. doi: 10.1002/dev.20582. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to social stress across adolescence.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Queen's University at Kingston, 220 Craine Hall, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.


Many transformations that occur in adolescence are related to emotion and emotion regulation, yet very little is known about the autonomic underpinnings of these changes. The aim of the study was to document age-related differences in autonomic responses to social stress and relations to emotion regulation. Ninety-nine female adolescents engaged in a paced breathing and a spontaneous speech task while electrocardiography measurements were taken. Spectral decomposition of the heart period data was used to create measures of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. Results revealed a positive correlation between age and sympathetic activity and a negative correlation between age and parasympathetic activity. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the age-related norms of cardiac variability across adolescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center