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Psychophysiological activity and reactivity in children and adolescents with conduct problems: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Kostas A. Fanti
  • Hedwig Eisenbarth
  • Poppy Goble
  • Chara A. Demetriou
  • Melina Nicole Kyranides
  • Daniel Goodwin
  • Junhua Zhang
  • Billy Bobak
  • Samuele Cortese

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    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis to estimate the association between psychophysiological activity and reactivity at baseline or after a psychological task with CP among children and adolescents. We systematically reviewed published studies reporting autonomic nervous system activity in youth with CP and meta-analyzed the relationship between CP and autonomic baseline as well as task-related reactivity in 66 studies (N=10,227). Across 34 included case-control studies that were based on CP cut-off scores, we found a significant pooled effect for task related Skin-Conductance, Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia, and cardiac Pre-Ejection Period, but no significant group differences for Heart Rate nor for any baseline measures.Findings suggested reduced parasympathetic and sympathetic reactivity to emotional tasks, pointing to co-inhibition of the two systems. However, across 32 studies with correlational design we only found a significant negative correlation of baseline and task-related heart rate with CP. The present meta-analysis derived several conclusions that have the potential to inform biological vulnerability models and biologically driven interventions.

    Research areas

  • conduct problems, skin conductance, heart rate, Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia, cardiac Pre-Ejection Period

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