Heart rate responses to parental behavior in depressed adolescents.

Abstract

In order to more fully understand the abnormalities in emotional responding associated with adolescent depression we examined clinically depressed and non-depressed adolescents' physiological responses to their parents' negative emotional behavior, as indexed by their heart rate responses to parental angry and dysphoric behavior during laboratory-based interactions. Maternal angry and dysphoric behavior predicted heart rate deceleration amongst non-depressed adolescents, a response that was not observed in depressed adolescents. Fathers' angry behavior predicted significant heart rate acceleration in depressed (but not non-depressed) adolescents, whereas fathers' dysphoric behavior predicted heart rate deceleration amongst depressed but not amongst non-depressed adolescents. These findings are interpreted within the framework of orienting and defense cardiac responses, and suggest that reactivity in adolescent depression is characterized by the absence of a normative orienting response toward aversive maternal behaviors, and a defensive physiological response to aggressive paternal behavior.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.02.013

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@article{Allen2012HeartRR, title={Heart rate responses to parental behavior in depressed adolescents.}, author={Nicholas B. Allen and Peter Kuppens and Lisa Sheeber}, journal={Biological psychology}, year={2012}, volume={90 1}, pages={80-7} }