Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia During Stress Predicts Resting Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia 3 Years Later in a Pediatric Sample

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respiratory sinus arrhythmia, stress, resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia, cardiovascular reactivity, prediction

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The author examined whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) responses to stress predicted resting RSA approximately 3 years later in children and adolescents. A total of 149 children and adolescents (49% girls and women, 44% African Americans) participated in 2 laboratory protocols approximately 3 years apart. RSA reactivity during tasks was consistent within participants across tasks during each session. Resting RSA at Visit 1 explained 17% of the variance in resting RSA at Visit 2 when body mass index, duration between visits, race, gender, and age were controlled for. Visit 1 RSA reactivity explained an additional 5% of the variance in resting RSA at Visit 2. The positive relationship between Visit 1 reactivity and Visit 2 resting levels suggests that larger decreases in RSA during stress predicted lower resting RSA. Conversely, increases in RSA during stress were associated with higher resting RSA an average of 3 years later.

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Health Psychology, v. 24, issue 1, p. 68-76