Cardiac vagal control and children's adaptive functioning

A meta-analysis

Paulo Graziano, Karen Derefinko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

172 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polyvagal theory has influenced research on the role of cardiac vagal control, indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia withdrawal (RSA-W) during challenging states, in children's self-regulation. However, it remains unclear how well RSA-W predicts adaptive functioning (AF) outcomes and whether certain caveats of measuring RSA (e.g., respiration) significantly impact these associations. A meta-analysis of 44 studies (n=4996 children) revealed small effect sizes such that greater levels of RSA-W were related to fewer externalizing, internalizing, and cognitive/academic problems. In contrast, RSA-W was differentially related to children's social problems according to sample type (community vs. clinical/at-risk). The relations between RSA-W and children's AF outcomes were stronger among studies that co-varied baseline RSA and in Caucasian children (no effect was found for respiration). Children from clinical/at-risk samples displayed lower levels of baseline RSA and RSA-W compared to children from community samples. Theoretical/practical implications for the study of cardiac vagal control are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Meta-Analysis
Respiration
Social Problems
Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Cardiac vagal control and children's adaptive functioning : A meta-analysis. / Graziano, Paulo; Derefinko, Karen.

In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 94, No. 1, 01.09.2013, p. 22-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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