ABSTRACT The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship of the personal anxiety level and the markers of autonomic nervous system function in schoolchildren. Methods: A total of 124 adolescents were examined using the questionnaire “The scale of reactive and personal anxiety” (PA) and an analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). The data were analysed and used to classify personal anxiety into 3 groups: low PA (<30 points), moderate PA (30 ≤ PA < 45 points), and high PA (>30 points). Associations between personal anxiety and HRV markers were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation and the odds ratio (OR). Results: The optimal type of heart rhythm regulation was noted among 81.8% of adolescents with low PA compared to 56.8% of schoolchildren with moderate PA and 63.8% with high PA. Emotional stress was also significantly higher for the adolescents with a low level of PA vs. a moderate level of PA in both tests: in the orthostatic test (“high level” RRI OR = 1.87, p = 0.001) and in the “through the mind” test (“high level” RRI OR = 1.87, p < 0.001; “low level” OR = 1.88, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Emotional stress causes the most significant shifts of the functional indicators of the autonomic nervous and cardiovascular systems in schoolchildren, especially in those with high levels of personal anxiety, as determined by an orthostatic test.
Cite this paper
Efimova, N. and Myl’nikova, I. (2018) Assessment of Heart Rate Variability in Adolescents with Different Levels of Personal Anxiety in Physical and Mental Tests. Psychology, 9, 2709-2717. doi: 10.4236/psych.2018.913155.
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