Study: Low heart rate linked to stalking behaviors in men

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Researchers surveyed nearly 400 college students to investigate biological factors linked to stalking behaviors. (Shutterstock)

Males with a lower resting heart rate could be more likely to exhibit stalking behaviors, according to a new study.

Researchers asked nearly 400 college students in the southern United States whether they had ever "followed, watched or spied on someone" or communicated with anybody against their will. As the subjects answered, study authors monitored their heart rate with a finger pulse oximeter.

Of the 384 students surveyed, 32 said they had engaged in stalking behaviors -- 15 males and 17 females. Males with a lower resting heart rate were the most likely to engage in stalking behaviors.

Study authors cite arousal theory in claiming that "those with low levels of arousal are less fearful, more likely to seek opportunities to pursue victims to feel stimulated, and are more likely to exhibit impulsive behaviors."

Previous, unrelated research has also linked low resting heart rates to higher incidences of aggression and violence.

Study lead author Danielle Boisvert and several of the co-authors are associated with Sam Houston University. Their study, "Low Resting Heart Rate and Stalking Perpetration," is published in the "Journal of Interpersonal Violence."

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healthsam houston state universitystalkingscienceHuntsville
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