Adaptive patterns of stress responsivity: A preliminary investigation

Marco Del Giudice, J. Benjamin Hinnant, Bruce J. Ellis, Mona El-Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The adaptive calibration model (ACM) is an evolutionary- developmental theory of individual differences in stress responsivity. In this article, we tested some key predictions of the ACM in a middle childhood sample (N = 256). Measures of autonomic nervous system activity across the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches validated the 4-pattern taxonomy of the ACM via finite mixture modeling. Moreover, the 4 patterns of responsivity showed the predicted associations with family stress levels but no association with measures of ecological stress. Our hypotheses concerning sex differences in responsivity were only partly confirmed. This preliminary study provides initial support for the key predictions of the ACM and highlights some of the methodological challenges that will need to be considered in future research on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-790
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Calibration model
  • Developmental plasticity
  • Respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • Skin conductance level
  • Stress response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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