Physiological arousal in females with fragile X or Turner syndrome

Cynthia S. Keysor, Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Daniel R. McLeod, Rudolf Hoehn-Saric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Physiological arousal was measured in 12- to 22-year-old females with either fragile X, Turner syndrome, or neither disorder to explore potential differences in the manifestation of arousal and anxiety in adolescents and young women. Physiological arousal was measured at baseline and during performance on mental arithmetic, divided attention, and risk-taking tasks. Contrary to prediction, females with fragile X rarely exhibited higher arousal than females in either the Turner syndrome or comparison groups. On the Divided Attention Task, both the fragile X and Turner syndrome groups exhibited higher arousal relative to one another based on different physiological indices. Relative to the comparison group, the fragile X group presented with a heightened state of arousal at baseline, based on mean skin conductance range, which may account for little increase in arousal on the cognitive tasks for females with fragile X. Females with Turner syndrome exhibited higher arousal relative to the comparison group on all cognitive tasks, but not for all physiological measures. Factors potentially associated with heightened arousal in fragile X and Turner syndrome are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Arousal
  • Fragile X
  • Psychophysiology
  • Turner Syndrome


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