This study examined the relationship of dissociative symptoms, abuse and neglect, and gender to mean heart rate (HR) in two types of interviews. Participants were 25 female and 16 male delinquent adolescents. Dissociative symptoms and abuse and neglect were assessed by structured interviews. Participants were randomized to one of two conditions, to describe either their most stressful life experience or their free association thoughts. Greater dissociative symptoms were associated with lower mean HR, whereas abuse and neglect, being a girl, and participating in the free association task were associated with higher mean HR. The finding that high levels of dissociative symptoms may be related to a suppression of autonomic physiological responses to stress support Bremner's conceptualization (J. D. Bremner, 1999) that dissociative symptoms comprise one of two subtypes of the acute stress response, differing physiologically as well as subjectively from a predominantly hyperarousal or intrusive symptom response.