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Single and aggregate salivary cortisol measures during two schooldays in midadolescent girls and boys
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2014 (English)In: PsyCh Journal, ISSN 2046-0252, E-ISSN 2046-0260, Vol. 3, no 2, 121-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract: The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, including its regulation of cortisol, is central to bodily functioning and salivary cortisol is a commonly used biomarker that reflects the functioning of the HPA axis. However, knowledge of diurnal cortisol rhythms in healthy adolescents is limited and few studies have examined patterns in midadolescent girls and boys across single and aggregate cortisol measures. To fill this gap, the present study investigated single and aggregate cortisol measures reflecting diurnal rhythms in 14 to 16-year-old girls and boys. Self-administered salivary samples from 79 girls and 42 boys were collected during two schooldays at four timepoints: (a) immediately at awakening, (b) 30 min after waking up, (c) 60 min after waking up, and (d) at 8:00 p.m. Additionally, diary data including time of awakening, sampling times, and other potential confounders were analyzed. As for single measures, both girls and boys exhibited a typical diurnal cortisol profile with high levels in the morning that decreased throughout the day. However, girls had higher morning cortisol than did boys with significant differences at time of awakening, and at 30 and 60 min postawakening. For the aggregate measures, girls had a larger total level of cortisol in terms of cortisol awakening response (CARG), area under the curve (AUCG), and rise over run (slopeawake to last), while no differences emerged for reactivity measures. Taken together, these findings suggest differences in single and aggregate cortisol measures between midadolescent girls and boys. Such differences in diurnal cortisol between pubertal girls and boys may play a role for the differential health trajectories typically found among adult women and men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 3, no 2, 121-131 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescence; covariates; gender; salivary cortisol measures
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107164DOI: 10.1002/pchj.48OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107164DiVA: diva2:743658
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2006-1637
Available from: 2014-09-04 Created: 2014-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Psychobiological functioning in mid-adolescent girls and boys: Linkages to self reported stress, self-esteem and recurrent pain
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychobiological functioning in mid-adolescent girls and boys: Linkages to self reported stress, self-esteem and recurrent pain
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Among adolescents, the day-to-day functioning of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal-axis (HPA-axis) and of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and their relationships with stress, subjective health complaints and psychological factors such as self-esteem, studied in naturalistic settings, have been largely unexplored. This thesis aimed to investigate the diurnal activity of the HPA-axis (Studies I & II) in terms of salivary cortisol and the ANS/SNS system (Study III) in terms of salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) in mid-adolescent girls and boys. Additionally, linkages between self-reported stress, self-esteem, recurrent pain and biomarkers were investigated. A further aim was to describe potential differences between girls and boys respectively. Study I showed that both girls and boys exhibited the typical diurnal cortisol profile with high levels in the morning that decreased throughout the day. Girls had higher total cortisol levels, while no differences emerged for measures of the cortisol increase. Study II showed no significant linkages between self-ratings of stress and cortisol. However, stress was associated with recurrent pain in girls. Study III showed that, for girls, both self-esteem and self-reported stress were related to morning levels of both cortisol and sAA, to the diurnal sAA output and to a conjoint measure of amylase over cortisol, AOC. To conclude, the findings suggest that both stress and self-esteem may be linked to different measures of ANS and HPA-axis activity, but also to measures of ANS and HPA-axis dysregulation, particularly among mid-adolescent girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2014. 103 p.
Keyword
Adolescents, Cortisol, Alpha-amylase, Stress, Self-esteem, Recurrent pain
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107167 (URN)978-91-7447-980-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-09-18 Created: 2014-09-04 Last updated: 2017-05-03Bibliographically approved

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