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How do self-reported stress and self-esteem relate to diurnal profiles of salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol in mid-adolescent 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, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA), that reflect hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) activity and sympathetic activity within the autonomic nervous system (ANS) respectively, are biomarkers with pronounced diurnal rhythms. While research on salivary cortisol is increasing, less is known about the diurnal rhythm of sAA, particularly in adolescents. Also, the linkages between individual factors, such as self-esteem, stress and the biomarkers cortisol and sAA and their combinations remain to be investigated. Besides detailing the diurnal rhythms of salivary cortisol and sAA in 14-16 year-old girls and boys, this study investigated how self-reported stress and self-esteem relate to aggregate measures of salivary cortisol and sAA and their combinations. In addition to self-reports in questionnaires, self-administered salivary samples were collected from 47 girls and 23 boys during a school day. Results showed that girls had higher levels of morning cortisol than did boys, while there were no differences in sAA. Moreover, self-esteem and stress were associated with cortisol and sAA measures, but for girls only. Taken together, the findings suggest that both stress and self-esteem are linked to both separate and combined measures of ANS and HPA-axis activity, particularly among mid-adolescent girls.

Keyword [en]
adolescence, ANS/SNS-markers, HPA-axis, stress, self-esteem
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107166OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107166DiVA: diva2:743672
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareThe Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Available from: 2014-09-04 Created: 2014-09-04 Last updated: 2014-09-05
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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Folkesson Hellstadius, LisaViveca, ÖstbergLindfors, Petra
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