Cortisol levels and psychosocial factors in preadolescent children
2006 (English)In: Stress and Health, ISSN 1532-3005, Vol. 22, no 1, 3-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Regarding the relationship between psychosocial factors and health, one model of explanation states that psychosocial stress constitutes a principal mediator connecting psychosocial factors to health outcome, affecting the body through psychobiological mechanisms. This relationship has scarcely been studied in children. In the present study the relation between diurnal cortisol secretion and psychosocial factors [socio-economic status (SES), immigrant status and impact of psychiatric symptoms] was investigated in a normal population of 6-12 year old children (n = 273). Salivary cortisol levels were measured in the early morning, late morning and in the evening during three consecutive days. Parents answered demographic questionnaires and teachers answered psychiatric questionnaires concerning the children. Children exposed to one or more of the factors of psychosocial load (n = 117) had significantly higher morning (p < 0.001) and evening (p = 0.029) cortisol levels as well as total daily cortisol secretion [measured by the area under the curve (AUC), p = 0.003] compared to the group of children with none of the factors (n = 156). Different psychosocial stressors seemed to influence different parts of the diurnal cortisol curve. In conclusion, this study indicates that even children exposed to a moderate degree of psychosocial load differ in their cortisol levels compared to non-exposed children.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 22, no 1, 3-9 p.
Psychiatric symptoms, child, cortisol, socio-economic factors, stress
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15680DOI: 10.1002/smi.1074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-15680DiVA: diva2:126933