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Psychobiological dysregulation in violence-exposed mothers: salivary cortisol of mothers with very young children pre- and post-separation stress.
Bull Menninger Clin. 2004 Fall; 68(4):319-36.BM

Abstract

To understand the determinants of frightening/frightened and other atypical maternal behavior, the authors studied a sample of 41 inner-city mothers of very young children (ages 8-50 months), the mothers of whom had lifetime histories of interpersonal violent trauma (i.e., physical or sexual abuse, and domestic violence) and related posttraumatic stress.

METHOD

The authors measured (1) maternal salivary cortisol levels before and 30 minutes after a videotaped play paradigm with their children, involving two separations and reunions; and (2) cortisol reactivity 30 minutes after separation stress. Data were analyzed using Pearson bivariate correlations, ANOVA, and multiple linear regressions.

RESULTS

Salivary cortisol "baseline" values were significantly negatively correlated with childhood interpersonal violent trauma severity (i.e., trauma severity prior to age 16). However, cortisol reactivity was not significantly correlated with interpersonal violent trauma severity at this level of analysis. Although baseline salivary cortisol values were not significantly correlated with current overall psychiatric or depressive symptoms, they were negatively correlated with severity of current posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and with dissociative symptoms. Neither dimensions of negativity nor distortion of maternal attributions showed any significant association with prestress or poststress salivary cortisol levels. Salivary cortisol baseline was negatively correlated with atypical maternal behavior via measurement of the level of disrupted communication, at a trend-level of significance.

CONCLUSIONS

Violent trauma-associated dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may be a marker for increased risk for intergenerational transmission via parenting behavior with young children. Low salivary cortisol prior to separation stress and blunted cortisol reactivity to separation may also be markers for posttraumatic stress.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. dss11@columbia.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15843179

Citation

Schechter, Daniel S., et al. "Psychobiological Dysregulation in Violence-exposed Mothers: Salivary Cortisol of Mothers With Very Young Children Pre- and Post-separation Stress." Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, vol. 68, no. 4, 2004, pp. 319-36.
Schechter DS, Zeanah CH, Myers MM, et al. Psychobiological dysregulation in violence-exposed mothers: salivary cortisol of mothers with very young children pre- and post-separation stress. Bull Menninger Clin. 2004;68(4):319-36.
Schechter, D. S., Zeanah, C. H., Myers, M. M., Brunelli, S. A., Liebowitz, M. R., Marshall, R. D., Coates, S. W., Trabka, K. A., Baca, P., & Hofer, M. A. (2004). Psychobiological dysregulation in violence-exposed mothers: salivary cortisol of mothers with very young children pre- and post-separation stress. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 68(4), 319-36.
Schechter DS, et al. Psychobiological Dysregulation in Violence-exposed Mothers: Salivary Cortisol of Mothers With Very Young Children Pre- and Post-separation Stress. Bull Menninger Clin. 2004;68(4):319-36. PubMed PMID: 15843179.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychobiological dysregulation in violence-exposed mothers: salivary cortisol of mothers with very young children pre- and post-separation stress. AU - Schechter,Daniel S, AU - Zeanah,Charles H,Jr AU - Myers,Michael M, AU - Brunelli,Susan A, AU - Liebowitz,Michael R, AU - Marshall,Randall D, AU - Coates,Susan W, AU - Trabka,Kimberly A, AU - Baca,Patricia, AU - Hofer,Myron A, PY - 2005/4/22/pubmed PY - 2005/5/11/medline PY - 2005/4/22/entrez SP - 319 EP - 36 JF - Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic JO - Bull Menninger Clin VL - 68 IS - 4 N2 - UNLABELLED: To understand the determinants of frightening/frightened and other atypical maternal behavior, the authors studied a sample of 41 inner-city mothers of very young children (ages 8-50 months), the mothers of whom had lifetime histories of interpersonal violent trauma (i.e., physical or sexual abuse, and domestic violence) and related posttraumatic stress. METHOD: The authors measured (1) maternal salivary cortisol levels before and 30 minutes after a videotaped play paradigm with their children, involving two separations and reunions; and (2) cortisol reactivity 30 minutes after separation stress. Data were analyzed using Pearson bivariate correlations, ANOVA, and multiple linear regressions. RESULTS: Salivary cortisol "baseline" values were significantly negatively correlated with childhood interpersonal violent trauma severity (i.e., trauma severity prior to age 16). However, cortisol reactivity was not significantly correlated with interpersonal violent trauma severity at this level of analysis. Although baseline salivary cortisol values were not significantly correlated with current overall psychiatric or depressive symptoms, they were negatively correlated with severity of current posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and with dissociative symptoms. Neither dimensions of negativity nor distortion of maternal attributions showed any significant association with prestress or poststress salivary cortisol levels. Salivary cortisol baseline was negatively correlated with atypical maternal behavior via measurement of the level of disrupted communication, at a trend-level of significance. CONCLUSIONS: Violent trauma-associated dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may be a marker for increased risk for intergenerational transmission via parenting behavior with young children. Low salivary cortisol prior to separation stress and blunted cortisol reactivity to separation may also be markers for posttraumatic stress. SN - 0025-9284 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15843179/Psychobiological_dysregulation_in_violence_exposed_mothers:_salivary_cortisol_of_mothers_with_very_young_children_pre__and_post_separation_stress_ L2 - https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/bumc.68.4.319.56642 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -