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Stress-induced cortisol level elevations are associated with reduced negative affect after stress: indications for a mood-buffering cortisol effect.
Psychosom Med. 2012 Jan; 74(1):23-32.PM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Stress is associated with increased negative affect and activation of the sympathetic nervous system and of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, the relationship between these stress systems and negative affect is incompletely understood. We therefore investigated positive and negative affects in relationship with salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase (sAA) levels in a large sample of participants exposed to a psychosocial stressor or a control condition.

METHODS

Cortisol and sAA levels from five studies with a total sample size of 232 participants were reanalyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. In these studies, we measured affective responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and its control condition (placebo TSST) with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule.

RESULTS

An inverse relationship between cortisol and negative affect was observed across all participants (β(06) = -0.13, p = .002). Higher level of negative affect was associated with lower mean cortisol levels 10 minutes after the TSST or the control condition. When the two conditions were tested separately, the effect was significant in the stress condition (β(06) = -0.05, p = .02) but not in the control condition (β(06) = -0.0008, p > .05). In contrast to the results for cortisol, a positive relationship was found between sAA and negative affect within the stress condition (β(06) = 0.10, p = .005).

CONCLUSIONS

The present findings suggest that cortisol is associated with an attenuated negative emotional arousal in response to acute stress, whereas sAA levels seem to reflect the degree of negative emotional arousal. Together with previous pharmacological studies, these data seem to support the hypothesis of mood-buffering effects of cortisol.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Departmentof Cognitive Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitaetsstrasse 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22155939

Citation

Het, Serkan, et al. "Stress-induced Cortisol Level Elevations Are Associated With Reduced Negative Affect After Stress: Indications for a Mood-buffering Cortisol Effect." Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 74, no. 1, 2012, pp. 23-32.
Het S, Schoofs D, Rohleder N, et al. Stress-induced cortisol level elevations are associated with reduced negative affect after stress: indications for a mood-buffering cortisol effect. Psychosom Med. 2012;74(1):23-32.
Het, S., Schoofs, D., Rohleder, N., & Wolf, O. T. (2012). Stress-induced cortisol level elevations are associated with reduced negative affect after stress: indications for a mood-buffering cortisol effect. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74(1), 23-32. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e31823a4a25
Het S, et al. Stress-induced Cortisol Level Elevations Are Associated With Reduced Negative Affect After Stress: Indications for a Mood-buffering Cortisol Effect. Psychosom Med. 2012;74(1):23-32. PubMed PMID: 22155939.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Stress-induced cortisol level elevations are associated with reduced negative affect after stress: indications for a mood-buffering cortisol effect. AU - Het,Serkan, AU - Schoofs,Daniela, AU - Rohleder,Nicolas, AU - Wolf,Oliver T, Y1 - 2011/12/07/ PY - 2011/12/14/entrez PY - 2011/12/14/pubmed PY - 2012/4/25/medline SP - 23 EP - 32 JF - Psychosomatic medicine JO - Psychosom Med VL - 74 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Stress is associated with increased negative affect and activation of the sympathetic nervous system and of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, the relationship between these stress systems and negative affect is incompletely understood. We therefore investigated positive and negative affects in relationship with salivary cortisol and salivary α-amylase (sAA) levels in a large sample of participants exposed to a psychosocial stressor or a control condition. METHODS: Cortisol and sAA levels from five studies with a total sample size of 232 participants were reanalyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. In these studies, we measured affective responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and its control condition (placebo TSST) with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. RESULTS: An inverse relationship between cortisol and negative affect was observed across all participants (β(06) = -0.13, p = .002). Higher level of negative affect was associated with lower mean cortisol levels 10 minutes after the TSST or the control condition. When the two conditions were tested separately, the effect was significant in the stress condition (β(06) = -0.05, p = .02) but not in the control condition (β(06) = -0.0008, p > .05). In contrast to the results for cortisol, a positive relationship was found between sAA and negative affect within the stress condition (β(06) = 0.10, p = .005). CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that cortisol is associated with an attenuated negative emotional arousal in response to acute stress, whereas sAA levels seem to reflect the degree of negative emotional arousal. Together with previous pharmacological studies, these data seem to support the hypothesis of mood-buffering effects of cortisol. SN - 1534-7796 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22155939/Stress_induced_cortisol_level_elevations_are_associated_with_reduced_negative_affect_after_stress:_indications_for_a_mood_buffering_cortisol_effect_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e31823a4a25 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -