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Development of the cortisol circadian rhythm in the light of stress early in life.
Psychoneuroendocrinology 2015; 62:292-300P

Abstract

The secretion of the stress hormone cortisol follows a diurnal circadian rhythm. There are indications that this rhythm is affected by stress early in life. This paper addresses the development of the cortisol circadian rhythm between 1 and 6 years of age, and the role of maternal stress and anxiety early in the child's life on this (developing) rhythm. Participants were 193 healthy mother-child dyads from a community sample. Self-reported maternal stress and anxiety and physiological stress (saliva cortisol), were assessed prenatally (gestational week 37). Postnatally, self-reported maternal stress and anxiety were measured at 3, 6, 12, 30, and 72 months. Saliva cortisol samples from the children were collected on two days (four times each day) at 12, 30, and 72 months of age. The total amount of cortisol during the day and the cortisol decline over the day were determined to indicate children's cortisol circadian rhythm. Multilevel analyses showed that the total amount of cortisol decreased between 1 and 6 years. Furthermore, more maternal pregnancy-specific stress was related to higher total amounts of cortisol in the child. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal anxiety were associated with flatter cortisol declines in children. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal daily hassles were associated with steeper child cortisol declines over the day. These results indicated developmental change in children's cortisol secretion from 1 to 6 years and associations between maternal stress and anxiety early in children's lives and children's cortisol circadian rhythm in early childhood.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Postbus 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: s.simons@psych.ru.nl.Department of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Postbus 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.beijers@psych.ru.nl.Department of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Postbus 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.cillessen@psych.ru.nl.Department of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Postbus 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: c.deweerth@psych.ru.nl.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26352482

Citation

Simons, Sterre S H., et al. "Development of the Cortisol Circadian Rhythm in the Light of Stress Early in Life." Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 62, 2015, pp. 292-300.
Simons SS, Beijers R, Cillessen AH, et al. Development of the cortisol circadian rhythm in the light of stress early in life. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015;62:292-300.
Simons, S. S., Beijers, R., Cillessen, A. H., & de Weerth, C. (2015). Development of the cortisol circadian rhythm in the light of stress early in life. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 62, pp. 292-300. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.08.024.
Simons SS, et al. Development of the Cortisol Circadian Rhythm in the Light of Stress Early in Life. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015;62:292-300. PubMed PMID: 26352482.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Development of the cortisol circadian rhythm in the light of stress early in life. AU - Simons,Sterre S H, AU - Beijers,Roseriet, AU - Cillessen,Antonius H N, AU - de Weerth,Carolina, Y1 - 2015/09/05/ PY - 2015/03/04/received PY - 2015/08/10/revised PY - 2015/08/25/accepted PY - 2015/9/10/entrez PY - 2015/9/10/pubmed PY - 2016/8/19/medline KW - Child development KW - Cortisol circadian rhythm KW - Early life KW - Maternal anxiety KW - Maternal stress KW - Prenatal SP - 292 EP - 300 JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology VL - 62 N2 - The secretion of the stress hormone cortisol follows a diurnal circadian rhythm. There are indications that this rhythm is affected by stress early in life. This paper addresses the development of the cortisol circadian rhythm between 1 and 6 years of age, and the role of maternal stress and anxiety early in the child's life on this (developing) rhythm. Participants were 193 healthy mother-child dyads from a community sample. Self-reported maternal stress and anxiety and physiological stress (saliva cortisol), were assessed prenatally (gestational week 37). Postnatally, self-reported maternal stress and anxiety were measured at 3, 6, 12, 30, and 72 months. Saliva cortisol samples from the children were collected on two days (four times each day) at 12, 30, and 72 months of age. The total amount of cortisol during the day and the cortisol decline over the day were determined to indicate children's cortisol circadian rhythm. Multilevel analyses showed that the total amount of cortisol decreased between 1 and 6 years. Furthermore, more maternal pregnancy-specific stress was related to higher total amounts of cortisol in the child. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal anxiety were associated with flatter cortisol declines in children. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal daily hassles were associated with steeper child cortisol declines over the day. These results indicated developmental change in children's cortisol secretion from 1 to 6 years and associations between maternal stress and anxiety early in children's lives and children's cortisol circadian rhythm in early childhood. SN - 1873-3360 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26352482/Development_of_the_cortisol_circadian_rhythm_in_the_light_of_stress_early_in_life_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306-4530(15)00897-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -