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Salivary cortisol reactivity in preschoolers is associated with hair cortisol and behavioral problems.
Stress. 2018 01; 21(1):28-35.S

Abstract

The interplay between children's cortisol reactivity to challenge and cumulative cortisol exposure is not well understood. Examining the role of cortisol reactivity in early childhood may elucidate biological mechanisms that contribute to children's chronic physiological stress and behavioral dysregulation. In a sample of 65 preschool-aged children, we examined the relation between children's salivary cortisol reactivity to challenging tasks and their hair cortisol concentration (HCC). While both are biomarkers of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, salivary cortisol reactivity reflects an acute cortisol response to a stressor and HCC reflects cumulative cortisol exposure. In addition, we examined the relations of these stress biomarkers with internalizing and externalizing problems. Salivary cortisol reactivity was associated with higher HCC and with increased externalizing behaviors. Child HCC also was positively correlated with parent HCC. Results highlight the contributions of salivary cortisol reactivity to children's cumulative cortisol exposure, which may add to their biological risk for health problems later. The observed association between externalizing problems and salivary cortisol reactivity indicates concordances between dysregulated behavioral reactions and dysregulated cortisol responses to challenges. The finding that salivary cortisol reactivity to challenge in early childhood plays a role in children's cumulative cortisol exposure and behavioral development suggests pathways through which cortisol reactivity may influence long-term physical and mental health.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences , Boston University , Boston , MA , USA.b Claremont McKenna College , Claremont , CA , USA.a Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences , Boston University , Boston , MA , USA.c Psychology , University of Massachusetts , Amherst , MA , USA.a Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences , Boston University , Boston , MA , USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29065770

Citation

Kao, Katie, et al. "Salivary Cortisol Reactivity in Preschoolers Is Associated With Hair Cortisol and Behavioral Problems." Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands), vol. 21, no. 1, 2018, pp. 28-35.
Kao K, Doan SN, St John AM, et al. Salivary cortisol reactivity in preschoolers is associated with hair cortisol and behavioral problems. Stress. 2018;21(1):28-35.
Kao, K., Doan, S. N., St John, A. M., Meyer, J. S., & Tarullo, A. R. (2018). Salivary cortisol reactivity in preschoolers is associated with hair cortisol and behavioral problems. Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 21(1), 28-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2017.1391210
Kao K, et al. Salivary Cortisol Reactivity in Preschoolers Is Associated With Hair Cortisol and Behavioral Problems. Stress. 2018;21(1):28-35. PubMed PMID: 29065770.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Salivary cortisol reactivity in preschoolers is associated with hair cortisol and behavioral problems. AU - Kao,Katie, AU - Doan,Stacey N, AU - St John,Ashley M, AU - Meyer,Jerrold S, AU - Tarullo,Amanda R, Y1 - 2017/10/24/ PY - 2017/10/27/pubmed PY - 2019/1/3/medline PY - 2017/10/26/entrez KW - Salivary cortisol reactivity KW - externalizing problems KW - hair cortisol KW - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis KW - preschool KW - stress SP - 28 EP - 35 JF - Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) JO - Stress VL - 21 IS - 1 N2 - The interplay between children's cortisol reactivity to challenge and cumulative cortisol exposure is not well understood. Examining the role of cortisol reactivity in early childhood may elucidate biological mechanisms that contribute to children's chronic physiological stress and behavioral dysregulation. In a sample of 65 preschool-aged children, we examined the relation between children's salivary cortisol reactivity to challenging tasks and their hair cortisol concentration (HCC). While both are biomarkers of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, salivary cortisol reactivity reflects an acute cortisol response to a stressor and HCC reflects cumulative cortisol exposure. In addition, we examined the relations of these stress biomarkers with internalizing and externalizing problems. Salivary cortisol reactivity was associated with higher HCC and with increased externalizing behaviors. Child HCC also was positively correlated with parent HCC. Results highlight the contributions of salivary cortisol reactivity to children's cumulative cortisol exposure, which may add to their biological risk for health problems later. The observed association between externalizing problems and salivary cortisol reactivity indicates concordances between dysregulated behavioral reactions and dysregulated cortisol responses to challenges. The finding that salivary cortisol reactivity to challenge in early childhood plays a role in children's cumulative cortisol exposure and behavioral development suggests pathways through which cortisol reactivity may influence long-term physical and mental health. SN - 1607-8888 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29065770/Salivary_cortisol_reactivity_in_preschoolers_is_associated_with_hair_cortisol_and_behavioral_problems_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10253890.2017.1391210 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -