Do psychosocial predictors affect the following days' cortisol awakening response? Expanding the temporal frame with which to explore morning cortisol

Jeffrey Proulx, Daniel Klee, Barry S. Oken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Much of the extant cortisol awakening response (CAR) literature posits that CAR is an anticipatory response to perceived demands later that same day. However, expanding and switching the temporal order of cortisol and psychosocial influences may motivate more flexible approaches to understanding the dynamic relationship between mind and body, including cumulative strain on the HPA axis. This study was novel because we used two models to explore the effects of one day’s emotion regulation and cortisol levels on cortisol and CAR the following day in 100 mildly stressed adults aged 50–81 years old, which contrasts with the more common CAR-anticipatory-response design. In the first model, High negative-affect-variation on day 1 predicted a higher risk of having a flat CAR the next day, relative to the moderate-affect-variation group (RR = 10.10, p <.05). In the second model, higher bedtime cortisol on day 1 was positively associated with waking cortisol (β =.293, p <.01) and flatter CAR slopes on day 2 (β = −.422, p <.001). These results show that morning cortisol intercepts and slopes may be associated with previous days’ affect variability and levels of bedtime cortisol. These results also suggest that anticipation of demands may extend to the previous day, rather than just the morning of the demand, indicating a broader temporal framework for the study of CAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-403
Number of pages6
JournalStress
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017

Keywords

  • Cortisol awakening response
  • affect
  • aging
  • aging
  • intraindividual variability
  • lagged cortisol response
  • relative risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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