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Chronic Stress and Adolescents' Mental Health: Modifying Effects of Basal Cortisol and Parental Psychiatric History. The TRAILS Study.

Zandstra AR, Hartman CA, Nederhof E, van den Heuvel ER, Dietrich A, Hoekstra PJ, Ormel J - J Abnorm Child Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: We conclude that the premise that basal cortisol indicates context sensitivity may be too crude.Context sensitivity may not be a general trait but may depend on the nature of the context (e.g., type or duration of stress exposure) and on the outcome of interest (e.g., internalizing vs. externalizing problems).Although consistent across informants, our findings need replication.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, A.R.E.Zandstra@rug.nl.

ABSTRACT
Large individual differences in adolescent mental health following chronic psychosocial stress suggest moderating factors. We examined two established moderators, basal cortisol and parental psychiatric history, simultaneously. We hypothesized that individuals with high basal cortisol, assumed to indicate high context sensitivity, would show relatively high problem levels following chronic stress, especially in the presence of parental psychiatric history. With Linear Mixed Models, we investigated the hypotheses in 1917 Dutch adolescents (53.2% boys), assessed at ages 11, 13.5, and 16. Low basal cortisol combined with the absence of a parental psychiatric history increased the risk of externalizing but not internalizing problems following chronic stress. Conversely, low basal cortisol combined with a substantial parental psychiatric history increased the risk of internalizing but not externalizing problems following chronic stress. Thus, parental psychiatric history moderated stress- cortisol interactions in predicting psychopathology, but in a different direction than hypothesized. We conclude that the premise that basal cortisol indicates context sensitivity may be too crude. Context sensitivity may not be a general trait but may depend on the nature of the context (e.g., type or duration of stress exposure) and on the outcome of interest (e.g., internalizing vs. externalizing problems). Although consistent across informants, our findings need replication.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) internalizing problem levels plotted for different levels of chronic stress and basal cortisol, and separately depicted for very severe PH (a) and no PH (b). Note. PH Parental history severity; INTadj Internalizing problems adjusted for externalizing problems. Levels of chronic stress refer to the number of long-term difficulties at T2. Low, average, and high cortisol (−1SD, M, and +1SD) correspond to 6.15, 10.87, and 15.60 nmol/L, respectively
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Fig2: Parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) internalizing problem levels plotted for different levels of chronic stress and basal cortisol, and separately depicted for very severe PH (a) and no PH (b). Note. PH Parental history severity; INTadj Internalizing problems adjusted for externalizing problems. Levels of chronic stress refer to the number of long-term difficulties at T2. Low, average, and high cortisol (−1SD, M, and +1SD) correspond to 6.15, 10.87, and 15.60 nmol/L, respectively

Mentions: INTadj problems were predicted by a three-way interaction of PH severity, squared basal cortisol, and chronic stress, which was marginally significant for parent-report, p = 0.06, and significant for self-report, p = 0.006, as shown in Table 4. Figure 2 shows that the pattern in which parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) INTadj levels were predicted is opposite to that found for parent-reported and self-reported EXTadj levels. That is, the association between chronic stress and subsequent INTadj levels was enhanced in individuals with low basal cortisol and very severe PH (a) and attenuated in individuals with low basal cortisol and no PH (b). Average and high basal cortisol did not differ substantially with respect to stress impact on INTadj level.Table 4


Chronic Stress and Adolescents' Mental Health: Modifying Effects of Basal Cortisol and Parental Psychiatric History. The TRAILS Study.

Zandstra AR, Hartman CA, Nederhof E, van den Heuvel ER, Dietrich A, Hoekstra PJ, Ormel J - J Abnorm Child Psychol (2015)

Parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) internalizing problem levels plotted for different levels of chronic stress and basal cortisol, and separately depicted for very severe PH (a) and no PH (b). Note. PH Parental history severity; INTadj Internalizing problems adjusted for externalizing problems. Levels of chronic stress refer to the number of long-term difficulties at T2. Low, average, and high cortisol (−1SD, M, and +1SD) correspond to 6.15, 10.87, and 15.60 nmol/L, respectively
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494132&req=5

Fig2: Parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) internalizing problem levels plotted for different levels of chronic stress and basal cortisol, and separately depicted for very severe PH (a) and no PH (b). Note. PH Parental history severity; INTadj Internalizing problems adjusted for externalizing problems. Levels of chronic stress refer to the number of long-term difficulties at T2. Low, average, and high cortisol (−1SD, M, and +1SD) correspond to 6.15, 10.87, and 15.60 nmol/L, respectively
Mentions: INTadj problems were predicted by a three-way interaction of PH severity, squared basal cortisol, and chronic stress, which was marginally significant for parent-report, p = 0.06, and significant for self-report, p = 0.006, as shown in Table 4. Figure 2 shows that the pattern in which parent-reported (upper panel) and self-reported (lower panel) INTadj levels were predicted is opposite to that found for parent-reported and self-reported EXTadj levels. That is, the association between chronic stress and subsequent INTadj levels was enhanced in individuals with low basal cortisol and very severe PH (a) and attenuated in individuals with low basal cortisol and no PH (b). Average and high basal cortisol did not differ substantially with respect to stress impact on INTadj level.Table 4

Bottom Line: We conclude that the premise that basal cortisol indicates context sensitivity may be too crude.Context sensitivity may not be a general trait but may depend on the nature of the context (e.g., type or duration of stress exposure) and on the outcome of interest (e.g., internalizing vs. externalizing problems).Although consistent across informants, our findings need replication.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, A.R.E.Zandstra@rug.nl.

ABSTRACT
Large individual differences in adolescent mental health following chronic psychosocial stress suggest moderating factors. We examined two established moderators, basal cortisol and parental psychiatric history, simultaneously. We hypothesized that individuals with high basal cortisol, assumed to indicate high context sensitivity, would show relatively high problem levels following chronic stress, especially in the presence of parental psychiatric history. With Linear Mixed Models, we investigated the hypotheses in 1917 Dutch adolescents (53.2% boys), assessed at ages 11, 13.5, and 16. Low basal cortisol combined with the absence of a parental psychiatric history increased the risk of externalizing but not internalizing problems following chronic stress. Conversely, low basal cortisol combined with a substantial parental psychiatric history increased the risk of internalizing but not externalizing problems following chronic stress. Thus, parental psychiatric history moderated stress- cortisol interactions in predicting psychopathology, but in a different direction than hypothesized. We conclude that the premise that basal cortisol indicates context sensitivity may be too crude. Context sensitivity may not be a general trait but may depend on the nature of the context (e.g., type or duration of stress exposure) and on the outcome of interest (e.g., internalizing vs. externalizing problems). Although consistent across informants, our findings need replication.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus