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Individual differences in the cortisol response to stress in young healthy men: testing the roles of perceived stress reactivity and threat appraisal using multiphase latent growth curve modeling


Schlotz, W; Hammerfald, K; Ehlert, Ulrike; Gaab, J (2011). Individual differences in the cortisol response to stress in young healthy men: testing the roles of perceived stress reactivity and threat appraisal using multiphase latent growth curve modeling. Biological Psychology, 87(2):257-264.

Abstract

Individual differences in stress reactivity and cognitive appraisal processes are thought to explain part of the heterogeneity in stress responses. This study investigated how perceived typical stress reactivity and momentary cognitive appraisal affect salivary cortisol responses to a laboratory performance stressor with social evaluation in 66 male non-smokers. Multiphase latent growth curve models showed positive associations of perceived stress reactivity and primary appraisal with cortisol responses. An age-adjusted path analysis suggested that primary appraisal mediated the effect of perceived reactivity to social evaluation on cortisol responses, and that effects of primary appraisal were attenuated at high levels of perceived reactivity. Our results suggest that individuals who report that they typically show strong perceived emotional, cognitive and autonomic responses to social evaluative stress tend to perceive the prospect of having to perform in front of an audience as more threatening, and that this appraisal then leads to stronger cortisol responses.

Abstract

Individual differences in stress reactivity and cognitive appraisal processes are thought to explain part of the heterogeneity in stress responses. This study investigated how perceived typical stress reactivity and momentary cognitive appraisal affect salivary cortisol responses to a laboratory performance stressor with social evaluation in 66 male non-smokers. Multiphase latent growth curve models showed positive associations of perceived stress reactivity and primary appraisal with cortisol responses. An age-adjusted path analysis suggested that primary appraisal mediated the effect of perceived reactivity to social evaluation on cortisol responses, and that effects of primary appraisal were attenuated at high levels of perceived reactivity. Our results suggest that individuals who report that they typically show strong perceived emotional, cognitive and autonomic responses to social evaluative stress tend to perceive the prospect of having to perform in front of an audience as more threatening, and that this appraisal then leads to stronger cortisol responses.

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30 citations in Web of Science®
33 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:01 Jul 2011 12:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:57
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0301-0511
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.03.005
PubMed ID:21419825

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