Individual Differences in Cortisol Functioning: Longitudinal Prediction of the Relationship Between Psychosocial and Physiological Well Being in Mothers and Children

Individual Differences in Cortisol Functioning: Longitudinal Prediction of the Relationship Between Psychosocial and Physiological Well Being in Mothers and Children

Individual Differences in Cortisol Functioning: Longitudinal Prediction of the Relationship Between Psychosocial and Physiological Well Being in Mothers and Children

Individual Differences in Cortisol Functioning: Longitudinal Prediction of the Relationship Between Psychosocial and Physiological Well Being in Mothers and Childrens

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Référence bibliographique [5493]

Ben-Dat, Dahlia. 2002. «Individual Differences in Cortisol Functioning: Longitudinal Prediction of the Relationship Between Psychosocial and Physiological Well Being in Mothers and Children». Mémoire de maîtrise, Montréal, Université Concordia, Département de psychologie.

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1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« This present study was conducted to examine the associations between a large number of psychosocial variables and the patterns of cortisol functioning across the waking day of mothers and their children. » (p. 8)
Questions/Hypothèses :
« It was hypothesized that strong diurnal cortisol cycles would be detected in bothmother and child samples, peaking just after waking, and declining across the day. Second, there would be individual variability in both the intercept and slope of diurnal cortisol in both mother and child samples. The third hypothesis was that for both mother and child samples, variables that could be considered positive such as high SES, positive maternal stimulation, and high child I.Q. would have a protective effect on the ’’normal’’ strong diurnal cortisol pattern; whereas variables that can be considered negative, such as maternal hostility, maternal childhood social withdrawal, difficult child temperament, and maternal smoking would influence diurnal cortisol in a detrimental manner, either by changing the morning cortisol intercept, or by altering the slope such that cortisol levels do not decline normally across the day. » (p. 9)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« The participants in this study were 40 mothers and 40 children drawn from a larger, longitudinal study, the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project (CLRP). » (p. 10)

Instruments :
- a Demographic Information Questionnaire (DIQ);
- the Pupil Evaluation Inventory (PEI; Pekarik et al, 1976);
- the Behavioral Style Coding System (BSCS; Karp, 1999);
- the Emotionality Activity and Sociability Scale, second version (EAS-2: Buss and Plomin, 1984);
- the Maternal Teaching Observation System (MTOS: Saltaris & Samaha, 1998);
- the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (Second Edition, Bayley, 1993);
- Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME: Caldwell & Bradley, 1984).
Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« The purpose of this research was to explore the effects of an adverse psychological environment on physiological well being of mothers and their young children, within an ongoing inter-generational longitudinal project (Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project).The present research examined individual differences in diurnal cortisol functioning as predicted by a variety of historical and current psychosocial variables. Factors related to increased stress (e.g. maternal hostility, smoking, difficult temperament) were expected to predict deviations from the ’normal’ diurnal cortisol pattern in both mothers and children, whereas variables hypothesized to serve a protective or supportive function were expected to buffer these adverse effects. Salivary cortisol measurements were collected every two hours across one waking day in a sample of 40 mothers and their children, aged 2-6 years. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) growth curve analyses were used to estimate the intercept (morning cortisol level), and the slope (steepness of decline in cortisol values) for each mother and child’s cortisol pattern across the daytime hours. Findings replicated the well-established diurnal cortisol pattern with high morning cortisol values that decline across the waking day. Consistent with the main hypothesis, a number of stress-related psychosocial factors were predictive of dysregulated cortisol functioning, including hostility, and child extraversion in mothers, and maternal withdrawal and smoking in their children. Other factors such as high SES, maternal stimulation, and high child I.Q. appeared to serve a protective function. This longitudinal study illustrates the potential vulnerability associated with children raised in adverse circumstances and highlights the important relationship between psychosocial variables and physiological well being. » (pp. iii-iv)