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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122501

Cortisol Awakening Response, Internalizing Symptoms, and Life Satisfaction in Emerging Adults

1
Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract

The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with depression and a broader range of internalizing problems. Emerging adulthood is characterized by numerous stressful transitional life events. Furthermore, the functioning of the neurobiological stress system changes across development. These considerations underscore the importance of evaluating the physiological stress system in emerging adults in identifying the extent to which cortisol levels vary with risk and protective factors for mental health. The present study evaluated the association between internalizing symptoms and perceived life satisfaction with CAR in 32 young adults. Three saliva samples were collected to measure cortisol levels upon awakening and participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results show a significant positive correlation between area under the curve for CAR with internalizing symptoms (DASS total) and the DASS-depression subscale, but not with life satisfaction. Study limitations, implications, and future directions for these finding were discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis; hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA); cortisol; cortisol awakening response (CAR); emerging adults; risk; life satisfaction hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis; hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA); cortisol; cortisol awakening response (CAR); emerging adults; risk; life satisfaction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Chong, L.S.; Thai, M.; Cullen, K.R.; Lim, K.O.; Klimes-Dougan, B. Cortisol Awakening Response, Internalizing Symptoms, and Life Satisfaction in Emerging Adults. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2501.

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