Associations among daily stressors and salivary cortisol: Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences

Robert S. Stawski, Kelly E. Cichy, Jennifer R. Piazza, David Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While much research has focused on linking stressful experiences to emotional and biological reactions in laboratory settings, there is an emerging interest in extending these examinations to field studies of daily life. The current study examined day-to-day associations among naturally occurring daily stressors and salivary cortisol in a national sample of adults from the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). A sample of 1694 adults (age = 57, range = 33-84; 44% male) completed telephone interviews detailing their stressors and emotions on eight consecutive evenings. Participants also provided saliva samples upon waking, 30. min post-waking, before lunch and before bed, on four consecutive interview days resulting in 5995 days of interview/cortisol data. Analyses revealed three main findings. First, cortisol AUC was significantly higher on stressor days compared to stressor-free days, particularly for arguments and overloads at home, suggesting that daily stressors are associated with increased cortisol output, but that not all daily stressors have such an influence. Second, individuals reporting a greater frequency of stressor days also exhibited a steeper diurnal cortisol slope. Finally, daily stressor-cortisol associations were unaltered after adjustment for daily negative affect and physical symptoms. Our discussion focuses on the influence of naturally occurring daily stressors on daily cortisol and the role of daily diary approaches for studying healthy cortisol responses to psychosocial stressors outside of traditional laboratory settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2654-2665
Number of pages12
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume38
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Fingerprint

Hydrocortisone
Interviews
Lunch
Saliva
Area Under Curve
Emotions
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Stawski, Robert S. ; Cichy, Kelly E. ; Piazza, Jennifer R. ; Almeida, David. / Associations among daily stressors and salivary cortisol : Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences. In: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 ; Vol. 38, No. 11. pp. 2654-2665.
@article{33d5bff17c994671b7845e589350c23d,
title = "Associations among daily stressors and salivary cortisol: Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences",
abstract = "While much research has focused on linking stressful experiences to emotional and biological reactions in laboratory settings, there is an emerging interest in extending these examinations to field studies of daily life. The current study examined day-to-day associations among naturally occurring daily stressors and salivary cortisol in a national sample of adults from the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). A sample of 1694 adults (age = 57, range = 33-84; 44{\%} male) completed telephone interviews detailing their stressors and emotions on eight consecutive evenings. Participants also provided saliva samples upon waking, 30. min post-waking, before lunch and before bed, on four consecutive interview days resulting in 5995 days of interview/cortisol data. Analyses revealed three main findings. First, cortisol AUC was significantly higher on stressor days compared to stressor-free days, particularly for arguments and overloads at home, suggesting that daily stressors are associated with increased cortisol output, but that not all daily stressors have such an influence. Second, individuals reporting a greater frequency of stressor days also exhibited a steeper diurnal cortisol slope. Finally, daily stressor-cortisol associations were unaltered after adjustment for daily negative affect and physical symptoms. Our discussion focuses on the influence of naturally occurring daily stressors on daily cortisol and the role of daily diary approaches for studying healthy cortisol responses to psychosocial stressors outside of traditional laboratory settings.",
author = "Stawski, {Robert S.} and Cichy, {Kelly E.} and Piazza, {Jennifer R.} and David Almeida",
year = "2013",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.06.023",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "38",
pages = "2654--2665",
journal = "Psychoneuroendocrinology",
issn = "0306-4530",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "11",

}

Associations among daily stressors and salivary cortisol : Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences. / Stawski, Robert S.; Cichy, Kelly E.; Piazza, Jennifer R.; Almeida, David.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 38, No. 11, 01.11.2013, p. 2654-2665.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Associations among daily stressors and salivary cortisol

T2 - Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences

AU - Stawski, Robert S.

AU - Cichy, Kelly E.

AU - Piazza, Jennifer R.

AU - Almeida, David

PY - 2013/11/1

Y1 - 2013/11/1

N2 - While much research has focused on linking stressful experiences to emotional and biological reactions in laboratory settings, there is an emerging interest in extending these examinations to field studies of daily life. The current study examined day-to-day associations among naturally occurring daily stressors and salivary cortisol in a national sample of adults from the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). A sample of 1694 adults (age = 57, range = 33-84; 44% male) completed telephone interviews detailing their stressors and emotions on eight consecutive evenings. Participants also provided saliva samples upon waking, 30. min post-waking, before lunch and before bed, on four consecutive interview days resulting in 5995 days of interview/cortisol data. Analyses revealed three main findings. First, cortisol AUC was significantly higher on stressor days compared to stressor-free days, particularly for arguments and overloads at home, suggesting that daily stressors are associated with increased cortisol output, but that not all daily stressors have such an influence. Second, individuals reporting a greater frequency of stressor days also exhibited a steeper diurnal cortisol slope. Finally, daily stressor-cortisol associations were unaltered after adjustment for daily negative affect and physical symptoms. Our discussion focuses on the influence of naturally occurring daily stressors on daily cortisol and the role of daily diary approaches for studying healthy cortisol responses to psychosocial stressors outside of traditional laboratory settings.

AB - While much research has focused on linking stressful experiences to emotional and biological reactions in laboratory settings, there is an emerging interest in extending these examinations to field studies of daily life. The current study examined day-to-day associations among naturally occurring daily stressors and salivary cortisol in a national sample of adults from the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). A sample of 1694 adults (age = 57, range = 33-84; 44% male) completed telephone interviews detailing their stressors and emotions on eight consecutive evenings. Participants also provided saliva samples upon waking, 30. min post-waking, before lunch and before bed, on four consecutive interview days resulting in 5995 days of interview/cortisol data. Analyses revealed three main findings. First, cortisol AUC was significantly higher on stressor days compared to stressor-free days, particularly for arguments and overloads at home, suggesting that daily stressors are associated with increased cortisol output, but that not all daily stressors have such an influence. Second, individuals reporting a greater frequency of stressor days also exhibited a steeper diurnal cortisol slope. Finally, daily stressor-cortisol associations were unaltered after adjustment for daily negative affect and physical symptoms. Our discussion focuses on the influence of naturally occurring daily stressors on daily cortisol and the role of daily diary approaches for studying healthy cortisol responses to psychosocial stressors outside of traditional laboratory settings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84886096641&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84886096641&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.06.023

DO - 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.06.023

M3 - Article

C2 - 23856186

AN - SCOPUS:84886096641

VL - 38

SP - 2654

EP - 2665

JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology

JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology

SN - 0306-4530

IS - 11

ER -