Attachment Security Moderates Effects of Uncontrollable Stress on Preadolescent Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis Responses: Evidence of Regulatory Fit

Jason José Bendezú, John E. Loughlin-Presnal, Martha Ellen Wadsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined whether perceived attachment security (i.e., perceptions of caregivers as responsive, available, and open to communication during times of need) and effortful coping work in concert to buffer against uncontrollable life event effects on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) response patterns in preadolescent boys and girls (N = 121, mean age = 10.60 years). Children completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and were immediately thereafter exposed to one of two randomly assigned coping conditions: distraction and avoidance. Piecewise growth multilevel modeling of children’s salivary cortisol levels over the course of the experimental protocol suggested that uncontrollable life events in the year prior were associated with exaggerated cortisol reactivity, though this pattern was buffered against by children’s secure attachment beliefs. Furthermore, perceived attachment security, uncontrollable life event, and coping condition interactive effects on cortisol recovery emerged. As expected, distraction supported efficient cortisol recovery for those uncontrollable stress-exposed children with secure beliefs, and avoidance worked in this fashion for those with insecure beliefs. Findings point to perceived attachment security as a putative buffer of stress-exposed preadolescents’ HPA reactivity and possible contributor to regulatory fit, informing how specific coping skills work or backfire in supporting these children’s HPA recovery efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Psychological Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Hydrocortisone
Buffers
Psychological Adaptation
Exercise Test
Caregivers
Communication
Growth

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

@article{72a6db1b53bc406cb291fe978202266a,
title = "Attachment Security Moderates Effects of Uncontrollable Stress on Preadolescent Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis Responses: Evidence of Regulatory Fit",
abstract = "This study examined whether perceived attachment security (i.e., perceptions of caregivers as responsive, available, and open to communication during times of need) and effortful coping work in concert to buffer against uncontrollable life event effects on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) response patterns in preadolescent boys and girls (N = 121, mean age = 10.60 years). Children completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and were immediately thereafter exposed to one of two randomly assigned coping conditions: distraction and avoidance. Piecewise growth multilevel modeling of children’s salivary cortisol levels over the course of the experimental protocol suggested that uncontrollable life events in the year prior were associated with exaggerated cortisol reactivity, though this pattern was buffered against by children’s secure attachment beliefs. Furthermore, perceived attachment security, uncontrollable life event, and coping condition interactive effects on cortisol recovery emerged. As expected, distraction supported efficient cortisol recovery for those uncontrollable stress-exposed children with secure beliefs, and avoidance worked in this fashion for those with insecure beliefs. Findings point to perceived attachment security as a putative buffer of stress-exposed preadolescents’ HPA reactivity and possible contributor to regulatory fit, informing how specific coping skills work or backfire in supporting these children’s HPA recovery efficiency.",
author = "Bendez{\'u}, {Jason Jos{\'e}} and Loughlin-Presnal, {John E.} and Wadsworth, {Martha Ellen}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/2167702619854747",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Clinical Psychological Science",
issn = "2167-7026",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attachment Security Moderates Effects of Uncontrollable Stress on Preadolescent Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis Responses

T2 - Evidence of Regulatory Fit

AU - Bendezú, Jason José

AU - Loughlin-Presnal, John E.

AU - Wadsworth, Martha Ellen

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - This study examined whether perceived attachment security (i.e., perceptions of caregivers as responsive, available, and open to communication during times of need) and effortful coping work in concert to buffer against uncontrollable life event effects on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) response patterns in preadolescent boys and girls (N = 121, mean age = 10.60 years). Children completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and were immediately thereafter exposed to one of two randomly assigned coping conditions: distraction and avoidance. Piecewise growth multilevel modeling of children’s salivary cortisol levels over the course of the experimental protocol suggested that uncontrollable life events in the year prior were associated with exaggerated cortisol reactivity, though this pattern was buffered against by children’s secure attachment beliefs. Furthermore, perceived attachment security, uncontrollable life event, and coping condition interactive effects on cortisol recovery emerged. As expected, distraction supported efficient cortisol recovery for those uncontrollable stress-exposed children with secure beliefs, and avoidance worked in this fashion for those with insecure beliefs. Findings point to perceived attachment security as a putative buffer of stress-exposed preadolescents’ HPA reactivity and possible contributor to regulatory fit, informing how specific coping skills work or backfire in supporting these children’s HPA recovery efficiency.

AB - This study examined whether perceived attachment security (i.e., perceptions of caregivers as responsive, available, and open to communication during times of need) and effortful coping work in concert to buffer against uncontrollable life event effects on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) response patterns in preadolescent boys and girls (N = 121, mean age = 10.60 years). Children completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and were immediately thereafter exposed to one of two randomly assigned coping conditions: distraction and avoidance. Piecewise growth multilevel modeling of children’s salivary cortisol levels over the course of the experimental protocol suggested that uncontrollable life events in the year prior were associated with exaggerated cortisol reactivity, though this pattern was buffered against by children’s secure attachment beliefs. Furthermore, perceived attachment security, uncontrollable life event, and coping condition interactive effects on cortisol recovery emerged. As expected, distraction supported efficient cortisol recovery for those uncontrollable stress-exposed children with secure beliefs, and avoidance worked in this fashion for those with insecure beliefs. Findings point to perceived attachment security as a putative buffer of stress-exposed preadolescents’ HPA reactivity and possible contributor to regulatory fit, informing how specific coping skills work or backfire in supporting these children’s HPA recovery efficiency.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85070278261&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85070278261&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/2167702619854747

DO - 10.1177/2167702619854747

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85070278261

JO - Clinical Psychological Science

JF - Clinical Psychological Science

SN - 2167-7026

ER -