Within-person patterns of psychobiological stress response correspondence: links to preadolescent internalizing problems and coping behaviors

Jason José Bendezú, Casey D. Calhoun, Martha E. Wadsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though correspondence across the affective experience and physiologic arousal levels of the stress response is thought to support efficacious coping and buffer against internalizing problems, little evidence has demonstrated such correspondence. Using a community sample of preadolescents (N=151, Mage=10.33 years, Minage=8.92, Maxage=12.00, 51.7% male), this person-centered study examined internalizing problem and coping-linked variability in psychobiological stress response correspondence. Preadolescents were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test and self-reported negative affect (NA) and salivary cortisol (SC) levels were assessed. Multitrajectory modeling revealed four subgroups. Relative to In-Touch (i.e., Moderate NA–Moderate SC; n=65), Unmindful (i.e., Moderate NA–Low SC; n=49) were more likely to present with parent-reported but not self-reported internalizing problems; Vigilant (i.e., High NA–Low SC; n=13) were more likely to present with self- and parent-reported internalizing problems, less likely to use engagement coping, and more likely to use wishful thinking (e.g., “I wish problems would just go away.”); Denial (i.e., Low NA–High SC; n=24) self-reported similarly low internalizing problems, but were also more likely to report reliance on denial (e.g., “I pretend problems don’t exist.”). Findings illustrate meaningful heterogeneity in preadolescent psychobiological correspondence with implications for multimodal assessment and outcome monitoring in coping-based preventative interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this