Pubertal stress recalibration and later social and emotional adjustment among adolescents: The role of early life stress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study investigated whether recalibration of the hypothalamic-pituitary -adrenocortical (HPA) axis stress response in youth who had previously experienced early life stress (ELS) would predict socioemotional adjustment in a follow-up assessment approximately 2–4 years later when youth were 12- to 21-years old. The sample consisted of previously institutionalized (PI) (N = 96) youth and a comparison non-adopted (NA) group (N = 117). Youth were 16 years old on average at the time of the follow-up assessment. Parent and youth-reported measures were used to assess youth's internalizing symptoms and emotion regulation. Parent-reported measures were used to assess youth's externalizing symptoms. We tested whether showing cortisol increases (vs. not) across the peripubertal period was associated with later social and emotional adjustment differently for PI and NA youth. Significant interactions emerged showing that for PI youth only, increases in cortisol reactivity across the peripubertal period was associated with poorer subsequent socioemotional functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105578
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume135
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the families who devoted many hours to the longitudinal study from which the current data were taken. Special thanks to Bao Moua, Teresa Grunklee, & Abby Cavanaugh who helped recruit, collect, and process the data. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development through the National Institutes of Health [ 5R01 HD075349 ] to the final author. The authors have declared that they have no competing or potential conflicts of interest. Carrie DePasquale passed away in September of 2020 after designing and helping to start this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Cortisol
  • Emotional adjustment
  • HPA
  • Institutionalized
  • Recalibration
  • Social functioning

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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