TitleAssessing daily stress processes in social surveys by combining stressor exposure and salivary cortisol.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAlmeida, DM, McGonagle, K, King, H
JournalBiodemography Soc Biol
Date Published2009
KeywordsBiomarkers, Data Collection, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Models, Psychological, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Saliva, Stress, Psychological, Time Factors, United States

<p>This article presents a research method for assessing stress and mental health in ongoing population-based social surveys that combines self-reports of naturally occurring daily stressors with a primary marker of stress physiology, salivary cortisol. We first discuss the relevance of stress processes to mental health and introduce a model for examining daily stress processes, which highlights multiple components of daily stressor exposure. A primary aim of this approach is to capture variability across stressful situations, between persons of different groups, or within persons over a period of time. Next, we describe how the assessment of diurnal salivary cortisol is a promising approach to examining naturally occurring stress physiology in large social surveys. We then present findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences (a substudy of the Midlife in the United States Study) that document the feasibility and reliability of the collection of daily stressors and salivary cortisol and provide examples of research findings linking stressor exposure to cortisol. The final portion of the article describes ways that this approach can leverage the strengths of various features of longitudinal social surveys to extend research on stress and mental health.</p>

Alternate JournalBiodemography Soc Biol
PubMed ID20183906
PubMed Central IDPMC2878770
Grant ListP01 AG020166 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG019239 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG019239-06 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01-AG020166 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States