TitleDepressive Mood, Anger, and Daily Cortisol of Caregivers on High- and Low-Stress Days.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLeggett, AN, Zarit, SH, Kim, K, Almeida, DM, Klein, LCousino
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2015 Nov
KeywordsAdult, Affect, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anger, Caregivers, Circadian Rhythm, Dementia, Depression, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Male, Middle Aged, Saliva, Stress, Psychological

<p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>This study examines the association of daily cortisol with depressive mood and anger.</p><p><b>METHOD: </b>Depressive mood, anger and 2 markers of cortisol, area under the curve (AUC), and cortisol awakening response (CAR) were examined for caregivers (N = 164) of individuals with dementia (IWDs) across 8 days, some of which IWDs attended an adult day service (ADS) program. Caregivers were primarily female (86.7%) with a mean age of 61.99. First, multilevel models were run with CAR and AUC each as separate covariates of anger and depressive mood. A second set of models examined contextual factors of caregivers (i.e., care-related stressors and amount of ADS use) were added to the models for anger and depressive mood (Model 2).</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>On days where caregivers had AUCs below their average they expressed higher anger scores. However in Model 2, anger was associated with more care-related stressors, but not ADS use or daily cortisol. Caregivers who on average had smaller CARs were more likely to be depressed. In Model 2, depressed mood was associated with more care-related stressors and a low average CAR.</p><p><b>DISCUSSION: </b>We found that hypocortisol patterns, reflective of chronic stress experienced by caregivers, are associated with negative mood.</p>

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
PubMed ID24924160
PubMed Central IDPMC4612339
Grant ListR01 AG031758 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH073553 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R03 AG046493 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States