Cortisol awakening response as an index of mental health and well-being in adolescents

Nikki S. Rickard, Tan-Chyuan Chin, Dianne A. Vella-Brodrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Physiological measures provide a useful complement to self-report indices of mental health and well-being. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with mental distress, but less consistently so with positive functioning. In this study, the utility of two CAR indices as a measure of the full spectrum of mental health and well-being in a sample of healthy adolescents was explored. Forty-seven adolescents (14M, 33F; mean age 13.89, SD = .73) completed questionnaires on mental distress and positive functioning, and provided three saliva samples for cortisol analysis as well as demographic and life event information. Correlational analyses revealed that both absolute CAR (CARi) and area under the curve during awakening (CARAUC) indices correlated positively with measures of mental distress, and inversely with measures of positive functioning. When the significant life events score was controlled, moderate to strong effects were maintained with negative and positive affect, mental well-being, satisfaction with life and perceived social support from significant others. These findings provide the first data confirming that CAR is a reliable index of positive functioning in healthy adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2555-2568
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • cortisol
  • mental health
  • adolescents
  • physiological
  • social support
  • hedonic well-being
  • psychological well-being

Cite this

Rickard, Nikki S. ; Chin, Tan-Chyuan ; Vella-Brodrick, Dianne A. / Cortisol awakening response as an index of mental health and well-being in adolescents. In: Journal of Happiness Studies. 2016 ; Vol. 17, No. 6. pp. 2555-2568.
@article{f63d18d97c1843e598d928325da0c7b6,
title = "Cortisol awakening response as an index of mental health and well-being in adolescents",
abstract = "Physiological measures provide a useful complement to self-report indices of mental health and well-being. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with mental distress, but less consistently so with positive functioning. In this study, the utility of two CAR indices as a measure of the full spectrum of mental health and well-being in a sample of healthy adolescents was explored. Forty-seven adolescents (14M, 33F; mean age 13.89, SD = .73) completed questionnaires on mental distress and positive functioning, and provided three saliva samples for cortisol analysis as well as demographic and life event information. Correlational analyses revealed that both absolute CAR (CARi) and area under the curve during awakening (CARAUC) indices correlated positively with measures of mental distress, and inversely with measures of positive functioning. When the significant life events score was controlled, moderate to strong effects were maintained with negative and positive affect, mental well-being, satisfaction with life and perceived social support from significant others. These findings provide the first data confirming that CAR is a reliable index of positive functioning in healthy adolescents.",
keywords = "cortisol, mental health, adolescents, physiological, social support, hedonic well-being, psychological well-being",
author = "Rickard, {Nikki S.} and Tan-Chyuan Chin and Vella-Brodrick, {Dianne A.}",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1007/s10902-015-9706-9",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "2555--2568",
journal = "Journal of Happiness Studies",
issn = "1389-4978",
publisher = "Springer-Verlag London Ltd.",
number = "6",

}

Cortisol awakening response as an index of mental health and well-being in adolescents. / Rickard, Nikki S.; Chin, Tan-Chyuan; Vella-Brodrick, Dianne A.

In: Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 17, No. 6, 12.2016, p. 2555-2568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cortisol awakening response as an index of mental health and well-being in adolescents

AU - Rickard, Nikki S.

AU - Chin, Tan-Chyuan

AU - Vella-Brodrick, Dianne A.

PY - 2016/12

Y1 - 2016/12

N2 - Physiological measures provide a useful complement to self-report indices of mental health and well-being. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with mental distress, but less consistently so with positive functioning. In this study, the utility of two CAR indices as a measure of the full spectrum of mental health and well-being in a sample of healthy adolescents was explored. Forty-seven adolescents (14M, 33F; mean age 13.89, SD = .73) completed questionnaires on mental distress and positive functioning, and provided three saliva samples for cortisol analysis as well as demographic and life event information. Correlational analyses revealed that both absolute CAR (CARi) and area under the curve during awakening (CARAUC) indices correlated positively with measures of mental distress, and inversely with measures of positive functioning. When the significant life events score was controlled, moderate to strong effects were maintained with negative and positive affect, mental well-being, satisfaction with life and perceived social support from significant others. These findings provide the first data confirming that CAR is a reliable index of positive functioning in healthy adolescents.

AB - Physiological measures provide a useful complement to self-report indices of mental health and well-being. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with mental distress, but less consistently so with positive functioning. In this study, the utility of two CAR indices as a measure of the full spectrum of mental health and well-being in a sample of healthy adolescents was explored. Forty-seven adolescents (14M, 33F; mean age 13.89, SD = .73) completed questionnaires on mental distress and positive functioning, and provided three saliva samples for cortisol analysis as well as demographic and life event information. Correlational analyses revealed that both absolute CAR (CARi) and area under the curve during awakening (CARAUC) indices correlated positively with measures of mental distress, and inversely with measures of positive functioning. When the significant life events score was controlled, moderate to strong effects were maintained with negative and positive affect, mental well-being, satisfaction with life and perceived social support from significant others. These findings provide the first data confirming that CAR is a reliable index of positive functioning in healthy adolescents.

KW - cortisol

KW - mental health

KW - adolescents

KW - physiological

KW - social support

KW - hedonic well-being

KW - psychological well-being

U2 - 10.1007/s10902-015-9706-9

DO - 10.1007/s10902-015-9706-9

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 2555

EP - 2568

JO - Journal of Happiness Studies

JF - Journal of Happiness Studies

SN - 1389-4978

IS - 6

ER -