Publication

Psychological distress and salivary cortisol covary within persons during pregnancy

Giesbrecht, G. F., Campbell, T., Letourneau, N., Kooistra, L., Kaplan, B. & APrON Study Team, Feb-2012, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 37, 2, p. 270-279 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Gerald F. Giesbrecht
  • Tavis Campbell
  • Nicole Letourneau
  • Libbe Kooistra
  • Bonnie Kaplan
  • APrON Study Team

The mechanisms whereby maternal stress during pregnancy exerts organizational effects on fetal development require elaboration. The aim of this study was to assess the plausibility of cortisol as a biological link between maternal psychological distress during pregnancy and fetal development. Previous research has resulted in equivocal findings for between-persons differences in stress and cortisol. Ecological momentary assessment was used to simultaneously assess mood and cortisol 5 times daily for 3 days in 83 women (gestational ages 6-37 weeks). Results from multilevel analysis indicated a robust within-person association between negative mood and cortisol. For each 1.0% increase in negative mood there was a corresponding 1.9% increase in cortisol. This association was unaffected by advancing gestational age. The results suggest that cortisol is a plausible biological mechanism for transducing the effects of maternal psychological distress during pregnancy to fetal development. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-279
Number of pages10
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume37
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2012

    Keywords

  • Pregnancy, Cortisol, Stress, Psychological distress, Anxiety, Depression, Ecological momentary assessment, Saliva, Diurnal, POSTNATAL DEPRESSION SCALE, PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS, MATERNAL CORTISOL, MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT, PRENATAL EXPOSURE, FETAL-GROWTH, DAILY EVENTS, MOOD STATES, RESPONSES, SECRETION

ID: 5495884