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Rejection sensitivity relates to hypocortisolism and depressed mood state in young women

Tops, M., Riese, H., Oldehinkel, A. J., Rijsdijk, F. V. & Ormel, J., Jun-2008, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 33, 5, p. 551-559 9 p.

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Rejection sensitivity and the associated fear of negative social evaluation (FNSE) trait are characteristics of hypocortisolemic syndromes such as atypical depression. However, a meta-analysis showed that acute FNSE evokes strong cortisol responses in humans. This is consistent with suggestions that hypocortisolism reflects a protective adaptation to a history of high cortisol responses. This leads us to hypothesize that measures of trait FNSE relate to hypocortisotism. Moreover, because FNSE relates positively to depressed mood state, but negatively to cortisol, we expect that the positive relationship between depressed mood state and cortisol will show up most clearly when controlling for the confounding effect of FNSE on this relationship. In the present study we measured salivary cortisol awakening response and psychological variables in 194 community women aged 18-30 years. The results confirmed our hypotheses. We propose that dispositional FNSE is associated with a history of frequent high cortisol responses, leading to long-term protective inhibition of further cortisol and energy mobilization. The present results have special relevance for mental health problems that have high prevalence among young women. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-559
Number of pages9
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume33
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2008

    Keywords

  • salivary cortisol, cortisol awakening response, hypocortisolism, rejection sensitivity, fear of social, evaluation, atypical depression, CORTISOL AWAKENING RESPONSE, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, CHRONIC WIDESPREAD PAIN, ATYPICAL DEPRESSION, SALIVARY CORTISOL, INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY, CLINICAL BURNOUT, SYMPTOMS, POPULATION, PATTERNS

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