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Poor Sleep as a Pathophysiological Pathway Underlying the Association between Stress Exposure and the Diurnal Cortisol Profile in Children and Adolescents

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Poor Sleep as a Pathophysiological Pathway Underlying the Association between Stress Exposure and the Diurnal Cortisol Profile in Children and Adolescents

Ly, Jinshia (2013) Poor Sleep as a Pathophysiological Pathway Underlying the Association between Stress Exposure and the Diurnal Cortisol Profile in Children and Adolescents. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

There is increasing evidence supporting the potential contribution of poor sleep as a pathophysiological pathway underlying the association between stress exposure and disruption of the diurnal cortisol profile. Specifically, convincing evidence shows that stress exposure leads to poor sleep, which, in part, is responsible for subsequent disruption of the diurnal cortisol profile. The overarching objective of the present study was to examine whether poor sleep mediates the relation between stress exposure and the diurnal cortisol profile in children and adolescents.
Participants included children and adolescents aged 8-18 (N=220, M=12.62 years, 55.90% males). Participants’ salivary cortisol was sampled over two days to derive single sample (bedtime cortisol, maximum cortisol) and aggregate cortisol indices (AUCAG, AUCI, AUCTG, slopemax). Youth-report of stressful life events and daily hassles were obtained. Subjective reports of sleep duration and sleep quality were obtained by youth- and parent-report measures.
Greater stressful life events were associated with elevated AUCAG and AUCTG. Greater daily hassles were associated with elevated maximum cortisol, AUCAG, AUCTG, and steeper slopemax. Greater stressful life events and daily hassles were associated with poorer sleep quality, which, in turn, was related to higher bedtime cortisol and AUCTG. Mediational analyses revealed that the sleep quality mediated the association between stress exposure and AUCTG.
The present study provided evidence for poor sleep as a potential pathophysiological pathway underlying the effects of stress exposure on the diurnal cortisol profile in children and adolescents. The current research findings have important implications and help reframe prevention efforts and public policies aimed at reducing the physiological sequelae of stress exposure. Future research should replicate current findings using objective measures of sleep to better understand specific sleep parameters that underlie the association between stress exposure and the diurnal cortisol profile.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ly, Jinshia
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:August 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):McGrath, Jennifer J.
ID Code:977564
Deposited By: JINSHIA LY
Deposited On:26 Nov 2013 15:15
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44

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  • Poor Sleep as a Pathophysiological Pathway Underlying the Association between Stress Exposure and the Diurnal Cortisol Profile in Children and Adolescents. (deposited 26 Nov 2013 15:15) [Currently Displayed]
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