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Self-Compassion, Chronic Age-Related Stressors, and Diurnal Cortisol Secretion in Older Adulthood


Self-Compassion, Chronic Age-Related Stressors, and Diurnal Cortisol Secretion in Older Adulthood

Herriot, Heather, Wrosch, Carsten and Gouin, Jean-Philippe (2018) Self-Compassion, Chronic Age-Related Stressors, and Diurnal Cortisol Secretion in Older Adulthood. Journal of Behavioral Medicine . (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10865-018-9943-6


Background: Many older adults experience chronic age-related stressors (e.g., life regrets or health problems) that are difficult to control and can disturb cortisol regulation. Self-compassion may buffer adverse effects of these stressful experiences on diurnal cortisol secretion in older adulthood. Purpose: To examine whether self-compassion could benefit older adults’ cortisol secretion in the context of chronic and largely uncontrollable age-related stressors. Methods: 233 community- dwelling older adults reported their levels of self-compassion, age-related stressors (regret intensity, physical health problems, and functional disability), and relevant covariates. Diurnal cortisol was measured over 3 days and the average area-under-the-curve (AUC) and slope were
calculated. Results: Higher levels of self-compassion were associated with lower daily cortisol levels among older adults who reported higher levels of regret intensity, physical health problems, or functional disability (βs < -.54, ps < .01), but not among their counterparts who reported lower levels of these age-related stressors (βs < .24, ps > .28). Conclusions: These results suggest that self- compassion may represent an important personal resource that could protect older adults from stress- related biological disturbances resulting from chronic and uncontrollable stressors.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Herriot, Heather and Wrosch, Carsten and Gouin, Jean-Philippe
Journal or Publication:Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Date:29 May 2018
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1007/s10865-018-9943-6
Keywords:aging; cortisol; self-compassion; stressors
ID Code:983916
Deposited On:04 Jun 2018 14:25
Last Modified:28 Jun 2018 12:39


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