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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2006

Sabine Sonnentag and Charlotte Fritz

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With…

Abstract

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With respect to acute stressors, both laboratory and field research have shown that the exposure to stressors leads to an increase in catecholamine and cortisol levels. With respect to more chronic stressors, research evidence is less consistent. Chronic mental workload was found to be related to elevated adrenaline levels. With respect to cortisol responses the interaction between workload and other variables seems to play a role. Empirical studies suggest that chronic stressors affect the responsivity to acute stressors. Research showed that after the exposure to stressors catecholamine and cortisol recovery is delayed.

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Employee Health, Coping and Methodologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-289-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 July 2016

Catherine J. Taylor, Laura Freeman, Daniel Olguin Olguin and Taemie Kim

In this project, we propose and test a new device – wearable sociometric badges containing small microphones – as a low-cost and relatively unobtrusive tool for measuring…

Abstract

Purpose

In this project, we propose and test a new device – wearable sociometric badges containing small microphones – as a low-cost and relatively unobtrusive tool for measuring stress response to group processes. Specifically, we investigate whether voice pitch, measured using the microphone of the sociometric badge, is associated with physiological stress response to group processes.

Methodology

We collect data in a laboratory setting using participants engaged in two types of small-group interactions: a social interaction and a problem-solving task. We examine the association between voice pitch (measured by fundamental frequency of the participant’s speech) and physiological stress response (measured using salivary cortisol) in these two types of small-group interactions.

Findings

We find that in the social task, participants who exhibit a stress response have a statistically significant greater deviation in voice pitch (from their overall average voice pitch) than those who do not exhibit a stress response. In the problem-solving task, participants who exhibit a stress response also have a greater deviation in voice pitch than those who do not exhibit a stress response, however, in this case, the results are only marginally significant. In both tasks, among participants who exhibited a stress response, we find a statistically significant correlation between physiological stress response and deviation in voice pitch.

Practical and research implications

We conclude that wearable microphones have the potential to serve as cheap and unobtrusive tools for measuring stress response to group processes.

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Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-041-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Susanna Maria Krisor, Mathias Diebig and Jens Rowold

The demands of balancing work and family roles are associated with stress experiences. Stress increases if work impinges too far on what is required from one’s family…

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Abstract

Purpose

The demands of balancing work and family roles are associated with stress experiences. Stress increases if work impinges too far on what is required from one’s family while a balance between these demands tends to decreases stress. The purpose of this paper is to investigate resiliencefor the extent to which it can predict both work-family conflict (WFC) and balance (WFB). Moreover, cortisol levels will be used as a physiological indicator of stress.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 35 employed parents with children up to the age of six took part in the study. Salivary cortisol was collected three times a day.

Findings

Results show that cortisol levels are related to internal as well as external WFCs while WFB is not significantly linked with cortisol. Resilience has a beneficial influence on the mean cortisol level. Moreover, resilience is also advantageous for the work-family interplay, especially WFB.

Practical implications

The study concludes with suggestions for further research and advises that organizational and individual health promoting activities should seek to implement WFB as well as resilience strategies.

Originality/value

For the first time, the aim is to assess whether work-family interplay and resilience are associated with an objective biomarker of stress, namely cortisol.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

John M. Violanti, Michael Andrew, Cecil M. Burchfiel, Tara A. Hartley, Luenda E. Charles and Diane B. Miller

The purpose of the present study is to examine associations between post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and salivary cortisol parameters.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present study is to examine associations between post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and salivary cortisol parameters.

Design/methodology/approach

PTSD symptoms and cortisol responses were measured in a random sample of 100 police officers. The impact of event scale (IES) categorized into subclinical, mild, moderate and severe levels was employed to measure PTSD symptoms. Cortisol was analyzed from saliva samples over a period of three days and included an awakening response, high protein lunch challenge, whole day (diurnal), and a dexamethasone suppression test (DST).

Findings

Officers in moderate and severe PTSD symptom categories had higher mean awakening cortisol values. A significant sample‐time by PTSD interaction (p=0.008) was found for awakening cortisol responses. Officers in the severe PTSD symptom category showed a blunted response to the cortisol protein meal challenge compared to those in lower PTSD categories. Diurnal cortisol levels suggested an increasing trend across subclinical to severe PTSD categories respectively (p=0.15 test for trend). DST ratios were lower in moderate and severe PTSD symptom categories (6.86 and 8.03 respectively) than in the subclinical and mild categories (9.32 and 10.43 respectively).

Research limitations/implications

The sample was not representative of all police in the USA. These results suggest that associations between psychological trauma symptoms and dysregulation of cortisol patterns may exist and could possibly affect future health outcomes in police officers.

Practical implications

Exposure to trauma and disaster events emphasizes the need to further investigate the health impact of PTSD on police personnel as well as other first responder groups.

Originality/value

This article will not only be of interest to those in the police service but to the general public. The present study may serve to provide a guide for larger police population investigations on PTSD and physiological impact.

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Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Victoria Blom, Pia Svedberg, Gunnar Bergström, Lisa Mather and Petra Lindfors

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL…

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Findings

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.

Practical implications

Taken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.

Originality/value

This study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2019

Benjamin G. Serpell, Stephen Larkham and Christian J. Cook

Team effectiveness is often predicated by a group’s ability to communicate. However, the effect of stress response on communication success, particularly nonverbal…

Abstract

Purpose

Team effectiveness is often predicated by a group’s ability to communicate. However, the effect of stress response on communication success, particularly nonverbal engagement, and how this might affect team performance, is not clear; a “phenomenon” this study sought to explore.

Design/methodology/approach

This was an observational study in a cohort of professional rugby players. Participants gave presentations to their peers on two separate occasions during a “live-in” camp designed to have psychologically stressful elements. Presentations were video recorded and audience engagement was measured. Testosterone and cortisol were used as biomarkers of stress response, with a high testosterone–cortisol ratio considered positive. A team training session followed the presentations and participants were rated for training quality.

Findings

A small decline in testosterone was observed each day after waking. Conversely, cortisol rose after waking, with the rise being the highest on the first day. A decline in testosterone–cortisol ratio was also seen each day after waking; the decline was greatest on the first day. Presentation duration and audience engagement was greatest for the second presentation; when the testosterone-cortisol ratio decline and the cortisol increase after waking was smaller. Training quality was also better that day. Pooled data revealed a moderate inverse relationship and weak positive relationships for audience engagement with post-meeting cortisol and post-meeting testosterone–cortisol ratio, respectively. Training quality was related to testosterone and testosterone–cortisol ratio, but inversely related to cortisol.

Originality/value

This study suggests that in stressful conditions, as suggested by an awakening hormone response, communication and team performance could become compromised with reduced ability to engage with others.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Book part
Publication date: 19 October 2012

Nicole H.W. Civettini

Purpose – The aim of this research was to test whether the motivations of self-enhancement and self-verification act independently and simultaneously, specifically in the…

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this research was to test whether the motivations of self-enhancement and self-verification act independently and simultaneously, specifically in the context of the impostor phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach – Using both self-report measures and salivary cortisol levels, I conducted a 2×2 experiment (N=106) in which status (high or low) was crossed with competition outcome (win or lose). The “low-status winner” condition served as a simulation of the impostor phenomenon.

Findings – Winners reported greater positive affect and less negative affect, indicating self-enhancement, but salivary cortisol levels were higher in participants whose status was disconsonant with the competition outcome (high-status losers and low-status winners), reflecting self-verification.

Research limitations/implications – A potential limitation was the omission of nicotine use as a control variable.

Practical implications – Results illuminate the dual public and private nature of the impostor phenomenon, in which normative expressions of happiness overlie deeper feelings of anxiety. A better understanding would benefit educators, employers, counselors, and therapists who work with high-achieving women and minorities as well as the women and minorities they serve.

Social implications – Findings suggest that efforts should be made to bolster the confidence of promising young women and minorities, with the understanding that, despite high levels of achievement, self-confidence and a sense of deservedness may be lacking.

Originality/value – Methodological advancements included the first laboratory simulation of the impostor phenomenon and the use of both self-report and physiological measures of responses to status situations. This was the first study capable of observing the motivations to self-enhance and self-verify simultaneously and independently of one another.

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Biosociology and Neurosociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-257-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Stephanie Habersaat, Sid Hamed Abdellaoui and Jutta M. Wolf

The purpose of this study is (1) to confirm the relationship between the two dimensions of social desirability (pretending and denying), self-reported stress and health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is (1) to confirm the relationship between the two dimensions of social desirability (pretending and denying), self-reported stress and health reports in police officers and (2) to assess whether dysfunctions in basal cortisol profiles are related to social desirability.

Design/methodology/approach

Social desirability is known to influence how individuals respond to sensitive topics, such as questions concerning health in the workplace, and has usually been defined according to two dimensions: pretending and denying. However, it is not known whether social desirability is only a bias in responding to health surveys or a more general attitude of denying problems and pretending to be stronger than one is in the everyday life. If the latter is true, social desirability may have important health implications, and underlying mechanisms must be described. In total, 77 police officers completed questionnaires measuring social desirability (denying and pretending), perceived stress as well as mental and somatic health symptoms. They were further instructed to collect saliva samples for cortisol concentrations assays.

Findings

These preliminary results showed that denying was negatively related to the report of stress and health symptoms. Furthermore, police officers higher in pretending showed a flatter diurnal cortisol slope.

Research limitations/implications

The correlation between dysregulation of the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as expressed by a flatter cortisol slope, and a higher score in the pretending subscale suggests that looking for social approval by inflating one's capacities is related to chronic work-related stress, making the individual more vulnerable to stress-related disease.

Originality/value

To study the potential health-relevant consequences and underlying mechanisms of social desirability bias related to police culture by including stress biomarkers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2015

Teruhisa Komori

Late life depression is often associated with a poor response to antidepressants; therefore an alternative strategy for therapy is required. Although several studies have…

Abstract

Late life depression is often associated with a poor response to antidepressants; therefore an alternative strategy for therapy is required. Although several studies have reported that phosphatidylserine (PS) may be effective for late life depression and that omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA have also proven beneficial for many higher mental functions, including depression, no concrete conclusion has been reached. This study was performed to clarify the effect of PS and omega-3 fatty acid-containing supplement for late life depression by not only clinical evaluation but also salivary cortisol levels. Eighteen elderly subjects with major depression were selected for the study. In all, insufficient improvement had been obtained by antidepressant therapy for at least 6 months. The exclusion criteria from prior brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) included the presence of structural MRI findings compatible with stroke or other gross brain lesions or malformations, but not white matter hypersensitivities. They took a supplement containing PS 100 mg, DHA 119 mg and EPA 70 mg three times a day for 12 weeks. The effects of the supplement were assessed using the 17-item Hamilton depression scale (HAMD17) and the basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol. The study adopted them as indices because: salivary cortisol levels are high in patients with depression, their circadian rhythm related to salivary cortisol is often irregular, and these symptoms are alleviated as depression improves. The mean HAM-D17 in all subjects taking the supplement was significantly improved after 12 weeks of taking the supplement. These subjects were divided into 10 non-responders and 8 responders. The basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol were normalized in the responders while not in non-responders. PS and omega-3 fatty acids, or other elements of the supplement, may be effective for late life depression, associated with the correction of basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol.

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Mental Illness, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2036-7465

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Book part
Publication date: 8 December 2007

Seamus Decker

The impact of globalization on individual well-being through the interplay of self and standard forms of lifestyle aspirations, has generally received less attention than…

Abstract

The impact of globalization on individual well-being through the interplay of self and standard forms of lifestyle aspirations, has generally received less attention than the merits of globalization at the macro-level. This chapter addresses this question by testing the hypothesis that poor rural-dwelling Botswana men suffer diminished well-being compared to their relatively well-off urban-dwelling counterparts as a result of unfulfilled lifestyle aspirations. The study combines ethnographic, psychological, and psychosomatic data to compare well-being among rural and urban adult Botswana men. Results indicate that failed urban migration associates with low cortisol and high depressive affect, and rural residence is also independently associated with high depressive affect. This psychosomatic syndrome may be similar to that observed in posttraumatic stress disorder, suggesting that the experience of failed urban migration is considerably more stressful than the demands of employed urban life in contemporary Botswana.

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The Economics of Health and Wellness: Anthropological Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-490-4

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