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Psychological correlates of salivary cortisol secretion among unemployed men and women

  • Giorgio Grossi
  • Anna Åhs
  • Ulf Lundberg
Papers

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the association between psychological factors and salivary cortisol secretion (baseline level, reactivity to laboratory stressors) in a sample of 59 long-term unemployed men and women (mean age 42±10 years). Subjects were divided into four groups according to their basal levels of salivary cortisol as well as their reactivity to experimental stress (stress level minus baseline): (1) low base/low reactivity; (2) high base/low reactivity; (3) low base/high reactivity; and (4) high base/high reactivity. The low base/low reactivity group was characterized by significantly higher somatic anxiety, muscular tension, irritability, and depression (Beck’s Depression Inventory) and lower perceived control (mastery) than the other groups. The low base/high reactivity group was also characterized by depression and low perceived control. The high base/low reactivity group was higher in terms of monotony avoidance, Type-A behavior (JAS) and mastery, but lower in depression. The results indicate that (1) individuals with personality traits reflecting emotional distress are more vulnerable to exhaustion of the HPA-axis following long-term unemployment and (2) monotony avoidance and Type-A behavior, at least temporarily, seem to exert a beneficial influence on mental well-being among long-term unemployed individuals.

Keywords

Cortisol Cortisol Response Salivary Cortisol Cortisol Reactivity Basal Cortisol Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Grossi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Åhs
    • 2
  • Ulf Lundberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Karolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Biological Psychology DivisionStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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