Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 560–573 | Cite as

Comparison of Saliva Collection Methods in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: Acceptability and Recovery of Cortisol

  • Susan K. PutnamEmail author
  • Christopher Lopata
  • Jeffery D. Fox
  • Marcus L. Thomeer
  • Jonathan D. Rodgers
  • Martin A. Volker
  • Gloria K. Lee
  • Erik G. Neilans
  • Jilynn Werth
Original Article


This study compared cortisol concentrations yielded using three saliva collection methods (passive drool, salivette, and sorbette) in both in vitro and in vivo conditions, as well as method acceptability for a sample of children (n = 39) with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. No cortisol concentration differences were observed between passive and sorbette samples obtained in vitro or in vivo. The salivette derived concentration was lower than the other two methods for the in vitro derived comparisons but did not differ from the other methods when collected in vivo. Cross-day comparison for the salivettes was also found to differ significantly, whereas the cross-day comparisons did not differ for the passive method or the sorbette method. Overall, passive drool and sorbettes were found to produce similar and stable readings of cortisol, whereas the salivette yielded unstable and variable concentrations. Ratings suggested that the children generally perceived all methods as acceptable.


Cortisol Saliva HFASDs Comparison Acceptability 



A portion of the data in this study was collected as part of work supported by Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences Grant R324A080136. Findings and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan K. Putnam
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher Lopata
    • 1
  • Jeffery D. Fox
    • 2
  • Marcus L. Thomeer
    • 1
  • Jonathan D. Rodgers
    • 3
  • Martin A. Volker
    • 3
  • Gloria K. Lee
    • 3
  • Erik G. Neilans
    • 3
  • Jilynn Werth
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Autism ResearchCanisius CollegeBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Autistic Services Inc.WilliamsvilleUSA
  3. 3.University at Buffalo, State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  4. 4.Canisius CollegeBuffaloUSA

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