The implicit affiliation motive moderates cortisol responses to acute psychosocial stress in high school students

Psychoneuroendocrinology (Impact Factor: 4.94). 10/2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.06.013

ABSTRACT It has been previously shown that the implicit affiliation motive – the need to establish and maintain friendly relationships with others – leads to chronic health benefits. The underlying assumption for the present research was that the implicit affiliation motive also moderates the salivary cortisol response to acute psychological stress when some aspects of social evaluation and uncontrollability are involved. By contrast we did not expect similar effects in response to exercise as a physical stressor. Fifty-nine high school students aged M = 14.8 years were randomly assigned to a psychosocial stress (publishing the results of an intelligence test performed), a physical stress (exercise intensity of 65-75% of HRmax), and a control condition (normal school lesson) each lasting 15 minutes. Participants’ affiliation motives were assessed using the Operant Motive Test and salivary cortisol samples were taken pre and post stressor. We found that the strength of the affiliation motive negatively predicted cortisol reactions to acute psychosocial but not to physical stress when compared to a control group. The results suggest that the affiliation motive buffers the effect of acute psychosocial stress on the HPA axis.

Download full-text


Available from: Henning Budde, Jul 24, 2014
181 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives The present study investigated the predictive value of the explicit and implicit affiliation motive for social behavior in sport competitions. From an information processing perspective, an explicit motive is linked to verbal cues and respondent behavior. The implicit motive in turn is linked to nonverbal stimuli and operant behavior (McClelland, Koestner, & Weinberger, 1989; Schultheiss, 2008). Both respondent affiliative behavior (e.g., verbal interactions with teammates) and operant nonverbal social behavior (e.g., pleasant to opponents) can be observed in racquet sports team competitions. Design & Method Fifty-two male racquet sportsmen completed the Personality Research Form (explicit affiliation motive) and the Operant Motive Test (implicit affiliation motive). Motive measures were used to predict social behavior during competitions using multiple regression analyses. To this aim real competitive matches were videotaped and analyzed. Results Results show that the explicit affiliation motive is associated with time spent in verbal team contact. The implicit affiliation motive, by contrast, is linked to pleasant nonverbal behavior shown toward opponents. Conclusions Findings suggest that implicit and explicit affiliation motives predict different kinds of social behavior in sports competition respectively. Indirect motive measures may be of additional predictive value for different behavior in real sports settings.
    Psychology of Sport and Exercise 11/2014; 15:588-595. DOI:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.06.001 · 1.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Implicit motive research has shown that implicit motives are important predictors of behavior and well-being. However, little is known about the interrelationship between the different implicit motives measures frequently applied. We aimed to shed light on the convergent validity of three implicit motive measures and wanted to test their assumed statistical independence from three explicit motive measures. Therefore, we administered the Picture Story Exercise (PSE), the Operant Motive Test (OMT), and the Multi-Motive Grid (MMG) in one and the same study. As explicit measures, we used the Personality Research Form, PRF, the Motive Enactment Test and a goal questionnaire. We investigated the statistical overlaps between all these measures (sample: 202 undergraduate students) and found that the implicit motive measures showed either no or only little correlation with each other. Furthermore, they also partly correlated with explicit motive measures. Supplementary analyses showed that the lack of statistical overlap between PSE and OMT can partly be ascribed to their different scoring systems.
    Motivation and Emotion 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11031-015-9502-1 · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the present study we examined the moderating effect of the power motive on salivary cortisol responses to acute psychosocial stress and exercise in adolescents. Fifty-seven high school students aged M = 14.8 years participated in the study. The Operant Motive Test (OMT) was applied to measure the implicit power motive and the Personality Research Form (PRF) was used to measure the explicit power motive. Salivary cortisol levels were assessed before and after the stress stimuli. Participants were randomly assigned to three experimental groups. An exercise group ran 15 minutes at a defined heart rate of 65-75% HRmax. A psychosocial stress group worked on a standard intelligence test for the same amount of time under the assumption, that their test scores will be made public in class after the test. The control group participated in a regular class session. The implicit power motive was significantly associated with increased cortisol levels in the psychosocial stress group. The explicit power motive was not associated with cortisol responses. Findings suggest that the implicit power motive moderates the cortisol responses to acute stress in an adolescent age group with higher responses to psychosocial stress in comparison to exercise or control conditions.
    CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 01/2015; · 2.63 Impact Factor
Show more