Effects of a Psychosocial Family-Based Preventive Intervention on Cortisol Response to a Social Challenge in Preschoolers at High Risk for Antisocial Behavior

ArticleinArchives of General Psychiatry 64(10):1172-9 · November 2007with18 Reads
DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.64.10.1172 · Source: PubMed
Salivary cortisol levels during social challenge relate to adaptive functioning in children and adults. Low cortisol levels have been related to conduct problems and antisocial behavior. Although studies in rodents implicate early-life social experience in cortisol regulation, no studies with humans have examined the effects of an experimentally manipulated early-life social experience on cortisol regulation. To examine the effects of experimental manipulations of social experience on cortisol response to a social challenge in preschoolers at risk for antisocial behavior. Randomized controlled trial. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine. Ninety-two preschool-age siblings of youths adjudicated for delinquent acts. Intervention Family-based intervention included 22 weekly group sessions for parents and preschoolers and 10 biweekly home visits conducted during a 6- to 8-month period. Salivary cortisol levels before and after a social challenge (entry into an unfamiliar peer group). Relative to controls, children in the intervention condition had increased cortisol levels in anticipation of the peer social challenge. Increases were relative to both preintervention cortisol levels during the challenge and cortisol levels in the home, which were not altered by the intervention. A family-based preventive intervention for children at high risk for antisocial behavior alters stress response in anticipation of a peer social challenge. The experimentally induced change in cortisol levels parallels patterns found in normally developing, low-risk children.
    • "The relationship between parents' stress and their child's functioning is complex and transactional. The degree of strain experienced by parents and the child and family functioning seem to be intertwined, influencing both parent and child functioning (Brotman et al. 2007; Heflinger and Brannan 2006). Parental stress may change depending on the types of symptoms their children present; for example, externalizing behaviors appear stressful compared to other clinical conditions, such as internalizing problems or social problems (Brannan and Heflinger 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emotional and behavioral (EB) problems in children are associated with increased perceptions of strain in parenting. Among children receiving services, parenting stress has been linked to initiating services for their children, and may strain the relationship between parent and child. In contrast, parental engagement and empowerment in services is an important quality indicator for positive treatment outcomes. However, no known studies have examined the association between parent empowerment in their child’s services and their perceptions of stress related to parenting a child with significant mental health needs. Further, no studies have explored whether empowerment moderates the relationship between the child’s symptoms and parental perceptions of stress. The current study examined the impact of child EB problems and parent empowerment on parenting stress. Among a sample of 525 parents of children receiving school-based services for disruptive behavior disorders, child EB problems significantly predicted parenting stress. Parent empowerment also correlated with lower parenting stress, as hypothesized. Although parent empowerment was not found to moderate the relationship between child symptomatology and parenting stress, the relationship between parent empowerment and parenting stress differed based on child gender and age. Parent empowerment was associated with lower parenting stress more for parents of females and younger children than for parents of males and older children.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016
    • "In general, individuals exposed to more adversity early in childhood and/or living in low SES families exhibit greater physical and mental health disparities as well as dysregulated HPA axis activity across the lifespan (Palmer et al., 2013; Hackman, Betancourt, Brodsky, Hurt, & Farah, 2012; Bush, Obradovi@BULLET, Adler, & Boyce, 2011; Lovallo, 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2011; Browne & Jenkins, 2012). Importantly, some studies have indicated that, for those exposed to early life adversity, intervention programs can result in normalized cortisol reactivity (Brotman et al., 2007; Dozier et al., 2008; Fernald & Gunnar, 2009), and lower cortisol reactivity is associated with an improvement in health problems (Daubenmier et al., 2011; Ebrechet et al., 2004; McKinney et al., 1997). Studies in animal models produce similar findings to those reported in the human literature. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early life experience and socioeconomic status (SES) are well-established predictors of health outcomes in people. Both factors likely influence health outcomes via hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. However, it is unclear how early experience and HPA axis activity influence adult social status. We studied differentially-reared female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta, N=90) as models to test the hypothesis that chronic HPA axis activity assessed via hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) mediated the relationship between early life experience and adult social rank. We found that mother-peer-reared (MPR) monkeys acquired higher social ranks than either of the two nursery-reared (NR) groups, (peer-reared,PR, or surrogate-peer-reared,SPR monkeys) (β=-0.07, t(89)=-2.16, p=0.034). We also found that MPR HCCs were lower during the juvenile period at 18 months (F(2,25)=3.49, p=0.047). Furthermore, for MPR but not NR monkeys, changes in HCCs from 18-24 months (r(s)=-0.627, p=0.039) and adult HCCs (r(s)=-0.321, p=0.03) were negatively correlated with adult social rank. These findings suggest that chronic HPA axis regulation in juvenility, and perhaps in adulthood, may influence adult social status for primates that experience typical early rearing. However, early life adversity may result in dissociation between neuroendocrine stress regulation and adult social competence, which may be risk factors for adverse health outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016
    • "Aspects of experience that promote this flexible regulation assist the individual in meeting stressful contingencies in the future (Lyons & Parker, 2007). In evaluations of exemplary intervention programs focusing on parenting in high Cortisol, Emotion, and Parenting 14 risk contexts, beneficial effects on child physiology as well as behavior have been demonstrated (Brotman et al., 2007; Fisher, Gunnar, Dozier, Bruce, & Pears, 2006). In conclusion, while this analysis sheds potentially valuable light on relations of cortisol to children's development, it is limited in specific ways. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cortisol output in response to emotion induction procedures was examined at child age 24 months in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children and families in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities in two regions of high poverty in the United States. Multilevel analysis indicated that observed emotional reactivity to a mask presentation but not a toy removal procedure interacted with sensitive parenting to predict cortisol levels in children. For children experiencing high levels of sensitive parenting, cortisol output was high among children exhibiting high emotional reactivity and low among children exhibiting low emotional reactivity. For children experiencing low levels of sensitive parenting, cortisol output was unrelated to emotional reactivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
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