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  When your daily mental content resonates in your stress-system: Evidence for the association of stress-related thought patterns and cortisol levels in an everyday experience sampling study

Linz, R., Engert, V., & Singer, T. (2017). When your daily mental content resonates in your stress-system: Evidence for the association of stress-related thought patterns and cortisol levels in an everyday experience sampling study. Poster presented at 47th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE), Zurich, Switzerland.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-FA49-2 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-FA4A-1
Genre: Poster

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 Creators:
Linz, Roman1, Author              
Engert, Veronika1, Author              
Singer, Tania1, Author              
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1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              

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 Abstract: Daily life stress is an omnipresent phenomenon in modern society. Comprehensive research has linked long-term activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) to a variety of psychiatric and somatic diseases. Likewise, dysfunctional cognitive styles have been identified as transdiagnostic phenomena in psychopathology. Despite the notion that everyday stressors can substantially contribute to health risks, the association of diurnal cortisol levels and stress-related subjective experience, particularly cognitive concomitants of stress, remain underexplored. To investigate this link, moment-to-moment associations of subjective-psychological experience – including subjective stress, thought content, affect and arousal – and HPAA activation were assessed throughout the daily routines of 289 healthy participants. We find that subjective stress interacted with current thought content and affective states in predicting cortisol in daily life. Specifically, both more negative and more future-directed thoughts were associated with higher cortisol levels after experiencing subjective stress. Conversely, more past-directed thoughts and more negative affect were associated with higher cortisol levels in the absence of subjective stress. In the current study, we provide evidence for a differential link between thought content, subjective stress and physiological activation, pointing to a more negative anticipation of future events following subjective stress. Concomitant increases in cortisol might reflect an adaptive mechanism allowing the organism to adequately prepare for upcoming demands. Overall, our findings highlight the important role of mental content when investigating the association of psychological and physiological stress in everyday life.

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 Dates: 2017-09
 Publication Status: Not specified
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Title: 47th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE)
Place of Event: Zurich, Switzerland
Start-/End Date: 2017-09-07 - 2017-09-09

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