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  Under which circumstances does academic workload lead to stress?: Explaining intraindividual differences by using the cortisol-awakening response as a moderator

Koudela-Hamila, S., Santangelo, P. S., Ebner-Priemer, U. W., & Schlotz, W. (2022). Under which circumstances does academic workload lead to stress?: Explaining intraindividual differences by using the cortisol-awakening response as a moderator. Journal of Psychophysiology, 36(3), 188-197. doi:10.1027/0269-8803/a000293.

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 Creators:
Koudela-Hamila, Susanne1, Author
Santangelo, Philip S.1, Author
Ebner-Priemer, Ulrich W.1, Author
Schlotz, Wolff2, Author           
Affiliations:
1Department of Applied Psychology, Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT) , Herztstr.16, Geb. 06.31, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Scientific Services, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society, ou_2421698              

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Free keywords: academic stress, academic workload, cortisol awakening response, ambulatory assessment
 Abstract: Academic stress is associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes, including detrimental effects on mental health, achievement, and well-being. Numerous studies have shown an association between the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and various health and risk factors. Some studies revealed a protective function of the CAR as a stress buffer preventing the stress system from overshooting. We investigated the moderating effect of the CAR on the within-subject association between academic workload and academic stress in participants’ daily lives using ambulatory assessment. We assessed 77 undergraduate university participants for 2 days at the beginning of the semester and approximately 3 months later, individually starting one week before an exam. Participants provided academic stress and academic workload ratings hourly during their waking time using smartphone-based e-diaries and salivary cortisol samples at awakening as well as 30, 45, and 60 min later on two consecutive days during each of the assessment waves. Average within-subject associations between academic workload and academic stress were analyzed using multilevel models. Interactions with indicators of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) were included to test moderating effects of the CAR on the workload-stress associations. There was a significant positive within-subject association between academic workload and academic stress. Significant cross-level interactions showed a moderating effect of the CAR on this association. The results point out the importance of the CAR in the regulation of the workload-stress associations in academic life and underscore the relevance of investigating the influence of specific stressor-dependent reciprocal effects of the CAR on learning and experienced stress.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-10-292020-11-042021-11-112022-02-032022-07
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1027/0269-8803/a000293
 Degree: -

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Title: Journal of Psychophysiology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Göttingen, Germany : American Psychological Association (PsycARTICLES)
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 36 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 188 - 197 Identifier: ISSN: 0269-8803
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954928554373