Stress, Biomarkers, and Resilience in Childhood and Adolescence: Advances in the Last Few Decades
The aim of this chapter is to present a perspective on advances in what is known about the stress biomarker cortisol in relation to theory, findings, and individual differences in reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) endocrine system in so much as it affects behavior, emotions, and resilience. The chapter will progress via a short history of the integration of stress biomarkers in studies of health and risk and resilience. This history will be followed by discussing advances in theories of cortisol biomarker science with a specific emphasis on stress and contexts in which children and families develop. The biomarker and its links to trauma and maltreatment will be discussed as a specific instance of how early life stress affects the stress system, specifically cortisol. The chapter concludes with implications and prospects for the future of research on cortisol in the neurobiology of stress and resilience.
KeywordsCortisol Family Resilience Epigenetics Interdisciplinary Puberty Cortisol awakening response
An evolutionary based developmental theory that posits that characteristics of the family environment such as high stress and adverse family influences lead to individual differences in the functioning of the stress response system.
A steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones. When used as a medication, it is known as hydrocortisone.
An increase of about 50% in cortisol levels occurring 20–30 min after awakening in the morning in some people.
Fluctuations that occur every day.
Methylation refers to an epigenetic mechanism whereby cells control the expression of genes.
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