Childhood Adversities and Salivary Cortisol Responses to the Trier Social Stress Test : A Systematic Review of Studies Using the Children Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ)

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)1-15
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number1
Online published23 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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Abstract

Alteration in cortisol response to acute social stressors has been hypothesized to mediate childhood adversities (CA) and increased morbidity in adulthood. However, the evidence supporting an association between CA and cortisol response to social stressors is inconclusive. The present review addressed this issue by reviewing the literature on CA and cortisol response to acute social stressors, with a focus on studies with adolescents or adults, using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) to assess CA, and examining salivary cortisol response to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Systematic searches of relevant articles in PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of Science and ScienceDirect in February and March 2020 identified 12 articles including 1196 participants with mean ages ranging from 15.3 to 52.3 yrs. across studies. CTQ scores were significantly associated with cortisol response in 2 studies. In addition, the physical abuse and emotional neglect subscales were associated with cortisol response respectively in 2 separate studies. The lack of association between CA and cortisol response calls for more longitudinal studies, and the use of formal records of maltreatment or informant reports in future research to complement information collected by retrospective measures. In addition, increased attention to biological mechanisms other than that associated with the regulation of cortisol in explaining the connection between CA and psychiatry morbidity is warranted.

Research Area(s)

  • Childhood adversities, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), Cortisol response, Trier Social Stress Test (TSST)

Citation Format(s)

Childhood Adversities and Salivary Cortisol Responses to the Trier Social Stress Test : A Systematic Review of Studies Using the Children Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). / Lai, Chuk Ling Julian; Lee, Daryl Yu Heng; Leung, Monique On Yee.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 18, No. 1, 29, 01.2021, p. 1-15.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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