Loneliness and diurnal salivary cortisol in Chinese undergraduates

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)32_Refereed conference paper (with ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychoneuroendocrinology
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Pages17-18
Volume83, Supp.
ISBN (Print)0306-4530
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Conference

Title47th Annual Conference of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE 2017)
LocationZurich University
PlaceSwitzerland
CityZurich
Period7 - 9 September 2017

Abstract

Background: Loneliness has emerged as an important determinant of the physiology of stress processes and mental health in recent research. Although the relationship between loneliness and salivary cortisol has been studied previously, most of these studies were with elderly or non-adolescent age groups and produced mixed findings. This study was designed to fill this gap.
Methods: 53 Chinese undergraduates (30 females) were asked to collect by themselves 5 saliva samples each day for 3 weekdays at immediately, 0.5, 3, 6, and 12 h after waking. The timing of saliva collection was monitored using electronic devices (MEMS TrackCaps, WestRock). Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling with day and times of saliva collection being treated as repeated measures. Gender, age, daily hassles, optimism, and depression were treated as covariates. Cortisol concentrations in saliva samples were analyzed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cortisol data were winsorized and normalized using log transformation for subsequent analyses.
Results:
(1) There was a significant linear decline in cortisol level from immediately after waking to 12 h post-awakening.
(2) This decline decelerated or slowed down over time.
(3) Higher loneliness was associated with a higher level of diurnal cortisol.
(4) The aforementioned significant effects remained significant after the effects of age, daily hassles, optimism, and depression had been controlled.
Conclusions: Findings of the study have demonstrated clearly that higher in trait loneliness is associated with a higher level cortisol. Further research is warranted to throw more light on the neuroendocrine effects of loneliness in different populations.

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Loneliness and diurnal salivary cortisol in Chinese undergraduates. / Lai, Julian Chuk-Ling; Lam, Yun Wah; Berning, Karsten; Leung, Monique; Lee, Yu Heng Daryl.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. Vol. 83, Supp. Elsevier Ltd., 2017. p. 17-18.

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)32_Refereed conference paper (with ISBN/ISSN)peer-review