The cortisol awakening response predicts subclinical depressive symptomatology in Mexican American adults

D. Mangold, E. Marino, M. Javors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

While childhood trauma appears to be a risk factor for the onset of depression and subclinical depressive symptomatology in Mexican Americans, the specific physiological mechanisms contributing to this relationship remain to be clarified. Stress-induced dysregulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis is associated with depressive symptomatology in non-Hispanics. The current study assessed the extent to which the cortisol awakening response (CAR) predicts subclinical depressive symptomatology beyond the influence of childhood trauma in a sample of 55 Mexican American males and females ages 18-38 years, without a diagnosis of clinical depression. Participants were assessed for exposure to early trauma and current depressive symptomatology. Salivary cortisol samples were collected on two consecutive days at awakening, 30, 45, and 60. min thereafter, and again at 3. p.m., 6. p.m. and 9. p.m. Data were analyzed using general linear models with repeated measures at four morning time points, and again, at three afternoon and evening time points. Results indicated a significant Symptoms × Time interaction for the CAR(p< 0.05). The Symptom × Time interaction was not significant for afternoon and evening cortisol concentrations. Moreover, subclinical symptomatology was associated with attenuation of the initial rise in CAR, after controlling for the total frequency of exposure to childhood traumas. Hierarchical analyses show attenuation of the initial rise in the CAR was the best predictor of greater subclinical depressive symptomatology beyond the influence of trauma, and independent of a current diagnosis of major depression in a sample of adult Mexican Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-909
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

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Keywords

  • Childhood Trauma
  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • HPA
  • Hispanics
  • Mexican Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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