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The lifetime experience of traumatic events is associated with hair cortisol concentrations in community-based children

Simmons, Julian G., Badcock, Paul B., Whittle, Sarah L., Byrne, Michelle L., Mundy, Lisa, Patton, George C., Olsson, Craig A. and Allen, Nicholas B. 2015, The lifetime experience of traumatic events is associated with hair cortisol concentrations in community-based children, Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 63, pp. 276-281, doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.10.004.

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Title The lifetime experience of traumatic events is associated with hair cortisol concentrations in community-based children
Author(s) Simmons, Julian G.
Badcock, Paul B.
Whittle, Sarah L.
Byrne, Michelle L.
Mundy, Lisa
Patton, George C.
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A. orcid.org/0000-0002-5927-2014
Allen, Nicholas B.
Journal name Psychoneuroendocrinology
Volume number 63
Start page 276
End page 281
Total pages 6
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-11-03
ISSN 1873-3360
Keyword(s) HPA
Childhood Adversity
Cortisol
Hair
Trauma
Summary Adversity early in life can disrupt the functioning of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPAA) and increase risk for negative health outcomes. Recent research suggests that cortisol in scalp hair represents a promising of HPAA function. However, little is known about the relationship between early exposure to traumatic events and hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in childhood, a critical period of HPAA development. The current study measured HCC in scalp hair samples collected from 70 community-based children (14 males, mean age = 9.50) participating in the Imaging Brain Development in the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (iCATS). Data were also collected on lifetime exposure to traumatic events and current depressive symptoms. Lifetime exposure to trauma was associated with elevated HCC; however, HCC was not associated with current depressive symptoms. Consistent with some prior work, males were found to have higher HCC than females, although results should be treated with caution due to the small number of males who took part. Our findings suggest that hair cortisol may represent a biomarker of exposure to trauma in this age group; however, further study is necessary with a particular focus on the characterization of trauma and other forms of adversity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.10.004
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079256

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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