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Advances in Psychological Science    2015, Vol. 23 Issue (4) : 591-601     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00591
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The Relations between Diurnal Cortisol and Children’s Psychosocial Factors and Problem Behaviors
NIE Ruihong1; XU Ying2; HAN Zhuo1
(1 Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Quanzhou Preschool Education College, Quanzhou, Fujian 362000, China)
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Abstract  

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis is considered to be a major neuroendocrine system related to physiological responses to stress. Cortisol, an end product of HPA axis, is often used as one of the biological indexes to reflect individuals’ stress levels. Previous studies have mostly employed diurnal cortisol to reflect the characteristics of HPA activity, and diurnal cortisol has become one of the best indexes to evaluate children’s physical health due to its stability and reliability. Because of children’s rapid development in the early stages of their life, the secretion of cortisol not only interacts with children’s behaviors but it is also influenced by a variety of psychological and social factors. Past research has mainly focused on the relations between diurnal cortisol patterns and children’s problem behaviors or psychosocial factors. Future studies should consider the risk and protective factors in child development and explore the endocrinal mechanisms concerning how environment can influence children’s behaviors.

Keywords child      salivary cortisol      diurnal rhythm      problem behaviors      psychosocial factors     
Corresponding Authors: HAN Zhuo, E-mail: rachhan@bnu.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 15 April 2015
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NIE Ruihong,XU Ying,HAN Zhuo. The Relations between Diurnal Cortisol and Children’s Psychosocial Factors and Problem Behaviors[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2015, 23(4): 591-601.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00591     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2015/V23/I4/591
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