Salivary cortisol and psychopathology in children bereaved by the september 11, 2001 terror attacks. Academic Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors

MeSH Major

  • Bereavement
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Life Change Events
  • Psychopathology
  • Saliva
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic

abstract

  • Studies suggest that stressful events increase risk for childhood anxiety and depression and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation. This prospective longitudinal study evaluated relationships among severe psychosocial stress, psychiatric morbidity, and HPA axis function in children. Forty-five children (mean age: 8.9 +/- 2.9 years) suffering parent death from September 11, 2001 terror attacks and 34 nonbereaved children (mean age: 9.3 +/- 2.5 years) were evaluated prospectively at 6-month intervals in this 2-year study. Assessments involved diagnostic interviews (Child Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia [K-SADS]) for psychopathology and 3 days of baseline salivary cortisol and a salivary dexamethasone suppression test for HPA axis function. Bereaved children, but not nonbereaved children, had significantly increased rates of psychiatric disorders involving anxiety disorders, especially posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after September 11, 2001 compared with retrospective assessments before September 11, 2001. Morning (AM) and 4:00 pm baseline cortisol were significantly and persistently higher for bereaved than nonbereaved children. Compared with bereaved children without psychopathology, bereaved children with PTSD had significantly lower 4:00 pm baseline cortisol and significantly greater 4:00 pm cortisol suppression. Children with generalized anxiety disorder had significantly less AM cortisol suppression than children without psychopathology. Children bereaved by sudden, unexpected parent death had persistent psychological dysfunction and HPA axis dysregulation in this study.

publication date

  • April 15, 2007

has subject area

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Life Change Events
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Psychopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saliva
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Time Factors

Research

keywords

  • Journal Article

Identity

Language

  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.07.037

PubMed ID

  • 17137565

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 957

end page

  • 965

volume

  • 61

number

  • 8