Depressive Symptoms and Acute HPA Axis Stress Regulation in the Context of Adolescent Girls’ Friendships Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Calhoun, Casey
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Friendships may promote stress management and buffer against internalizing symptoms in adolescent girls. Few studies have examined connections between friendship processes and biological stress regulation. This study examined whether expressed vulnerability (negative self-directed thoughts and emotions) and friend support in response to a social stressor were associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses in 241 girls (ages 12-17) with elevated psychological symptoms. Expressed vulnerability and friend support were observationally coded during post-stressor conversations with a friend. A significant interaction indicated that high expressed vulnerability predicted more adaptive cortisol regulation in the context of high but not low friend support. Low expressed vulnerability corresponded with the most ineffective cortisol regulation, regardless of friend support. Findings highlight interpersonal processes in girls’ friendships that may reduce allostatic load and risk for internalizing symptoms.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Prinstein, Mitchell J.
  • Hussong, Andrea
  • Youngstrom, Eric
  • Dichter, Gabriel
  • Lindquist, Kristen
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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