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Title: Global stress response during a social stress test: impact of alexithymia and its subfactors
Authors: Hua, Jiewen 
Scanff, Christine Le 
Larue, Jacques 
José, Ferreira 
Martin, Jean-Claude 
Devillers, Laurence 
Filaire, Edith 
Keywords: Psychosocial stress; Alexithymia; Saliva; Cortisol; Chromogranin A; Alpha-amylase; Heart rate
Issue Date: Dec-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: HUA, Jiewen [et. al] - Global stress response during a social stress test: impact of alexithymia and its subfactors. "Psychoneuroendocrinology". ISSN 0306-4530. Vol. 50 (2014) p. 53–61
Serial title, monograph or event: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Volume: 50
Abstract: Objectives Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulties in identifying, describing and communicating one's own emotions. Recent studies have associated specific effects of this trait and its subfactors with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis markers during stress. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between alexithymia and its subfactors with HPA and sympatho-adrenal medullar (SAM) activity. Stress was induced experimentally using a public-speaking paradigm. Salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase (AA), chromogranin A (CgA) and heart rate (HR) were collected during the defined periods of baseline, stress, and recovery in 19 males and 24 female healthy university students. Results Subjects reacted to the stressor with a significant cortisol and SAM response. Subjects scoring high on alexithymia reacted significantly more intensely than low scorers in basal anticipatory as well as peak cortisol and area under the curve. Regression analyses revealed that the increased HPA activity was related to only one alexithymia subfactor, the difficulty in differentiating feelings and distinguishing them from bodily sensations and emotion arousal. Conclusion Alexithymia and its subfactors were specifically related to cortisol responses. This research should be replicated with more subjects and should take into account more parameters reflecting sympathetic and/or parasympathetic activation, as well as HPA axis. Factors such as coping strategies and the perception of the situation as a challenge have also to be explored.
ISSN: 0306-4530
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.08.003
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCDEF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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