This study examined whether resilience capacity moderates the association of daily perceived stress and affect with cortisol diurnal slope among relocated emerging adults. Relocated undergraduates (N = 98; aged 18–25 years) were recruited from three groups: Resilient, Vulnerable, and Control. The Resilient group required Risky Family Questionnaire (RFQ) scores ≥ 29 and Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) scores ≥ 3.6. The Vulnerable group required RFQ scores ≥ 29 and BRS scores ≤ 3. The comparison Control group required RFQ scores ≤ 21 and T-scores < 60 on PROMIS anxiety and depression symptoms. Mixed-effects models were used to test the unique associations of perceived stress, negative affect, and positive affect x group interactions (predictors) on diurnal cortisol slope (outcome) across 14 consecutive days. The Resilient group did not moderate the associations between daily stress or affect on cortisol diurnal slope. Instead, both the Resilient and Vulnerable groups with early family risk, showed a steeper diurnal slope unique to higher stress and a flatter slope unique to higher negative affect. Results suggest that riskier early family life was significantly associated with altered cortisol diurnal slope outcomes to stress (i.e., demand) and negative affect (i.e., distress). These associations were not attenuated by current resilience capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas