Anxiety and chronic couple relationship stress moderate adrenocortical response to couple interaction in expectant parents

Mark E. Feinberg, Damon E. Jones, Douglas A. Granger, Daniel E. Bontempo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study examines whether anxiety or chronic relationship stress alter the way that couple conflict affects cortisol levels for women and men during the transition to parenthood. Saliva samples, assayed for cortisol, were collected before and after couple interaction from 128 heterosexual couples expecting their first child. Confirming prior research, expectant mothers had higher cortisol levels than their spouses, and gestational age was linked to women's cortisol level. Negativity during couple interaction was associated with greater cortisol reactivity for men, but not women. Tests of moderation indicated little relation between negativity and cortisol recovery for individuals with a low level of anxiety or little history of chronic arguing with the partner. However, among individuals with elevated levels of either of these two factors, negativity was linked to less cortisol recovery for men, but more cortisol recovery for women. Consistent results were also found for the relation between low warmth in the couple interaction and both reactivity and recovery for men and women high in anxiety. Future research should examine whether pregnancy is responsible for these different gender patterns, or whether the inhibition of negativity is stressful for women with high levels of risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-542
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume104
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hydrocortisone
Anxiety
Parents
Interaction
Cortisol
Heterosexuality
Spouses
Saliva
Gestational Age
Mothers
Pregnancy
Negativity
Recovery
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Anxiety and chronic couple relationship stress moderate adrenocortical response to couple interaction in expectant parents. / Feinberg, Mark E.; Jones, Damon E.; Granger, Douglas A.; Bontempo, Daniel E.

In: British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 104, No. 4, 11.2013, p. 525-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feinberg, Mark E. ; Jones, Damon E. ; Granger, Douglas A. ; Bontempo, Daniel E. / Anxiety and chronic couple relationship stress moderate adrenocortical response to couple interaction in expectant parents. In: British Journal of Psychology. 2013 ; Vol. 104, No. 4. pp. 525-542.
@article{7c8ea6b4a99c4851bf51ab02c85aa20c,
title = "Anxiety and chronic couple relationship stress moderate adrenocortical response to couple interaction in expectant parents",
abstract = "The study examines whether anxiety or chronic relationship stress alter the way that couple conflict affects cortisol levels for women and men during the transition to parenthood. Saliva samples, assayed for cortisol, were collected before and after couple interaction from 128 heterosexual couples expecting their first child. Confirming prior research, expectant mothers had higher cortisol levels than their spouses, and gestational age was linked to women's cortisol level. Negativity during couple interaction was associated with greater cortisol reactivity for men, but not women. Tests of moderation indicated little relation between negativity and cortisol recovery for individuals with a low level of anxiety or little history of chronic arguing with the partner. However, among individuals with elevated levels of either of these two factors, negativity was linked to less cortisol recovery for men, but more cortisol recovery for women. Consistent results were also found for the relation between low warmth in the couple interaction and both reactivity and recovery for men and women high in anxiety. Future research should examine whether pregnancy is responsible for these different gender patterns, or whether the inhibition of negativity is stressful for women with high levels of risk.",
author = "Feinberg, {Mark E.} and Jones, {Damon E.} and Granger, {Douglas A.} and Bontempo, {Daniel E.}",
year = "2013",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1111/bjop.12005",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "104",
pages = "525--542",
journal = "The British journal of psychology. General section",
issn = "0373-2460",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Anxiety and chronic couple relationship stress moderate adrenocortical response to couple interaction in expectant parents

AU - Feinberg, Mark E.

AU - Jones, Damon E.

AU - Granger, Douglas A.

AU - Bontempo, Daniel E.

PY - 2013/11

Y1 - 2013/11

N2 - The study examines whether anxiety or chronic relationship stress alter the way that couple conflict affects cortisol levels for women and men during the transition to parenthood. Saliva samples, assayed for cortisol, were collected before and after couple interaction from 128 heterosexual couples expecting their first child. Confirming prior research, expectant mothers had higher cortisol levels than their spouses, and gestational age was linked to women's cortisol level. Negativity during couple interaction was associated with greater cortisol reactivity for men, but not women. Tests of moderation indicated little relation between negativity and cortisol recovery for individuals with a low level of anxiety or little history of chronic arguing with the partner. However, among individuals with elevated levels of either of these two factors, negativity was linked to less cortisol recovery for men, but more cortisol recovery for women. Consistent results were also found for the relation between low warmth in the couple interaction and both reactivity and recovery for men and women high in anxiety. Future research should examine whether pregnancy is responsible for these different gender patterns, or whether the inhibition of negativity is stressful for women with high levels of risk.

AB - The study examines whether anxiety or chronic relationship stress alter the way that couple conflict affects cortisol levels for women and men during the transition to parenthood. Saliva samples, assayed for cortisol, were collected before and after couple interaction from 128 heterosexual couples expecting their first child. Confirming prior research, expectant mothers had higher cortisol levels than their spouses, and gestational age was linked to women's cortisol level. Negativity during couple interaction was associated with greater cortisol reactivity for men, but not women. Tests of moderation indicated little relation between negativity and cortisol recovery for individuals with a low level of anxiety or little history of chronic arguing with the partner. However, among individuals with elevated levels of either of these two factors, negativity was linked to less cortisol recovery for men, but more cortisol recovery for women. Consistent results were also found for the relation between low warmth in the couple interaction and both reactivity and recovery for men and women high in anxiety. Future research should examine whether pregnancy is responsible for these different gender patterns, or whether the inhibition of negativity is stressful for women with high levels of risk.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84884911098&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84884911098&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/bjop.12005

DO - 10.1111/bjop.12005

M3 - Article

C2 - 24094282

AN - SCOPUS:84884911098

VL - 104

SP - 525

EP - 542

JO - The British journal of psychology. General section

JF - The British journal of psychology. General section

SN - 0373-2460

IS - 4

ER -