Early family life adversity has been linked with negative physical and psychological health consequences in adulthood, possibly due to alterations in neuroendocrine activity. Young adults from families characterized by parental loss (N = 45) and control participants (N = 43) completed self-report measures of prior abuse and family conflict, and performed a stressful speech task designed to elicit neuroendocrine responses. Higher reported abuse and conflict were associated with increased cortisol for the loss group, but were unrelated to cortisol in the control group. Results indicate alterations in neuroendocrine functioning associated with early parental loss, which are moderated by the quality of the family environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health