Neuroendocrine Reactivity, Internalizing Behavior Problems, and Control-Related Cognitions in Clinic-Referred Children and Adolescents

Douglas A. Granger, John R. Weisz, Danika Kauneckis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Scopus citations


Literature on neuroendocrine-behavior relations suggests that cortisol reactivity to social challenge may be associated with children's internalizing problem behavior. To explore this possibility, and the role of control-related beliefs, we studied 102 7-17-year-old clinic-referred children. Measures of problem behavior, depression and anxiety, and control-related beliefs were collected, and Ss' saliva was sampled before and after a parent-child conflict task. Neuroendocrine activation (i.e., cortisol increase) in response to the interaction task was associated with Ss' (a) social withdrawal, social anxiety, and social problems; (b) socially inhibited behavior during the task; and (c) low levels of perceived social contingency and high levels of external attributions for personal successes and failures. Our findings are among the first to link children's behavioral response to social challenge, neuroendocrine activation, cognitions, and psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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