Stress reactivity to co-rumination in young women's friendships: Cortisol, alpha-amylase, and negative affect focus

Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Douglas A. Granger, Brandon J. Auer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Young women typically use same-sex friendships as a source of social support during times of stress. However, friendship interactions that are characterized by co-rumination, excessive problem discussion and negative affect focus, while related to quality friendships, are also related to internalizing symptoms. The goal of the current study was to better understand how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (salivary cortisol) and sympathetic nervous system (salivary alpha-amylase, sAA), react to co-rumination. Observed co-rumination predicted increased cortisol responses while negative affect focus during problem discussion predicted increases in both cortisol and sAA. These findings suggest that dual system activation may be at least one physiological pattern that links co-rumination to increased internalizing symptoms, even in the context of a high-quality friendship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-487
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Alpha-amylase
  • co-rumination
  • cortisol
  • friendships
  • peer relationships
  • psychosocial stress
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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