Recent life stress predicts blunted acute stress response and the role of executive control

Yuanyuan Xin, Zhuxi Yao, Weiwen Wang, Yuejia Luo, Andre Aleman, Jianhui Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The present study examined the associations between recent life stress and responses to acute psychological stress, and how these associations varied with executive control. Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), salivary cortisol, and affective states were measured before, during and after the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), an effective laboratory stressor, in 54 healthy participants, and executive control function was tested with a Go/No-Go task in a neutral context on a different day. The hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that high frequency of life stress during the last twelve months predicted blunted cardiovascular acute stress response, i.e., smaller HR and HRV reactivity. Moreover, the low executive control group showed a significant association between higher recent life stress and blunted acute stress response, which was not apparent in the high executive control group. The results suggested that greater executive control may benefit us with adaptive acute stress response under recent life stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalStress-The international journal on the biology of stress
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online date12-Nov-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Recent life stress
  • executive control
  • acute stress
  • heart rate variability
  • Go
  • No-Go
  • cortisol
  • HEART-RATE-VARIABILITY
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS
  • COGNITIVE-ABILITY
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • MENTAL STRESS
  • REACTIVITY
  • EVENTS

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