Effectiveness of Defenses: A Significant Predictor of Cortisol Excretion under Stress.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Although stress theories assert that psychological characteristics influence illness through their effects on physiological reactions to psychosocial stimuli, it has been difficult to demonstrate substantial associations to support this contention. Effectiveness of defense ED is a clinical assessment based on emotional reaction to stress, disruption of physiological and social functioning, and the ability to mobilize additional defenses to deal with acute, superimposed stress. In 6 to 17 samples studied to date, a significant ED-cortisol correlation was obtained combined significance, p .00006. The ED-cortisol correlation averaged r .41 for the 7 samples and evidence from two studies suggests that ED is particularly important during high stress. These findings establish ED as a topic worthy of study in connection with psychosocial stress. Future research issues include determining the importance of individual components of the overall ED rating and ascertaining whether ED has other physiological correlates in addition to cortisol.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology