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HABIT: Role of Anxiety and Coping Strategies in the Habituation to repeated acute Stress

HABIT: Role of Anxiety and Coping Strategies in the Habituation to repeated acute Stress

(Own Funds)

Project leader: , ,
Start date: 10/01/2016

Abstract:

In the last decades, research has increased our knowledge about the role of psychosocial stress as antecedent for various diseases. Adding to the classical approach of investigating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), inflammation as a mediator between stress and disease, was introduced and discussed. Moreover, research showed that the physiological response to acute and recurrent psychosocial stress is, among others, moderated by psychological aspects such as anxiety or different coping mechanisms.

Due to the absence of data on how people with different states of non-clinical anxiety are coping with acute and recurrent psychosocial stress, our aim is to increase the understanding of the important relationship between anxiety, coping and the extent of physiological responses to recurrent psychosocial stress. The biological parameters of interest are markers of the sympathetic nervous system (salivary alpha-amylase, heart rate and heart rate variability), of the HPA axis (salivary cortisol) and immune system biomarkers of inflammation (interleukin-6 and interleukin-10) drawn from blood samples.