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Biol Psychol. 2015 Sep;110:42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Reciprocal relationship between acute stress and acute fatigue in everyday life in a sample of university students.

Author information

1
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: johanna.doerr@staff.uni-marburg.de.
2
Institute of Medical Psychology in the Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Bergheimer Str. 20, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: Beate.Ditzen@med.uni-heidelberg.de.
3
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: jana.strahler@staff.uni-marburg.de.
4
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: linnemann@staff.uni-marburg.de.
5
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: jannis_ziemek@web.de.
6
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: skoluda@staff.uni-marburg.de.
7
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. Electronic address: choppmann@psych.ubc.ca.
8
Clinical Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Gutenbergstrasse 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: urs.nater@staff.uni-marburg.de.

Abstract

We investigated whether stress may influence fatigue, or vice versa, as well as factors mediating this relationship. Fifty healthy participants (31 females, 23.6±3.2 years) completed up to 5 momentary assessments of stress and fatigue during 5 days of preparation for their final examinations (exam condition) and 5 days of a regular semester week (control condition). Sleep quality was measured by self-report at awakening. A sub-group of participants (n=25) also collected saliva samples. Fatigue was associated with concurrent stress, stress reported at the previous measurement point, and previous-day stress. However, momentary stress was also predicted by concurrent fatigue, fatigue at the previous time point, and previous-day fatigue. Sleep quality mediated the association between stress and next-day fatigue. Cortisol and alpha-amylase did not mediate the stress-fatigue relationship. In conclusion, there is a reciprocal stress-fatigue relationship. Both prevention and intervention programs should comprehensively cover how stress and fatigue might influence one another.

KEYWORDS:

Autonomic nervous system; Cortisol; Fatigue; Sleep quality; Stress

PMID:
26143479
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.06.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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