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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Jan;63:238-46. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.10.005. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Facebook behaviors associated with diurnal cortisol in adolescents: Is befriending stressful?

Author information

1
University of Montreal-Department of Neurosciences, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada; Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada; Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, 7401 Rue Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada. Electronic address: julie.katia.morin-major@umontreal.ca.
2
University of Montreal-Department of Neurosciences, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada; Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada; Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, 7401 Rue Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada. Electronic address: marie-france.marin@mgh.harvard.edu.
3
Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada. Electronic address: nadia.durand@criusmm.rtss.qc.ca.
4
Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada. Electronic address: nathalie.wan@criusmm.rtss.qc.ca.
5
Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada; Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, 7401 Rue Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada; Integrated Program in Neuroscience, McGill University, Montreal Neurological Institute, 3801 University Stress, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2B4, Canada. Electronic address: robert.juster@mail.mcgill.ca.
6
University of Montreal-Department of Psychiatry, Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J, Canada; Center for Studies on Human Stress-Montreal Mental Health University Institute, 7401 Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada; Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, 7401 Rue Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec H1N 3M5, Canada. Electronic address: sonia.lupien@umontreal.ca.

Abstract

Facebook(©) is changing the way people interact and socialize. Despite great interest in psychology and sociology, little is known about Facebook behaviors in relation to physiological markers of stress. Given that the brain undergoes important development during adolescence and that glucocorticoids--a major class of stress hormones-are known to modulate its development, it is important to study psychosocial factors that may influence secretion of stress hormones during adolescence. The goal of the present study was to explore the associations between Facebook behaviors (use frequency, network size, self-presentation and peer-interaction) and basal levels of cortisol among adolescent boys and girls. Eighty-eight adolescents (41 boys, 47 girls) aged between 12 and 17 (14.5 ± 1.8) were recruited. Participants provided four cortisol samples per day for two non-consecutive weekdays. Facebook behaviors were assessed in accordance with the existing literature. Well-validated measures of perceived stress, perceived social support, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms were also included. A hierarchical regression showed that after controlling for sex, age, time of awakening, perceived stress, and perceived social support, cortisol systemic output (area under the curve with respect to ground) was positively associated with the number of Facebook friends and negatively associated with Facebook peer-interaction. No associations were found among depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and cortisol. These results provide preliminary evidence that Facebook behaviors are associated with diurnal cortisol concentrations in adolescents.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Cortisol; Depression; Facebook; Sex differences; Stress

PMID:
26519778
DOI:
10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.10.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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