Relationship between personality, gender and the acute stress response

Peter Fischer
2020 unpublished
The acute stress response is a complex phenomenon that involves different psychophysiological systems such as subjective stress experience, activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and activation of the autonomic nervous system. However, it is not clear whether these systems relate differently to other constructs that are found to be relevant for the stress process such as personality traits or gender. The current study aimed to address this question by measuring the effect of
more » ... the effect of neuroticism, extraversion and gender on subjective stress response, cortisol response and alpha-amylase response using the Trier Social Stress Test in a sample of N = 124 healthy participants (50 % female). Personality traits were assessed using the NEO-FFI. Subjective stress was measured through a visual analogue scale, while cortisol and alpha-amylase were collected through saliva samples. Acute stress response was operationalized using delta scores between peak values and baseline. Results showed that extraversion was negatively related to alpha-amylase. Further, women showed a higher level of subjective stress, while men had a higher cortisol response. No relationship between neuroticism and the stress response was found. There was no interaction effect between personality, gender and the stress response. This paper highlights the importance of considering that personality and gender relate differently to different stress response systems.
doi:10.25365/thesis.63136 fatcat:l23c6je35neobgbv5k4bob755a