The Relations Between Morning Cortisol Secretion Pattern, Morning Cortisol levels, and Affective States

Ashley Love
The biological correlates of negative affect (e.g. depression and neuroticism) have been well studied, but very little research has focused on the biological correlates of positive affect (e.g. happiness and well-being). Cortisol has been shown to be a consistent marker for depression, but has yet to be studied with relation to happiness. High levels of morning cortisol have been linked to depression and neuroticism (Bhagwager et al., 2003 (Bhagwager et al., , 2005 Portella et al., 2005) .
more » ... t al., 2005) . Atypical cortisol secretion patterns have also been linked to depression, stress, and anxiety (Chatterton & Dooley, 1999; Young & Veldhuis, 2006). Cortisol may also be an accurate predictor of happiness. However, if depression and happiness have separate biological predictors, it would support the hypothesis that depression and happiness are independent psychological states, and not simply opposite ends on the same continuum (Ryff et al., 2006) . In the present study, happiness, satisfaction, and depression were assessed in 47 participants (8 men and 39 women) ranging in age from 18-26 years. Participants displaying an atypical cortisol secretion pattern scored higher on the CES-D, a depression scale, and had higher cortisol levels when they first awoke and 40 minutes later. Cortisol levels and cortisol secretion patterns were not related to happiness or satisfaction. The results of this study support the hypothesis that depression and happiness are different psychological constructs with different biological predictors (Ryff et al., 2006) .
doi:10.14288/1.0086039 fatcat:ulaxxnwrjfbwnczatgorwmifsm