Original Research Article
Salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol among pentecostals on a worship and nonworship day
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume 22, Issue 6, pages 819–822, November/December 2010
How to Cite
Lynn, C. D., Paris, J., Frye, C. A. and Schell, L. M. (2010), Salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol among pentecostals on a worship and nonworship day. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 22: 819–822. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21088
- Issue published online: 16 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 27 DEC 2009
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 0819190
- Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
- SUNY Benevolent Association
- University at Albany Graduate Studies
- GSO. Grant Numbers: MH0676980, RMH067698b, R24 MD001120
This investigation used a biomarker of sympathetic nervous system activity novel to biocultural research to test the hypothesis that engaging in religious worship activities would reduce baseline stress levels on a non-worship day among Pentecostals.
As detailed in Lynn et al. (submitted for publication), stress was measured via salivary cortisol and α-amylase among 52 Apostolic Pentecostals in New York's mid-Hudson Valley. Saliva samples were collected at four predetermined times on consecutive Sundays and Mondays to establish diurnal profiles and compare days of worship and non-worship. These data were reanalyzed using separate analyses of covariance on α-amylase and cortisol to control for individual variation in Pentecostal behavior, effects of Sunday biomarkers on Monday, and other covariates.
There was a significant decrease in cortisol and an increase in α-amylase on a non-worship day compared with a service day. Models including engagement in Pentecostal worship behavior explained 62% of the change in non-service day cortisol and 73% of the change in non-service day α-amylase.
Engagement in Pentecostal worship may be associated with reductions in circulatory cortisol and enhancements in α-amylase activity. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.