This research was supported by the British Heart Foundation. We wish to thank the participating civil service departments and their welfare, personnel, and establishment officers—the Occupational Health and Safety Agency, the Council of Civil Service Unions—all participants in the Whitehall II study, and all members of the Whitehall II study team.
Adult attachment style and cortisol responses across the day in older adults
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 50, Issue 9, pages 841–847, September 2013
How to Cite
Kidd, T., Hamer, M. and Steptoe, A. (2013), Adult attachment style and cortisol responses across the day in older adults. Psychophysiology, 50: 841–847. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12075
- Issue published online: 15 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 8 JAN 2013
- British Heart Foundation
- HPA axis;
- Adult attachment style;
- Whitehall II
The association between cortisol and adult attachment style, an important indicator of social relationships, has been relatively unexplored. Previous research has examined adult attachment and acute cortisol responses to stress in the laboratory, but less is known about cortisol levels in everyday life. The present study examined adult romantic attachment style and cortisol responses across the day. Salivary cortisol was collected at six time points during the course of the day in 1,807 healthy men and women from a subsample of the Whitehall II cohort. Significant associations were found between attachment on cortisol across the day and slope of cortisol decline. The lowest cortisol output was associated with fearful attachment, with preoccupied attachment having the highest levels and a flatter cortisol profile. The results tentatively support the proposition that attachment style may contribute to HPA dysregulation.