What is it about?

The COVID-19 pandemic required people to navigate lockdowns and unfamiliar restrictions for the first time. It is known that situations characterised by uncontrollability and novelty heighten the physiological response to stress. The data presented here was collected as part of an experimental stress study and offered an opportunity to compare cortisol levels upon arrival to the lab before and after the first UK lockdown, when students had to navigate novel health and safety restrictions on campus. We examine baseline cortisol samples before and after lockdown to investigate the role of these novel restrictions on baseline cortisol levels.

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Why is it important?

The findings suggest that navigating new restrictions may lead to heightened levels of anticipatory stress even if there is no difference in recent general mental health before and after the lockdown.


This is a potentially important article that shows the importance of the context of cortisol research.

Professor Keith A Bender
University of Aberdeen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Salivary cortisol in university students after the COVID-19 pandemic, Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology, November 2022, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.cpnec.2022.100160.
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