Flattened diurnal cortisol patterns are a biomarker of stress and have been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, especially after pregnancy. Women from low-income backgrounds and women with higher body mass index (BMI) were found to have flattened diurnal cortisol patterns. Research examining the risk factors, as well as protective factors, for diurnal cortisol patterns as they pertain to maternal health is needed. Some evidence suggests that breastfeeding is protective and can reduce or prevent the flattening of diurnal cortisol patterns. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether higher BMIs and shorter breastfeeding durations are associated with flatter diurnal cortisol patterns in a sample of 100 postpartum women from low-income backgrounds. To test this question, participants reported their BMI and collected salivary cortisol and completed a health interview at 3 months postpartum. Results indicated that BMI and breastfeeding duration were not associated with diurnal cortisol patterns. The implications of the current study help to further our understanding of what risk factors contribute to chronic stress in low-income, postpartum women.
|Advisor:||Urizar, Guido G.|
|Commitee:||Miller, Karissa, Johnson, Amber|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/10(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Womens studies, Public health|
|Keywords:||Body Mass Index, Breastfeeding, Cortisol patterns, Postpartum, Stress, Maternal health|
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