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260789 Salivary biomarkers for new mothers and fathers
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 11:21 AM - 11:38 AM
The individual and familial changes of new parenthood are often associated with increases in perceived and physiological stress. Better understanding of physiological stressors in new mothers and fathers, through examination of hormonal profiles, are essential for assisting families in need during the postpartum period, as stress hormones are related to vulnerabilities in partner relationship satisfaction and psychological adjustments. Although self-report measures provide useful information about stress, only physiological data can provide data on stresses “under the skin.” We present new findings from the Community Child Heath Network study of 2400+ families on preconception health. At six-months postpartum, mothers (at all sites) and fathers (at one site) provided salivary samples, later assayed for the stress hormone cortisol. We examined patterns of biomarker participation for mothers and fathers to better understand which individual and familial factors are associated with increased salivary kit completion, which will help identify possible barriers to overall participation in research studies. We also examine the cortisol patterns across the day for a group of matched mother-father pairs. While typical cortisol levels follow a diurnal rhythm, deviations from typical rhythms are associated with adverse psychosocial and physical health outcomes. We study whether parenting, relationship quality, and individual psychosocial factors are associated with cortisol overall levels and changes across the day. Our physiological findings not only indicate possible trajectories for parents, they may also help predict child developmental outcomes. The data provide useful information on biomarker procedures and compliance, as well as allostatic load during the postpartum period.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health biology
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Pregnancy Outcomes
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have helped coordinate the salivary collection of the biomarkers analyzed in this study, and have had multiple years of researcher experience in the areas of epidemiology, biopsychology, and family systems research.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.