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ERIC Number: EJ1008286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2006
Classroom Emotional Support Predicts Differences in Preschool Children's Cortisol and Alpha-Amylase Levels
Hatfield, Bridget E.; Hestenes, Linda L.; Kintner-Duffy, Victoria L.; O'Brien, Marion
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, v28 n2 p347-356 2013
Accumulating evidence suggests children enrolled in full-time child care often display afternoon elevations of the hormone cortisol, which is an indicator of stress. Recent advances in immunoassays allow for measurement of activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the autonomic sympathetic nervous system from saliva, and measurement of both systems provides a more complete understanding of activity in the stress response system. This study is the first to examine both cortisol and alpha-amylase in children attending child care and focuses on the influences of specific indicators of classroom process quality. A diverse sample of 63 preschool children nested in 14 classrooms of varying quality participated in this study; child salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase were collected at six times over 2 days. Results indicate that children in classrooms with higher Emotional Support displayed a greater decline in cortisol from morning to afternoon. Further, children in classrooms with higher Emotional Support exhibited lower total alpha-amylase output while attending child care. Implications for professional development for early childhood teachers and measurement of classroom quality are discussed. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
Elsevier. 3251 Riverport Lane, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. Tel: 800-325-4177; Tel: 314-447-8000; Fax: 314-447-8033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A