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ERIC Number: EJ822742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0890-765X
An Exploration of the Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Cortisol Rhythms in Colorado Ranchers
Schulze, Emily; Laudenslager, Mark; Coussons-Read, Mary
Journal of Rural Health, v25 n1 p109-113 Win 2009
Context: Although the effects of stress on health have been studied in numerous urban-dwelling populations, fewer studies have addressed these effects in rural populations, such as farmers and ranchers. Purpose: The present study focuses on seasonal levels of depressed affect and perceived stress in Western Colorado ranchers, and how those phenomena related to their levels of cortisol. Methods: Twenty-one (21) ranchers, who were permittees on the Colorado Grand Mesa, completed the study. Participants identified 2-week time periods during the year representing relative high, medium, and low stress. During each period, participants took saliva samples, rated stress levels, and completed a daily health diary. In addition, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), the perceived stress scale (PSS), and a life events scale (LES) were administered. Results: Results showed a strong relationship between BDI-II and PSS scores (r = 0.748, P less than 0.01). The decreased daytime cortisol decline supports the notion that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis negative feedback loop is disrupted in chronic stress and depression, thus resulting in chronically elevated cortisol levels. Conclusion: This study supports the relationship between stress, depression, and HPA dysregulation in ranchers. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beck Depression Inventory