Ha, T., Granger, D. A., Shore, D. M., Yeung, E. W., & Dishion, T. J. (September, 2015). ISPNE, Neural responses to partner rejection predict adrenocortical reactivity in adolescent romantic couples, Edinburgh, Scotland. Paper to be presented at the 45th Annual Conference of International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE). Edinburgh, Scotland.
Abstract: Monitoring interpersonal cues that threaten relationship status is key to maintaining close relationships. The N2 ERP component reflects a preconscious process that monitors conflict between actual and desired outcomes, such as social threat (Themanson et al., 2013). It originates from the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). After conflict detection, dACC areas engage CNS structures that regulate HPA activity. Studies on the co-variation between neurocognitive processing of social threat and regulation of HPA axis are limited. We investigated whether N2 responses to rejection from partners predicted cortisol reactivity, and if rejection sensitivity (RS) was a moderator. Forty adolescent romantic couples (N = 80; Mage = 16.33, SD = .92; 40.4 % Latino) participated in an adapted Chatroom Interact task that manipulated partner rejection and acceptance, while simultaneously recording partners’ EEG. This was followed by observed conflict and jealousy discussions. Eight salivary samples were taken over the course of the lab session (later assayed for cortisol). Cortisol area under the curve with respect to increase (AUCi) was calculated. To index neural responses to social threat a difference score between mean N2 amplitudes to partner acceptance and rejection was calculated from 190-240ms on electrode FCz. Regression analyses showed higher N2 reactivity to partner rejection related to higher AUCi, F(1, 46) = 4.37, p = .042. This effect was stronger for adolescents with higher RS, F(1, 46) = 6.30, p = .016. Findings may imply that biological sensitivity to social threat has the potential to undermine the quality of romantic relationships during adolescence.
Ha, T., Yeung, E. W., & Granger, D. A. (September, 2015). Adrenocortical regulation and rejection sensitivity predict interpersonal conflict in adolescent romantic couples, ISPNE, Edinburgh, Scotland. Paper to be presented at the 45th Annual Conference of International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE). Edinburgh, Scotland.
Abstract: Conflict and disagreements are at the heart of romantic relationships. How couples approach conflict affects relationship functioning and emotional wellbeing. Numerous studies have shown associations between adrenocortical regulation and conflict among married partners, but less is known about these processes in adolescent romantic relationships. Many of the most unpredictable, intense, and novel social stressors during adolescence involve the acquisition, maintenance and dissolution of romantic relationships. We investigated whether HPA activity predicted adolescent’s subjective conflict experiences and if rejection sensitivity was a moderator. Forty adolescent romantic couples participated in observed conflict and jealousy discussions (N = 80; Mage = 16.33, SD = .92; 40.4 % Latino). Four saliva samples were donated; once before the discussion, directly after the discussion as well as 15 and 30 minutes after. These were assayed for cortisol and were used to calculate cortisol Area Under the Curve (AUC). Participants reported their rejection sensitivity (RS) and experiences of negativity and avoidance during the discussion. Regression analyses showed that avoidance of conflict was predicted by a three way interaction between cortisol (AUC), gender, and RS F(1, 56 = 6.00, p = .018). These results indicate that higher levels of cortisol (AUC) predicted higher levels of dyadic conflict avoidance, especially for girls who were more sensitive to rejection. HPA activity indicated that conflict avoidance might uniquely indicate maladaptive functioning in adolescent romantic relationships.
Kornienko, O., Schaefer, D. R., Weren, S., Hill, G., & Granger, D. A. (September 2015). Cortisol and Testosterone Associations with Social Network Dynamics. Paper to be presented at the 45th Annual Conference of International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE). Edinburgh, Scotland.
Abstract: We integrate behavioral biology and network science to examine links between hormones and social network dynamics. We conceptualized the network as a relational environment in which social stressors (e.g., evaluation, rejection, competition) occur and influence activity of the HPA and HPG axes. Because cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) play role in defeat-challenge patterns of responses to stressors, we posited that these patterns of physiological activation would be associated with the behavioral processes underlying ties. Specifically, the challenge pattern of coping with one’s network would be associated with an increased likelihood of maintaining existing ties, whereas the defeat pattern – with an increased likelihood of creating new connections. A collegiate marching band was used as a model system of a mixed-gender social organization. Participants (n = 193; 53% female; M age =19.4 years, 62.1% European-American) provided friendship nominations initially and two months later. At time 1, participants donated saliva before and after band rehearsal (later assayed for C and testosterone T). Social network modeling revealed that (a) individuals with lower C levels were more likely to maintain friendship connections, and those with higher C levels were more likely to create new friendship ties; and (b) individuals with higher T levels were more likely to maintain friendships, and those with lower T levels were more likely to create new friendship ties. Findings are among the first to document that individual differences in hormones are associated with the initiation and maintenance of social ties in mixed-gender social organizations and have several theoretical implications.
Segal, S.K., Kornienko, O., Seay, D. R., Bryce, C.I., Van Huisstede, L., & Granger, D. A. (September 2015). Stable Trait-Like Individual Differences in Salivary Uric Acid (sUA): Relations to Gender and Body Mass Index. Paper to be presented at the 45th Annual Conference of International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE). Edinburgh, Scotland.
Abstract: This study explores the nature of individual differences in salivary uric acid (sUA), a potential biomarker of oxidative stress (OS). Saliva was collected from a racially diverse (60% Caucasian) group of college students (n=205; 48% male; age 18-30 years) at the beginning and end of a semester. Within each assessment time point saliva samples were collected initially and 2.5 hr later, and then assayed for sUA. sUA levels were positively correlated within and between assessment points. Males had higher sUA levels than females, and sUA levels were associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI). Latent state trait (LST) modeling revealed that the majority (62-68%) of the variance in sUA levels could be attributed to a latent trait component suggesting relative stability in sUA levels. Being male and having a higher BMI was positively associated with the trait-component of sUA explaining 15.1% of variance in the sUA latent trait. sUA should be explored as a potential minimally invasive measure of individual differences in health conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease) where pathophysiology is associated with OS.