Ethnicity, education, and the cortisol response to awakening: a preliminary investigation.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To explore the associations among ethnicity, educational attainment, and cortisol secretion. DESIGN: Participants include 63 white (n = 31) and African-American (n = 32) adult men and women. Subjects provided salivary cortisol samples immediately upon awakening and again, 30 minutes later. RESULTS: Analyses adjusted for relevant covariates revealed a steeper awakening response among whites with higher education compared to other groups. Cortisol levels were significantly lower among African-American participants with lower levels of education. All effects were independent of perceived stress. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings demonstrate significant ethnic and education-related differences in awakening cortisol secretion responses. Our data highlight the importance of considering ethnicity and the moderating effects of social class when examining the associations among social contextual factors and cortisol secretion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bennett, GG; Merritt, MM; Wolin, KY

Published Date

  • November 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 337 - 347

PubMed ID

  • 15570679

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15570679

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1465-3419

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1355-7858

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/1355785042000285366


  • eng