New study shows surprise in Hormone levels in babies, toddlers

large_baby1.jpgThe Corisol Awakening Response, or CAR, an increase of 

about 50% in cortisol levels occurring 20–30 minutes after awakening in the morning in some people, is the focus of a new study from UGA researchers.

For the first time, psychology researchers from the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences have shown that this response for infants is opposite of what it is for adults. The new information could have implications for how infants handle stress and why proper care from their mothers could affect how growing children react to cortisol in later life.



"Surprisingly, the CAR hasn't been widely studied in infants or young children," said psychology doctoral student Melissa Bright, who led the study. "There is consensus that the adult pattern of cortisol response isn't present at birth, but much less is known about when in the first year of life it is established."

The research team, from the department of psychology, the UGA Infant Rresearch Lab and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, conducted the research using 32 baby-mother pairs. Nineteen of the babies were female and 13 were males, and they ranged in age from 7.8 to 17.4 months. 

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