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94. Investigating the Stability of Cortisol Stress Reactivity Across Development: Potential Moderating Factors
Salivary cortisol is a widely used index of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis functioning. Few studies have characterized the long-term stability of the cortisol stress response, although such work is needed to guide developmental studies of how cortisol reactivity relates to adaptation over time. Here, we report associations between cortisol reactivity to stress at age three (N = 405) and age eleven (N = 94). Early cortisol reactivity (AUCi) was unrelated to later cortisol reactivity (r = -1.60, p = .12). While girls and boys did not differ in cortisol reactivity at age 3 (t(403) = -1.08, p = .29), 11-year-old girls showed greater cortisol reactivity to the stress task than boys (t(92) = 2.52, p = .01). Preliminary analyses indicated that the stability of AUCi from age 3 to age 11 differed for boys and girls depending on depressive symptoms.