Is perceived stress associated with susceptibility to upper respiratory illness in early adolescents? Positive affect and loneliness as possible moderators in this relationship
Casuso Ferrand, Liliana Odette; S0112333
A longitudinal study of two years (2006-2007) was performed in two schools in Lima. In 2006, data were collected from 214 preadolescents (boys and girls aged 9-11yrs) belonging to two different schools of high and low socioeconomic status. Data were collected using part of the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey, the adapted Stressful Events Inventory for Pre-Adolescents as well as the adapted Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children and adapted Loneliness Scale for Children and Adolescents. Individual interviews from students collected other stressors not considered in the questionnaires. In addition, their parents were interviewed in their homes by trained psychologists about respiratory conditions (RC) of their children, demographic data and socioeconomic status (SES). Common cold was classified as present/not present by trained nurses. They visited the schools interdaily during four months in order to register all the common colds suffered by the children at school. One year later (2007) the same data were recollected in the same sample. By different reasons, we were able to retest only 170 pupils. Due to economical limitations, biological markers were not used to investigate possible intermediate processes.The data analysis was centered on the number and intensity of self reported stressful events and the relationship with clinically verified episodes of common colds and the total intensity of the symptoms. Structural Equation modeling (SEM) was used to map the relations between stress and common colds including the variables SES and RC. A longitudinal design helps to investigate whether changes in stress are followed by changes in the number and intensity of common colds along the time. We also performed cross lagged analyses of the relationship between stress and colds, investigating whether stress can influence on common colds, and the other way around. We also tested the moderating role of respiratory condition, performing a multiple group model and then tested whether the association between stress and colds and/or the association between SES and colds is equal for both groups. Finally, the moderating effects of positive affect and loneliness in the relation of stress at Time 1 on colds (during 2006) as well at Time 3 on colds (during 2007) was explored. Although trends pointing towards the expected relationship between the number and intensity of stress and the number of colds emerged, only in the third moment (June 2007) the association appeared significant in the SEM. These results could suggest that chronic stress might affect the predisposition to get respiratory infections after one year in a preadolescent age. We also explored if Loneliness and Positive Affect had a moderator role in the expected relationship of stress and colds but the results were not significant. The multilevel analysis revealed that the intensity of perceived life stress in this group decreased across the two years and preadolescents from low SES were more stressed about themselves and family than their peers from high SES. The psychometric properties of the used instruments, adapted for Spanish speaking populations are reported as well the questionnaires in Spanish.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Theoretical Background
1. Stress and stressors
2. Studying stress in children and preadolescents
3. Stress and health problems
4. Chronic stress and common cold in preadolescents
5. Variables moderating stress and common colds: Positive Affect and Loneliness
6. The present study
7. Research aims and objectives
Chapter 2: Adaptation and validation of The Stressful Events Inventory for Adolescents
Chapter 3: Psychometric properties of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children (PANAS-C) and its structure model in a Peruvian preadolescent sample.
Chapter 4: Psychometric properties of the Loneliness Scale for Children an Adolescents (LACA) and its relation to stress and affect in a Peruvian preadolescent sample.
Chapter 5: Perceived stress and common cold in urban Peruvian preadolescents