Étudiante-chercheuse étoile June 2014

Sarah Liu, étudiant-chercheur étoile, FRQS

Sarah Liu

Master's student in Psychology
Concordia University

Award-winning publication: Self-Esteem Change and Diurnal Cortisol Secretion in Older Adulthood

Published in: Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 41, 2014, p. 111-120


"Our study contributes to the older adulthood literature and to the advancement of knowledge in the personality field, examining how self-regulation and personality factors facilitate adaptation in older adulthood. Furthermore, the results of this study identify declines in self-esteem as a mechanism that may contribute to elevated cortisol volume among older adults who experience psychological distress. Increases in self-esteem, by contrast, are likely to ameliorate older adults' cortisol regulation in stressful circumstances. These findings may be used in interventions that target self-esteem to improve older adults' quality of life. Subsequently, there will be larger implications such as decreased health costs and caregiving responsibilities for family members of older adults."

It is a known fact that older adulthood brings increasing stressors and declines in physical health. This study analyses the complex implications of stress on psychological, biological and physical health. It also underlines the importance of self-esteem as a mechanism that may buffer the negative effects of stressful life situations. Aiming for a better comprehension of biological functioning in older adults, Sarah Liu and her team intend to further examine increases or declines on physical health outcomes (for example, the endocrine system). The article's originality consists first of all in identifying self-esteem as a key-mechanism of age-related diseases.