The socioeconomic patterning of perceived stress and hair cortisol in Dutch 10-12 year olds

H. Bosma, B. Golsteyn, D. Groffen, T. Schils, T. Stalder, E. Syurina, L. Borghans, F. Feron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The relation between low socioeconomic status and stress in 10 to 12 year olds was examined, using both subjective (self-reports) and objective (hair cortisol concentration) measures of stress. From 33 Dutch 10-12 year olds, data were collected (in April 2014) on the socioeconomic status of the parents (education of the father and mother, mean house value and mean income in the postal area of the child’s residence) and stress (reports of stress and self-efficacy and hair cortisol concentration in two segments of individual hair strands). Pearson (partial) correlation and linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations. Most correlations were in the expected direction. Adverse socioeconomic scores correlated with higher stress reports, lower self-efficacy, and higher cortisol levels. Due to the small sample, only two correlations were significant: low education of the mother and reports of both more stress and less selfefficacy in the child (Pearson correlation: 0.44 and-0.43, respectively (p-value = 0.01 for both correlations)). Although the sample was small, the findings clearly suggest a socioeconomic patterning of stress in Dutch 10 to 12 year olds. Adverse socioeconomic conditions, particularly related to the mother’s educational level, might predispose children to a heightened susceptibility to stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-197
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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