The Relations of Preschoolers' Cortisol Pattern at Home to Tendency of Internalizing Behavior

유아의 가정에서의 코티솔 패턴과 내면화 행동성향 간의 관계

  • Lee, Young (Department of Child and Family Studies, Yonsei University) ;
  • Shin, Yee-Jin (Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine) ;
  • Chung, Jee-Nha (Human Psychology Research Institute, Yonsei University) ;
  • Min, Sung-Hye (Department of Child Welfare, Namseoul University) ;
  • Min, Hyun-Suk (Department of Child and Family Studies, Yonsei University) ;
  • Lee, Kyung-Sook (Department of Rehabilitation, Hanshin University)
  • 이영 (연세대학교 아동.가족학과) ;
  • 신의진 (연세대학교 의과대학 정신의학교실) ;
  • 정지나 (연세대학교 생활과학연구소) ;
  • 민성혜 (남서울대학교 아동복지학과) ;
  • 민현숙 (연세대학교 아동.가족학과) ;
  • 이경숙 (한신대학교 재활학과)
  • Published : 2007.11.30


The purposes of this study were to look at the patterns of Korean preschoolers' cortisol levels at home and to examine the relations of cortisol pattern to the preschooler's internalizing behavioral tendency with focused on behavioral inhibition and internalizing problematic behavior. The subjects of the study were forty 4-year old preschoolers(27 boys and 13 girls). Saliva was collected at home during the weekends, and cortisol was analyzed by Radioimmunoassay procedure. "Strange Peer Situation Experiment" developed by Rubin, Coplan, Fox and Calkins(1995) and revised by Rubin, Burgess and Hastings(2002) was used to measure the preschooler's behavior inhibition. Problematic behavior was measured through a "Korean Children's Behavior Checklist" (Oh, K. J., Lee, H. R., Hong, K. E., & Ha, E. H., 1997). The results were as follows: First, on average for a 4-year old, the level of cortisol was 0.22 in the morning, and 0.14 in the afternoon. There was a pattern that cortisol levels had declined in the afternoon. There was no difference in cortisol levels between genders. Secondly, there was a tendency that children of higher inhibition level at the lab showed the higher cortisol levels in the morning. However, this difference was not statistically significant. Thirdly, the higher the cortisol levels at home, the more showed internalizing behavior. Externalizing behavior was not correlated with the cortisol levels. It was concluded that cortisol may be related to children's internalizing behavior tendency.


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