Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
1-s2.0-S0306453023000835-main.pdf (678.3 kB)

Daily stress and eating behaviors in adolescents and young adults: investigating the role of cortisol reactivity and eating styles

Download (678.3 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-05, 13:41 authored by Deborah Hill, Mark Conner, Matt Bristow, Daryl B O’Connor
Stress-related eating has been well documented in previous literature. However, there is limited research investigating the role of cortisol reactivity in daily stress-eating associations in samples of adolescents and young adults. 123 participants completed a baseline questionnaire and the Trier Social Stress Test in groups. Four saliva samples were taken at − 10, + 00, + 10 and + 40 min during the stress-induction task. Following this, participants completed an online daily diary each evening for 14 consecutive days to record daily stress and between-meal snack consumption. Multilevel modelling indicated that daily stress was positively associated with daily snack intake, particularly for ego-threatening and work/academic stressors. Emotional and external eating styles were found to moderate the stress-snacking relationship. Cortisol reactivity also moderated stress-eating associations, such that as cortisol reactivity levels increased from lower to higher levels, the impact of stress on eating decreased. The current findings highlight the importance of cortisol reactivity status and eating styles in understanding the complex relationship between daily stress and eating behavior in adolescents and young adults. Future research should continue investigating stress-eating associations in these groups and explore the role of other aspects of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning.



  • Yes



Publication title





Elsevier BV



File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Item sub-type

Journal Article

Media of output


Affiliated with

  • School of Psychology and Sport Science Outputs