- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Advances in Simulation and Digital Human Modeling. AHFE 2020
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Abstract Social-evaluative stressors—experiences in which people feel they could be judged negatively—pose a major threat to adolescent mental health 1–3 and can cause young people to disengage from stressful pursuits, resulting in missed opportunities to acquire valuable skills. Here we show that replicable benefits for the stress responses of adolescents can be achieved with a short (around 30-min), scalable 'synergistic mindsets' intervention. This intervention, which is a self-administered online training module, synergistically targets both growth mindsets 4 (the idea that intelligence can be developed) and stress-can-be-enhancing mindsets 5 (the idea that one’s physiological stress response can fuel optimal performance). In six double-blind, randomized, controlled experiments that were conducted with secondary and post-secondary students in the United States, the synergistic mindsets intervention improved stress-related cognitions (study 1, n = 2,717; study 2, n = 755), cardiovascular reactivity (study 3, n = 160; study 4, n = 200), daily cortisol levels (study 5, n = 118 students, n = 1,213 observations), psychological well-being (studies 4 and 5), academic success (study 5) and anxiety symptoms during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns (study 6, n = 341). Heterogeneity analyses (studies 3, 5 and 6) and a four-cell experiment (study 4) showed that the benefits of the intervention depended on addressing both mindsets—growth andmore »
Objectives: Though previous research has indicated that language brokering can be stressful, the findings are mixed, pointing to potential moderators of the association. Guided by an ecological perspective, we examined the role of individual, family, and environmental factors in Mexican American adolescents’ acute cortisol responses to language brokering. Method: The study consisted of 46 Mexican American adolescents recruited around a metropolitan city in Central Texas. Participants translated a difficult medical document from English to Spanish for their parents, followed by an arithmetic task (modeled after the Trier Social Stress Test [TSST]). Participants’ perceptions (perceived efficacy and parental dependence), parental hostility, and discrimination experiences were assessed via self-report and were examined as moderators of adolescents’ responses to the task. Results: Results revealed differential responses to the task based on individual, family, and environmental factors. High efficacy and low dependence−parental hostility−discrimination related to stress responses characterized by low baselines, steeper reactivity, and faster recovery. Low efficacy and high dependence related to greater baseline stress and a slower recovery. High levels of parental hostility related to a slower recovery. High levels of discrimination related to greater baseline stress. Conclusions: The study demonstrates that the modified TSST task can elicit an acute hypothalamic−pituitary−adrenal axismore »
Cortisol, a key product of the stress response, has critical influences on degenerative aging in humans. In turn, cortisol production is affected by senescence of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to progressive dysregulation and increased cortisol exposure. These processes have been studied extensively in industrialized settings, but few comparative data are available from humans and closely related species living in natural environments, where stressors are very different. Here, we examine age-related changes in urinary cortisol in a 20-y longitudinal study of wild chimpanzees (
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Social robots hold the potential to be an effective and appropriate technology in reducing stress and improving the mental health of adolescents. In order to understand the effect of adolescent-to-robot disclosure on momentary stress, we conducted an exploratory, mixed-methods study with sixty-nine US adolescents (ages 14–21) in school settings. We compared a generic, minimalist robot interaction among three different robot embodiments: physical, digital computer screen, and immersive, virtual reality. We found participants’ momentary stress levels significantly decreased across multiple interactions over time. The physical and virtual reality embodiments were most effective for stress reduction. In addition, our qualitative findings provide unique insights into the types of stressors adolescents shared with the social robots as well as their experiences with the different interaction embodiments.
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