Journal article

Hair cortisol in mother-child dyads: examining the roles of maternal parenting and stress in the context of early childhood adversity

Hannah Elise Bryson, Fiona Mensah, Sharon Goldfeld, Anna MH Price, Rebecca Giallo



Physiological stress is thought to be one way that early adversity may impact children's health. How this occurs may be related to parental factors such as mothers' own stress and parenting behaviour. Hair cortisol offers a novel method for examining long-term physiological stress in mother-child dyads. The current study used hair cortisol to examine the role that maternal physiological stress and parenting behaviours play in explaining any effects of adversity on young children's physiological stress. This cross-sectional study comprised 603 mother-child dyads at child age 2 years, recruited during pregnancy for their experience of adversity through an Australian nurse home visiting trial. ..

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

"right@home" is funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, the Ian Potter Foundation, Sabemo Trust, Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, Project Grant 1079418). Research at the MCRI is supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. HB is supported by an MCRI Research Group Scholarship and an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. SG is supported by NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship 1155290, FM by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship 1111160 and RG by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship 1109889. The funding sources had no involvement in the collection, analysis or decision to submit this article for publication.