Journal article

Associations between social adversity and young children?s hair cortisol: A systematic review

Hannah E Bryson, Anna Mh Price, Sharon Goldfeld, Fiona Mensah



Psychosocial and socioeconomic adversity in early childhood (termed 'social adversity') can have lifelong detrimental effects on health and development. Physiological stress is one proposed mechanism by which social adversity 'gets under the skin'. There is substantial research interest in whether hair cortisol, a biomarker proposed to measure the cumulative physiological stress response over time, can illustrate this mechanism. As a result, a growing number of studies have tested for associations between indicators of social adversity and child hair cortisol. The aim of this paper is to conduct a comprehensive, systematic review of the evidence for associations between indicators of social ..

View full abstract


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

Awarded by NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship

Awarded by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This review was undertaken as part of the "right@home" sustained nurse home visiting trial. The "right@home" trial is a research collaboration between the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY); the Translational Research and Social Innovation (TReSI) Group at Western Sydney University; and the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH), which is a department of The Royal Children's Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Children's Research Institute. "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 and FM by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship 1111160. The funding bodies had no involvement in the collection, analysis or decision to submit this article for publication.