Physiological reactivity to cognitive stressors: Variations by age and socioeconomic status

Shevaun D. Neupert, Lisa M. Soederberg Miller, Margie E. Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The present study focused on age and SES differences in stress reactivity in response to cognitively challenging tasks. Specifically, we assessed within-person trajectories of cortisol, a steroid hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stressors, before, during, and after exposure to cognitively challenging tasks. We extend the current literature by simultaneously examining age and SES differences in physiological reactivity. Findings suggest that age and SES both play an important role in reactivity, such that it was the older adults with higher SES who were the most physiologically reactive to cognitive stressors. Implications of these findings for cognitive aging research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 20 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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