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April 1958

Relation of Emotional Responses and Changes in Plasma Hydrocortisone Level After Stressful Interview

Author Affiliations

Chicago

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(4):434-447. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340040078009
Abstract

Various natural and experimental situations generally considered to be psychologically stressful are capable of influencing the activity of the adrenal cortex. Auto racing,1 competitive rowing,2 paratroop training,3 anticipation of surgery,4 and college examinations5 produce a significant diminution in the blood eosinophil level, and experimental frustration raises the urinary uric acid-creatinine ratio.6 Following the introduction of more direct estimates of adrenocortical activity by measurements of plasma hydrocortisone level and urinary hydroxycorticosteroid excretion, participation in an accident, taking a college examination,7 being admitted to a mental hospital during acute emotional disturbance,8 and taking part in a stressful psychiatric interview9,10 have also been shown to increase adrenocortical functioning. It is generally taken for granted that these are all situations that most people find difficult and trying, and that some find very disturbing. Yet it is well known that there are many individual responses to

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