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NYU Abu Dhabi researchers use hair cortisol test to measure stress levels of families during COVID-19

Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in collaboration with Global TIES for Children and researchers at University of California Davis (Paul Hastings and Lindsey Partington) as well as Hashemite University in Jordan (Rana Dajani), have used a hair cortisol test to detectthe impact of COVID-19 on stress levels in families.

Titled Adrenocortical and psychosocial responses of families in Jordan to the COVID-19 pandemic, the paperused samples from cortisol tests of mothers and children taken in 2019 for a previous study, and compared them with cortisol tests conducted in June 2020. The research found that negative changes to family life predicted greater hair cortisol concentration for children, reflecting their cumulative stress experienced over the first three months of the pandemic.