Title

Activity Engagement and Neuroendocrine Function: Testing a Needs-Based Model of Resilience

Start Time

22-10-2011 2:00 PM

End Time

22-10-2011 2:30 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: Demonstrations of the link between occupation and health are essential for situating engagement in a balance of daily occupations as a critical component to thriving as human beings (Christiansen, 2007, Segerson, 2010). The intention of this study was to determine if there was a clear association between regular engagement in personally satisfying goal-directed activities (personal projects), lifestyle, and neuroendocrine responses.

Method: A convenience sample of 30 female volunteers (mean age of 27.9) completed a series of questionnaires, including the perceived stress scale (PSS), satisfaction with life scale (SWLS), personality inventory (TIPI), and basic needs satisfaction inventory (BNSI). Subjects also completed demographic forms, health information (including blood pressure and body mass index) and provided saliva samples that were analyzed for cortisol, DHEAS, estradiol, and progesterone levels (Green, Elliman, Kretsch, 2005). Additionally, the Personal Projects Pursuit (PPP) was administered, where subjects identify current goal-directed projects and rate those projects on key dimensions (Little, Salmela-Aro, Phillips, 2007).

Results: Demographics demonstrate that the sample population was healthy and displayed a normally distributed range for subjective well being on the SWLS, BNSI, BMI, morning and afternoon cortisol levels, DHEAS, estradiol, progesterone, and PG/E2 ratios, but had slightly higher perceived stress ratings. TIPI scales indicate that the population was primarily extroverted, agreeable and conscientious. On the PPP, participants indicated a typical distribution of project categories with the highest in work/academic (30% combined) and health (18%). The PPP categories were correlated strongly with other psychological measures and with the neuroendocrine data, including the PSS, SWLS and BNSI. Initial results indicate that engagement and lifestyle are significantly and positively significantly correlated with cortisol am & pm baselines, DHEAS, progesterone, and negatively correlated to the ratio of PG to E2, SWLS and BNSI. Participants were divided into 3 groups for further analysis. Those in the overweight group demonstrated significantly higher levels of cortisol, DHEAS, estradiol, progesterone, and significantly lower ratio of PG/E2, SWLS and BNSN. The correlations demonstrate that those who were overweight showed significantly fewer interpersonal and leisure projects and significantly more work and/or academic projects, while showing the same number of health projects as those in the lower weight or normal weight groups. This confirms findings from others indicative of relationships between lifestyle balance, activity levels, and nutrition. These data are not merely indications of statistical differences but are practically relevant and provide support for the notion that engagement in endeavors of daily life contribute to well-being.

Author’s objectives for the discussion period:

  1. Discuss the potency of physiological measures to establish connections between engagement and occupation.
  2. Gather observations about how to use data linking occupation and health to encourage public health initiatives to prevent or reduce stress-related illness.
  3. Promote discussion regarding the utility of a questionnaire, such as the PPP, to be utilized as an indicator of health

References

Christiansen, C., & Matuska, K. (2006). Lifestyle Balance: A review of concepts and research. Journal of Occupational Science, 13(1), 49-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2006.9686570

Green, M. W., Elliman, N. A., Kretsch, M. J. (2005). Weight loss strategies, stress, and cognitive function: Supervised versus unsupervised dieting. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30, 908-918. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2005.05.005

Little, B.R., Salmela-Aro, K. & Phillips, S. D. (2007). Personal project pursuit: goals, action and human flourishing. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Matuska, K. & Christiansen, C. H. (2009). Life Balance: Multidisciplinary theories and research. Thorofare, NJ: Slack.

Segerson, S. C. (2010) Resources stress and immunity: An ecological perspective on human psychoneuroimmunology. Annuals of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 114-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12160-010-9195-3

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Research paper

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Oct 22nd, 2:00 PM Oct 22nd, 2:30 PM

Activity Engagement and Neuroendocrine Function: Testing a Needs-Based Model of Resilience

Purpose: Demonstrations of the link between occupation and health are essential for situating engagement in a balance of daily occupations as a critical component to thriving as human beings (Christiansen, 2007, Segerson, 2010). The intention of this study was to determine if there was a clear association between regular engagement in personally satisfying goal-directed activities (personal projects), lifestyle, and neuroendocrine responses.

Method: A convenience sample of 30 female volunteers (mean age of 27.9) completed a series of questionnaires, including the perceived stress scale (PSS), satisfaction with life scale (SWLS), personality inventory (TIPI), and basic needs satisfaction inventory (BNSI). Subjects also completed demographic forms, health information (including blood pressure and body mass index) and provided saliva samples that were analyzed for cortisol, DHEAS, estradiol, and progesterone levels (Green, Elliman, Kretsch, 2005). Additionally, the Personal Projects Pursuit (PPP) was administered, where subjects identify current goal-directed projects and rate those projects on key dimensions (Little, Salmela-Aro, Phillips, 2007).

Results: Demographics demonstrate that the sample population was healthy and displayed a normally distributed range for subjective well being on the SWLS, BNSI, BMI, morning and afternoon cortisol levels, DHEAS, estradiol, progesterone, and PG/E2 ratios, but had slightly higher perceived stress ratings. TIPI scales indicate that the population was primarily extroverted, agreeable and conscientious. On the PPP, participants indicated a typical distribution of project categories with the highest in work/academic (30% combined) and health (18%). The PPP categories were correlated strongly with other psychological measures and with the neuroendocrine data, including the PSS, SWLS and BNSI. Initial results indicate that engagement and lifestyle are significantly and positively significantly correlated with cortisol am & pm baselines, DHEAS, progesterone, and negatively correlated to the ratio of PG to E2, SWLS and BNSI. Participants were divided into 3 groups for further analysis. Those in the overweight group demonstrated significantly higher levels of cortisol, DHEAS, estradiol, progesterone, and significantly lower ratio of PG/E2, SWLS and BNSN. The correlations demonstrate that those who were overweight showed significantly fewer interpersonal and leisure projects and significantly more work and/or academic projects, while showing the same number of health projects as those in the lower weight or normal weight groups. This confirms findings from others indicative of relationships between lifestyle balance, activity levels, and nutrition. These data are not merely indications of statistical differences but are practically relevant and provide support for the notion that engagement in endeavors of daily life contribute to well-being.

Author’s objectives for the discussion period:

  1. Discuss the potency of physiological measures to establish connections between engagement and occupation.
  2. Gather observations about how to use data linking occupation and health to encourage public health initiatives to prevent or reduce stress-related illness.
  3. Promote discussion regarding the utility of a questionnaire, such as the PPP, to be utilized as an indicator of health