MS Proposal by MacKenzie Hughes

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Monday March 30, 2020 - Tuesday March 31, 2020
      10:00 am - 11:59 am
  • Location: REMOTE
  • Phone:
  • URL: BlueJeans Link
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:
No contact information submitted.

Summary Sentence: Exposure and Physiological Reactivity to Daily Stressors: The Role of Perceived Stress, Perceived Stress Reactivity, Age, and Cognitive Ability

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Name: MacKenzie Hughes

Master’s Thesis Proposal Meeting
Date: Monday, March 30th

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Location: (Meeting ID: 229 658 327)


Advisor: Chris Hertzog, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Thesis Committee members:

Chris Hertzog, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Scott Moffat, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Shevaun Neupert, Ph.D. (NC State)


Title: Exposure and Physiological Reactivity to Daily Stressors: The Role of Perceived Stress, Perceived Stress Reactivity, Age, and Cognitive Ability



The daily stress process includes exposure to stressful events or situations as they occur in everyday life, such as work deadlines or arguments with a spouse. Exposure to stressors can elicit stressor reactivity, activating specific physiological systems sensitive to stress, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (secreting a hormone called cortisol) and the sympathetic-adrenal medullary system (secreting an oral cavity enzyme called alpha-amylase). Identifying vulnerability and resilience factors related to the daily stress process is particularly important, as elevated physiological arousal has been linked to increased risk of disease (McEwen, 1998). This study will examine individual differences variables, including perceived life stress, perceived stress reactivity, age, and cognitive ability, that could act as vulnerability or resilience factors in the daily stress process by moderating the relationship between stressor exposure and diurnal cortisol and alpha-amylase profiles. The study is a secondary data analysis of ecological momentary assessment data on stress-related experiences and physiological reactivity from adult participants (N = 163) aged 20–80 years old (M = 51.8 years). Participants provided seven saliva samples per day for 10 consecutive days while completing five stress-related surveys per day. Multilevel modeling will be used to examine between- and within-person fluctuations in stressor exposure and physiological reactivity across the 10-day period. The goal of the current study is to better understand for whom physiological reactivity to stressor exposure is buffered versus exacerbated and whether these effects are demonstrated at the between- and/or within-person levels of analysis.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
MS Proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 23, 2020 - 3:42pm
  • Last Updated: Mar 23, 2020 - 3:42pm