Darlene Kertes’ research examines the role of life experiences and epigenetic processes on activity of a stress-sensitive neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system.
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Is the Pandemic Making Us Age More Quickly?
“Stress-sensitive hormones like cortisol perform a number of functions that are essential for life, and for normal maintenance and repair, which it does when stress levels are low,” says Darlene Kertes, PhD, an associate professor of developmental psychology and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Florida. These functions include helping to control blood pressure, immune functioning, inflammation, metabolism, and much else.
The Health Risks of Evening Stress
Experts are focusing their attention on cortisol and hormonal changes in the body. Cortisol is often referred to as a “stress hormone” because its levels rise during periods of duress or anxiety. Along with helping the body prepare to meet a potential threat, cortisol also plays a role in settling down inflammation, says Darlene Kertes, a stress specialist and associate professor of psychology at the University of Florida.
Alachua County School Board adopts mask order for all in schools
Dr. Darlene Kertes, a professor in developmental psychology at UF said, "I think that the key here is for the adults in the child's life to be having, to be giving clear and consistent messaging.
Pet dogs help kids feel less stressed
Darlene Kertes and colleagues tested the commonly held belief that pet dogs provide social support for kids using a randomized controlled study -- the gold standard in research.
Pet dogs help kids feel less stressed, study finds
UF News online
Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they’re stressed, according to a study by researchers from the University of Florida, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children. Darlene Kertes and colleagues tested the commonly held belief that pet dogs provide social support for kids using a randomized controlled study – the gold standard in research.
Racial and Economic Adversity Differences in Stress Markers and Immune Function among Urban AdolescentsNursing Research
Jodi L. Ford, et al.
Exposure to racism and associated adversities, such as poverty, are hypothesized to contribute to racial inequities in health via stress and immune pathways. Furthermore, the effects of adversity may be more salient during sensitive developmental periods. Our study examined racial differences in stress and immune biomarkers during adolescence and the effects of exposure to economic adversity at distinct developmental time periods, and cumulatively in accounting for potential racial differences.
Dehydroepiandrosterone at birth: Response to stress and relation to demographic, pregnancy and delivery factorsJ Neuroendocrinol
Hayley S. Kamin, et al.
Enhanced production of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) by the foetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis enables maturational events critical for labour induction and neonatal adaptation. Despite knowledge of the interconnected nature of maternal and foetal physiology and dramatic changes in DHEA production after birth, few studies have examined DHEA levels in newborns and none have examined DHEA's response to acute stress.
Associations between Maternal Psychosocial Stress, DNA Methylation, and Newborn Birth Weight Identified by Investigating Methylation at Individual, Regional, and Genome LevelsHuman Biology
Christopher J Clukay, et al.
Stress is known to affect health throughout life and into future generations, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that maternal psychosocial stress influences DNA methylation, which in turn impacts newborn health outcomes. Specifically, we analyzed DNAm at individual, regional and genome-wide levels to test for associations with maternal stress and newborn birth weight.
Putting a finger on the problem: Finger stick blood draw and immunization at the well-child exam elicit a cortisol response to stress among one-year-old childrenPsychoneuroendocrinology
Darlene A. Kertes, et al.
Research examining stress reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis in young children has historically been hampered by a lack of reliable methods to invoke a cortisol stress response. This report details an effective method of eliciting a cortisol rise in one-year-old children (N = 83) by modifying and combining two naturalistic stressors previously used with infants and children.
- Society for Research on Adolescence : Interdisciplinary Studies Committee Member