Multiple time courses of salivary alpha-amylase and dimensions of affect in adolescence

Leah Doane, Scott A. Van Lenten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previous research has illustrated associations among daily experiences, emotions and stress-responding physiological systems. Recently, investigators have examined salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), a surrogate marker of the autonomic nervous system, and its associations with affect. The current study examined associations among affective valence, arousal and sAA across three different time courses at the momentary, daily and inter-individual level to understand varying influences of adolescents' daily emotional experiences on sAA reactivity and diurnal sAA activity. Adolescents (N = 82) provided salivary samples and diary reports of affect and experiences five times a day for three consecutive days. They also completed self-report questionnaires on trait affect. Findings from multilevel growth curves demonstrated that adolescents in our sample displayed typical sAA diurnal rhythms with levels dropping 30. min after waking and then increasing across the day to a peak in the late afternoon. Within person momentary experiences of high arousal positive affect were associated with momentary sAA reactivity. Prior day experiences of high arousal negative affect were associated with a greater amylase awakening response (i.e., greater decrease) and flatter slopes the next day. Trait positive affect was also associated with flatter sAA slopes. Our findings suggest that both affective arousal and valence should be accounted for when examining differences in sAA reactivity and diurnal patterns. Further, our results indicated that emotion-physiology transactions among adolescents occur over varying time scales for salivary alpha-amylase as well as cortisol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Adolescence
  • Arousal
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect
  • Salivary alpha-amylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple time courses of salivary alpha-amylase and dimensions of affect in adolescence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this