A new study by Catherine Panter-Brick, Raja Dajani, Kristen Hadfield, Stan van Uum, Michael Greff shows that a humanitarian program to improve the mental health of adolescents affected by the Syrian war has a biological benefit of decreasing levels of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress) by a third. “Our work demonstrates the utility in using stress biomarkers for tracking physiological changes in response to interventions over time. Through hair cortisol, we can examine the biological signature of past trauma, current insecurity, and stress-alleviating interventions,” said Catherine Panter-Brick, professor of anthropology, health, and global affairs at Yale University, and the study’s co-author and principal investigator. “We’ve shown that effective psychosocial interventions can have a physiological benefit, protecting the health and development of young people who live through war and forced displacement.”
Click here to see the article in Psychoneureoendocrinology.