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Table 5 Summary of articles describing sex differences in miscellaneous stress tests

From: Is HPA axis reactivity in childhood gender-specific? A systematic review

  Author (year) Sample size Age Study protocol Sampling points Sampling medium Results
0–1 year old Davis (1995) 36 30.99 ± 8.09 h Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale 5×, 1 before, 4 after test Saliva Higher reactivity in boys
Eiden (2015) 217 9 months Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery 4×, 1 before, 3 after test Saliva Cortisol increase in boys, not in girls
Grunau (2010) 32 4.2 ± 1.0 months Cortisol response after vaccination 3×, 1 before, 2 after Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
1–7 years old De Weerth (2013) 42 68.0 ± 4.3 months CREST paradigm 6× (2 before, 4 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Gunnar (2010) 151 3.81 ± 0.23 years Daycare attendance 2×/day on 2 days Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Hatzinger (2007) 102 4.91 ± 0.44 years MSSB 5× (2 before, 3 after) Saliva Higher reactivity in girls
Kryski (2013) 409 40.72 ± 3.51 months Matching task 6× (1 before, 5 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Mills (2008) 214 4.14 ± 0.24 years Easy and difficult matching tasks 6×, 1 before, 5 after Saliva Further decreases in boys after initial decrease for both sexes
Plusquellec (2011) 376 18.85 ± 0.74 months Two unfamiliar situations (clown and robot) 2×, 1 before, 1 after Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Spinrad (2009) 84 54.07 ± 0.97 months Preschool Laboratory Assessment Battery 3×, 1 before, 2 after Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Yong Ping (2014) 94 29.9 ± 1.1 months Maternal separation 4× (2 before, 2 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
≥7 years old Psychological stress Daughters (2013) 132 16.1 ± 1.0 years Behavioral Indicator of Resiliency to Distress 4×, 1 before, 3 after Saliva Boys: higher baseline, greater peak. No sex differences in AUCg
Hackman (2012) 180 12–14 years Parent–adolescent conflict discussion 3× (2 before, 1 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Minkley (2012) 93 17.86 ± 0.096 years Examination challenge (reproduction of knowledge or transfer and problem-solving) 2×, 1 before, 1 after Saliva Not statistically significant, but higher increases in boys. More in reproduction of knowledge group, but also greater in transfer and problem-solving group
Zijlmans (2013) 52 12.5 ± 1.21 years Social Evaluative Stress Test 7×, 1 before, 6 after Saliva Higher reactivity in boys
Physical stress Allen (2009) 235 12.7 ± 2.9 years Laboratory Pain Tasks Saliva: 3×, 1 before, 2 after Saliva/blood No sex differences; pubertal status not associated with reactivity
Blood: 2× (after)
Chiodo (2011) 16 Boys: 14 ± 0 years; girls: 13 ± 1 years Taekwondo competition 5× (2 before, 3 after) Saliva Lower overall values in girls, but higher peak.
Covelli (2012) 106 15.3 ± 1.1 years Cold water hand immersion 2×, 1 before, 1 after Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Frias (2000) 48 13–17 years Acute alcohol intoxication 1× (after); controls as reference Blood More pronounced increase in girls
Gecgelen (2012) 40 10.9–14.7 years Rapid maxillary expansion 13×, 1 before, 3 after, and 9 during a period of treatment Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Khilnani (1993) 98 2–20 years Elective surgery 2×, 1 before, 1 after Blood No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Kuhlman (2015) 121 12.8 ± 2.3 years Socially evaluated cold pressor test 7× (2 before, 5 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Lopez-Duran (2015) 115 12.79 ± 2.26 years Socially evaluated cold pressor test 8× (2 before, 6 after) Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Stupnicki (1995) 29 Boys: 17.3 ± 0.8; girls: 16.4 ± 0.6 years Exercise 2×, 1 before, 1 after Blood Boys decrease in cortisol; girls increase in cortisol after exercise
Yfanti (2014) 97 89.73 ± 15 months Dental treatment 5×, 1 before, 4 after Saliva No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed