The field of health psychology has exploded in the last decade due to progress identifying physiological mechanisms by which psychological, social, and behavioral factors can put people's health and well-being at risk. The Handbook of Physiological Research Methods in Health Psychology provides thorough, state-of-the-art, and user-friendly coverage of basic techniques for measurement of physiological variables in health psychology research. It is designed to serve as a primary reference source for researchers and students interested in expanding their research to consider a biopsychosocial approach. Chapters addressing key physiological measures have been written by international experts with an eye towards documenting essential information that must be considered in order to accurately and reliably measure biological samples. The book is not intended to be a lab manual of specific biomedical techniques, nor is it intended to provide extensive physiological or anatomical information. Rather, it takes the approach most useful for a non-specialist who seeks guidance on how and when to collect biological measures but who will have the actual samples assayed elsewhere. The Handbook can be thought of as a primer or a gateway book for researchers new to the area of physiological measurement and for readers who would like to better understand the meaning of physiological measures they encounter in research reports.

Assessment of Salivary α-Amylase in Biobehavioral Research

Assessment of salivary α-amylase in biobehavioral research
Douglas A.GrangerKatie T.KivlighanMonaEl-SheikhElana B.GordisLaura R.Stroud

Salivary α-amylase (sAA) emerged as a surrogate marker of the sympathetic nervous system component of the stress response in the late 1980s. Surprisingly, it has (with a few noted exceptions) only rarely been employed in mainstream biobehavioral research. Recent technical advances have increased accessibility, and several new studies have generated renewed interest in sAA as a measure of individual differences in stress vulnerability (Granger et al., 2006, 2007). In this chapter, we provide an introduction to sAA for behavioral scientists. We review its properties and basic functions and present illustrative findings. We provide practical information to enable investigators to collect, handle, prepare, and store samples for assay. We ...

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