Introduction: Adolescents suffer from various forms of psychosocial, behavioral, mental and emotional problems. The relationship between salivary cortisol levels and the risk of behavioral-psychosocial-emotional disorders in adolescents is still controversial. To analyze the relationship between salivary cortisol levels and the risk of behavioral-psychosocial-emotional disorders in adolescents aged 12-16 years using PSC-17.
Methods: An observational analysis with a cross-sectional research design and simple random sampling was conducted from November 2022 - March 2023. Adolescents aged 12-16 years filled out biodata, characteristics and PSC-17 questionnaires. Salivary cortisol levels were measured by the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Data analysis with univariate and multivariate tests.
Results: Of 170 adolescents, 53 (31.2%) were at risk of behavioral-psychosocial-emotional disorders with PSC-17 total score ≥15, consisting of risk of internalizing disorders at 73 (42.9%) adolescents, risk of externalizing disorders at 14 ( 8.2%), risk of attention disorder at 23 (13.5%) adolescents. The majority of adolescents who have normal salivary cortisol levels are 117 (68.8%) adolescents, and salivary cortisol levels are abnormal (high) in 53 (31.2%) adolescents. Salivary cortisol levels were associated with adolescents' risk of behavioral-psychosocial-emotional disorders (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Salivary cortisol levels are associated with the risk of behavioral-psychosocial-emotional disorders in adolescents. Likewise, salivary cortisol levels are related to the risk of internalizing disorders, the risk of externalizing disorders, and the risk of attention disorders in adolescents.