LGB familial support.

This article doesn’t exactly relate to my topic, but it deals with stress and social support for those in a minority group. I had some reservations about using this article, because negative social effects of being a vegan are hardly comparable to the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community. Once I read another one of my articles, I was able to find a connection between familial support that, while it is not quite the same, it can be compared as both groups can rejected by their families.

I found this interesting because it discovered that close, familial support meant more in reducing stress levels than peer support or overall satisfaction with the support.

This has slight implications in how social support for vegans might differ from non-vegans.


Burton, C. L., Bonanno, G. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2014). Familial social support predicts a reduced cortisol response to stress in sexual minority young adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 47(0), 241-245. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.05.013

Anxiety in Athletes Hindering Performance Levels

“While most athletes recognize that some nervous tension is normal and important to performance, athletes struggling with performance anxiety worry about losing control of their nerves, preventing them from performing well.” Since sporting events can cause anxiety in athletes causing someone to react both somatically and cognitively. I will be using sport psychologist, Jeff Greenwald’s, information on the problem of athletes dealing with their bodies’ physiological response to having the nerves. In other research conducted I have found the inverted-U theory to help understand performance when compared to anxiety and response thresholds.

Goldberg, Jamie

2010. The athlete’s anxiety: Marin sports psychologists tackle the treatable problem of performance-inhibiting nervousness. Electronic document, http://www.marinij.com/ci_15713859?source=pkg

Brief Mood Introspection Scale

I knew I wanted to use the BMIS, I just needed to know what it was exactly. The BMIS uses series of adjectives such as “happy” and “sad” to provide a better quantitative measure of overall mood that the PSS. I used this in my proposal to determine the overall moods of vegans and non-vegans.



Mayer, J. D., & Gaschke, Y. N. (1988). The experience and meta-experience of mood. Journal of personality and social psychology55(1), 102.

Vegans forever

A study from Medical Hypotheses found that a low-methionine diet can increase longevity, especially when coupled with a low calorie diet, which is also proven to slow the aging process. However, it can be kind of hard to limit the intake of a specific amino acid.

UNLESS you’re a vegan, in which case, it’s pretty much a breeze.

I found this article really interesting from a nutritional standpoint, and I plan to use it as background information on the health benefits of a vegan diet.

McCarty, M. F., Barroso-Aranda, J., & Contreras, F. (2009). The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasible as a life extension strategy. Medical Hypotheses, 72(2), 125-128.

Glowin’ Hormones

I used an excerpt from this book to learn about chemiluminescent assays for cortisol. It had easy to follow steps and some great pictures. Basically, serum samples are treated with certain proteins and enzymes that bind to cortisol and that cause it to break away from plasma proteins. Then an electrode is inserted into the sample and a charge is run through it. The brighter the chemiluminescence, the less cortisol is in the same


Nussey, S. S., & Whitehead, S. A. (2001). Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. United Kingdom: Bios Scientific Publ

100 ways to Measure Cortisol

OK, so it may be slightly less than 100 ways, but this article provides a wide variety of assays to measure cortisol levels. It also provides great background on the hormone itself. This article also tells how precise an assay could be, what the environmental impacts are, and most importantly, what everyone else is doing.

For my proposal, the differences in the measurement abilities of different tests are significant due to the fact that I’m measuring both salivary and serum cortisol levels.

Kirschbaum, C., & Hellhammer, D. H. (1994). Salivary cortisol in psychoneuroendocrine research: recent developments and applications.Psychoneuroendocrinology19(4), 313-333.

The Rosary and Decreased Anxiety

One study, by Anastasi and Newberg, was extremely relevant to my research interests because it dealt with the rosary and anxiety.  They hypothesized that recitation of the ritualized rosary would lower anxiety compared to simply being exposed to a religious video.  Although, their sample size was very small the results were promising and the rosary group reported decreased anxiety.  I thought that it was important that they were interested in the ritual of the rosary having the effect on the test subjects rather than other variables I had read about elsewhere.

Anastasi, M. W., & Newberg, A. B. (2008). A preliminary study of the acute effects of religious ritual on anxiety. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine14(2), 163-165.

PSS – everybody’s doing it

I noticed another blog post about the PSS, and I’m not surprised but it may be the greatest tool.

The perceived stress scale (PSS) has been shown to provide significant representation of stress individuals, while providing quantitative data to researchers. This is super useful in my proposal, as provides a more cultural perception of stress, rather than just a blood or saliva biomarker.


Cohen, Sheldon, Kamarck, Tom., Mermelstein, Robin. 1983 A Global Measure of Perceived Stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 24(4):385-396

Stress and Cortisol responses in Adults

Since salivary cortisol measurements are such an important part of my research proposal I tried to find multiple sources to get an idea of methodology.  This study used salivary cortisol to test the stress levels in students who had lost a parent and perceived their surviving parent to be more or less caring.  Those that had a parent they perceived as less caring had higher salivary cortisol levels after doing something stressful than those with a more caring parent.  I thought this study was interesting and maybe slightly helpful when designing my methods section.

Luecken, L. J. (2000). Parental caring and loss during childhood and adult cortisol responses to stress. Psychology and Health15(6), 841-851.

Galvanic Skin Response Information

I will be using galvanic skin response as part of my data collection for my research and found one article particularly helpful.  It detailed both methods and materials.  They were simply interested in testing whether they could detect stress through GSR but that is all I really need for my purposes as well so it was useful to me.  I would recommend this for someone interested in using GSR.

Villarejo, M. V., Zapirain, B. G., & Zorrilla, A. M. (2012). A stress sensor based on Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) controlled by ZigBee. Sensors12(5), 6075-6101.