Galván monitors the level of stress in her study participants four times per day. When an individual records high or low levels of stress, he or she immediately comes to the lab for evaluation.
Data suggest that the greatest sources of stress for teens are parents, while for adults stress tends to come from work or schoolwork.
There are also differences based on the time of day. While adults are most stressed in the morning, teens are most stressed in the early evening. Data also suggest that teens show greater cognitive impairment when stressed than adults.
Once the individuals come to the lab, their levels of cortisol are evaluated. Galván explained, "We expect diurnal patterns of cortisol release to differ between adults and adolescents and that this distinction will correlate with levels of stress. Previous work has shown that, under identical stress conditions, teens show greater cortisol release than adults."Full Text via NSF and LiveScience