Endocrine effects of examination stress.
Semple CG., Gray CE., Borland W., Espie CA., Beastall GH.
1. We have studied endocrine function in nine healthy young men 16 weeks before and immediately after Final degree examinations. Factors other than psychological stress which might have affected hormone levels were excluded. 2. The presence of psychological stress at the time of examinations was confirmed by finding increased values for two self-rating anxiety scales. 3. Urine metadrenaline excretion was increased in all subjects at the time of examination. Serum and early morning urine cortisol as well as pituitary-testicular and pituitary-thyroid function and prolactin levels were unaffected by examination stress. 4. This study questions the popular belief that psychological stress stimulates prolactin secretion and suppresses pituitary-testicular function.