Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


hydrocortisone, coilic, health and hygiene of infants


Colic is a diagnosis of exclusion given to healthy normal infants who cry excessively. Literature review reveals that colic has been blamed by a variety of causes, none of which has been proven. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal cortex. Cortisol is produced by the body according to circadian pattern as well as in response to arousing or potentially stressful events. Cortisol has been associated with infant cry behavior. This study explores the relationship between the symptoms of colic and the hormone cortisol.
A sample of fifty-seven infants at eight weeks of age was studied for comparisons of colic infants and noncolic infants, combined samples at two different sites. Behavioral information and salivary cortisol levels were obtained and reported using descriptive statistics. A hypothesis and research questions were formulated and tested using inferential statistics.
Salivary cortisol levels were obtained on noncolic and colic infants at four time points across the day. Upon analysis of this data, a significant difference was found on the mid PM time point revealing that colic infants had a lower salivary cortisol level at this time of the day then noncolic infants. Descriptive data was also collected on the noncolic and colic infants. Colic infants were found to cry more, sleep less, and spend less time awake and calm. Parents of colic infants also spent more time using comfort measures for their infants than parents of noncolic infants.
The following pages contain the problem and objective of the study, review of the literature, explanation of the methodology, and an analysis of the findings. Conclusions of the study provide a summary of the findings, implications for the health care provider, and recommendations for further research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Infants -- Health and hygiene



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1999 Alisa Hogue. All rights reserved