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Social Relationships, Daily Social Interactions, and Inflammation

Bajaj, Amoha (2015) Social Relationships, Daily Social Interactions, and Inflammation. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Social integration (SI) and perceived social support (SS) are associated with reduction in premature mortality, while poor marital quality (MQ), and social conflict (SC) are associated with negative health outcomes. Systemic inflammation has been proposed as a mechanism accounting for these associations. However, the literature exploring the association between aspects of social relationships and inflammation has yielded inconsistent findings. The extent to which daily social interactions may play a role in the association of SI, SS, MQ, and SC with inflammatory markers in humans is currently unknown. The literature also shows stronger evidence for links between inflammation and SC, than between inflammation and positive relationship features, although these two sets of associations have rarely been compared in the context of a single study. Using ecological momentary assessment of social measures, this project aims to examine the relationship between daily social interaction characteristics and inflammatory markers, CRP and IL-6, and to compare negative interactions with positive interactions in their association with inflammatory biomarkers, in a sample of 494 men and women, using a cross-sectional design. This results of this study show no significant associations between global measures of social integration, social support, and marital quality, and either inflammatory biomarker. There was also no association found between the frequency of social interactions and the proportion of negative social interactions with inflammatory biomarkers. However, in this sample, the proportion of positive interactions was positively associated with CRP level. Additional exploratory analyses were conducted to test the robustness of this finding and it was found that this association existed in married individuals, females, and particularly, married females, suggesting that this finding may not be robust and should be interpreted with caution. And lastly, in a subsample of married individuals, there was no association found between the frequency and quality of marital interactions and either inflammatory marker.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bajaj, Amohaamb311@pitt.eduAMB311
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKamarck, Thomas W. tkam@pitt.eduTKAM
Committee MemberMarsland , Anna L.marsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Committee MemberCohen,
Date: 4 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 November 2014
Approval Date: 4 June 2015
Submission Date: 5 February 2015
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social support, social integration, marital quality, social interactions, ecological momentary assessment, inflammation, C-reactive protein, Interleukin-6
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 17:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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