CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
Traditional Approaches-Psychological: Research Article
Citation: Stowell, J. R., Kiecolt-Glazer, J. K., Glaser, R. (2001) Perceived Stress and Cellular Immunity: When Coping Counts. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2001.
cross-sectional study investigated whether active and avoidance coping
methods were differentially related to immune function depending on
stress level. Perceived stress and coping method were assessed in 173
healthy older adults and related to the number and percentage of CD3C,
CD4C, and CD8C T lymphocytes as well as the proliferative response of
peripheral blood leukocytes to phytohemagluttinin (PHA) and
concanavalin A (Con A). Both active and avoidance coping significantly
interacted with perceived stress on proliferative responses to both
mitogens. Higher levels of active coping were significantly related to
a more vigorous proliferative response to PHA and Con A, particularly
at high stress levels. At low stress levels, active coping was not
significantly related to proliferative responses, whereas avoidance
coping was significantly
associated with a greater proliferative response to Con A. These
results suggest that the relationships between certain coping methods
and immune function depend on perceived stress level.
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