Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Immun. 2009 Oct;23(7):898-904. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2008.09.016. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Attachment avoidance predicts inflammatory responses to marital conflict.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University 43210, USA. gouin.1@osu.edu

Abstract

Marital stress has been associated with immune dysregulation, including increased production of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Attachment style, one's expectations about the availability and responsiveness of others in intimate relationships, appears to influence physiological stress reactivity and thus could influence inflammatory responses to marital conflict. Thirty-five couples were invited for two 24-h admissions to a hospital research unit. The first visit included a structured social support interaction, while the second visit comprised the discussion of a marital disagreement. A mixed effect within-subject repeated measure model indicated that attachment avoidance significantly influenced IL-6 production during the conflict visit but not during the social support visit. Individuals with higher attachment avoidance had on average an 11% increase in total IL-6 production during the conflict visit as compared to the social support visit, while individuals with lower attachment avoidance had, on average, a 6% decrease in IL-6 production during the conflict visit as compared to the social support visit. Furthermore, greater attachment avoidance was associated with a higher frequency of negative behaviors and a lower frequency of positive behaviors during the marital interaction, providing a mechanism by which attachment avoidance may influence inflammatory responses to marital conflict. In sum, these results suggest that attachment avoidance modulates marital behavior and stress-induced immune dysregulation.

PMID:
18952163
PMCID:
PMC2771542
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbi.2008.09.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center