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Ann Behav Med. 2015 Apr;49(2):230-8. doi: 10.1007/s12160-014-9650-7.

Social integration prospectively predicts changes in heart rate variability among individuals undergoing migration stress.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, PY 170-14, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada, jp.gouin@concordia.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Poor social integration increases risk for poor health. The psychobiological pathways underlying this effect are not well-understood.

PURPOSE:

This study utilized a migration stress model to prospectively investigate the impact of social integration on change in high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), a marker of autonomic functioning.

METHODS:

Sixty new international students were recruited shortly after their arrival in the host country and assessed 2 and 5 months later. At each assessment period, participants provided information on social integration and loneliness and had their resting HF-HRV evaluated.

RESULTS:

There was an overall decrease in HF-HRV over time. The magnitude of the within-person and between-person effects of social integration on HRV increased over time, such that greater social integration was associated with higher HF-HRV at later follow-ups.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that altered autonomic functioning might represent a key pathway linking social integration to health outcomes.

PMID:
25212509
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-014-9650-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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