Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Immun. 2016 Feb;52:27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.10.011. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Trait reflection predicts interleukin-6 response to a social-evaluative stressor.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Ohio University, United States.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, United States.
Department of Psychology, Ohio University, United States. Electronic address:


Past work has linked negative repetitive thought (worry, rumination) about stressors to sustained stress responses. Less is known about the effects of neutral types of repetitive thought (e.g., reflection) on physiological stress responses. The present study examined whether greater trait reflection was associated with a lower inflammatory response to an acute psychosocial stressor. Thirty-four healthy undergraduate women completed a speech stressor, and plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels were assessed before and after the stressor. Higher levels of reflection predicted lower IL-6 responses 1h after the stressor. Stressor appraisal was not a significant mediator. These preliminary findings stand in contrast to existing evidence that other forms of repetitive thought like worry and rumination may exacerbate or prolong the inflammatory stress response and indicate that reflection is a notable factor worth considering when examining the relationship between stress, inflammation, and health.


Acute stress; Cytokines; Inflammation; Interleukin-6; Perseverative cognition; Psychological Stress; Reflection; Repetitive thought; Rumination

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center