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Physiol Behav. 1993 Mar;53(3):449-57.

Negative affect, absorption, and immunity.

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Psychology Department, University of Newcastle, NSW Australia.


Relationships between the psychological characteristics absorption and neuroticism, and in vitro and in vivo measures of cell-mediated immunity were examined. Thirty-nine female subjects responded to questionnaires, donated blood for analysis of T-cell numbers, and were tested for delayed hypersensitivity skin responses. Consistent with the experimental hypothesis, subjects classified as repressors of negative affect (low absorption/low neuroticism), or extreme expressors of negative affect (high absorption/high neuroticism), showed lower immune responses than other groups of subjects. For the in vitro T-cell measures and the in vivo skin induration measures, there were also pervasive main effects of neuroticism, with subjects higher in neuroticism showing higher immunity than subjects lower in neuroticism.

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