Giving to Others and the Association Between Stress and Mortality.

Michael J. Poulin is with the Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Stephanie L. Brown and Dylan M. Smith are with the Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Amanda J. Dillard is with the Department of Psychology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 01/2013; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300876
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives. We sought to test the hypothesis that providing help to others predicts a reduced association between stress and mortality. Methods. We examined data from participants (n = 846) in a study in the Detroit, Michigan, area. Participants completed baseline interviews that assessed past-year stressful events and whether the participant had provided tangible assistance to friends or family members. Participant mortality and time to death was monitored for 5 years by way of newspaper obituaries and monthly state death-record tapes. Results. When we adjusted for age, baseline health and functioning, and key psychosocial variables, Cox proportional hazard models for mortality revealed a significant interaction between helping behavior and stressful events (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.58; P < .05; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.35, 0.98). Specifically, stress did not predict mortality risk among individuals who provided help to others in the past year (HR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.79, 1.18), but stress did predict mortality among those who did not provide help to others (HR = 1.30; P < .05; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.62). Conclusions. Helping others predicted reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 17, 2013: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300876).

  • Source
    Olshansky, E. (2014). Women's Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan., Edited by Ellen Olshansky, 12/2014: chapter 16: pages 285-308; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.., ISBN: 9781451192001
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This is a selective review which provides the context for study of perinatal affective disorder mechanisms and outlines directions for future research. We integrate existing literature (Table) along neural networks of interest for affective disorders and maternal caregiving: 1) the salience/fear network, 2) the executive network, 3) the reward/social attachment network, and 4) the default mode network. Extant salience/fear network research reveals disparate responses and corticolimbic coupling to various stimuli based upon a predominantly depressive versus anxious (posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD) clinical phenotype. Executive network and default mode connectivity abnormalities have been described in postpartum depression (PPD), but studies are very limited in these domains. Reward/Social attachment studies confirm a robust ventral striatal response to infant stimuli including cry and happy infant faces, which is diminished in depressed, insecurely attached, and substance-using mothers. Adverse parenting experiences received and attachment insecurity of current mothers are factors which are associated with diminution in infant stimulus-related neural activity similar to than in PPD, and raise the need for additional studies that integrate mood and attachment concepts in larger study samples. Several studies which have examined functional connectivity in resting state and emotional activation functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms have revealed attenuated corticolimbic connectivity which remains an important outcome to dissect with increasing precision to better define neural treatment targets. Methodological progress is expected in the coming years in terms of refining clinical phenotypes of interest and experimental paradigms as well as enlarging samples to facilitate examination of multiple constructs. Functional imaging promises to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying maternal psychopathology and impaired caregiving such that earlier and more precise detection of abnormalities will be possible. Ultimately, discovery of such mechanisms will promote refinement of treatment approaches toward maternal affective disturbance, parenting behaviors as well as augmentation of parenting resiliency.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology 07/2014; 26(10). DOI:10.1111/jne.12183 · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept ‘connectivity’ is most widely used in communication technology, referring to the linkage between electronics, computers, computer systems and the people who use them, but it is also a heuristic concept with great utility in the broader discipline of Communication and beyond. This article traces the concept from its theoretical origins in information science to the core position that it holds in all traditions of the Communication discipline. It assesses the physiological, psychological and sociological dimensions of connectivity and considers the application of the concept as an instrument for understanding and resolving the problems, issues and opportunities of the world around us. The article ends with some insights into the practical utility of the concept in the spheres of social and institutional development, productivity, performance and the generation of competitive advantage.
    Communicatio 09/2014; 40(3):209-222. DOI:10.1080/02500167.2014.953561