A Preliminary Study of Daily Interpersonal Stress and C-Reactive Protein Levels Among Adolescents From Latin American and European Backgrounds

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Box 62, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
Psychosomatic Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.47). 03/2009; 71(3):329-33. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181921b1f
Source: PubMed


To examine the association between the experience of daily interpersonal stress and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that is a key indicator of cardiovascular risk, during the teenage years.
A total of 69 adolescents (Mage= 17.78 years) completed daily diary checklists each night for 14 days in which they reported their experience of negative interpersonal interactions in the domains of family, peers, and school (e.g., conflict with family and friends, peer harassment, punishment by parents and teachers). Blood samples were obtained an average of 8.63 months later and assayed for circulating levels of CRP, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Measures of body mass index (BMI), socioeconomic status (SES), substance use, stressful life events, rejection sensitivity, and psychological distress were obtained.
A greater frequency of daily interpersonal stress was associated with higher levels of CRP, even after controlling for BMI, SES, substance use, life events, rejection sensitivity, psychological distress, and frequency of daily interpersonal stress 2 years earlier.
Experiencing a high frequency of interpersonal stressors that are typical of adolescent life is associated with higher levels of inflammation even among a normative, healthy sample of adolescents. Additional work should focus on other daily experiences during the adolescent period and their implications for elevated risk for later cardiovascular disease.

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    • "Asians tend to use their failures to meet expectations and obligations of their particular social group in order to improve their subsequent behavior and actions (Kitayama, Markus, Matsumoto, & Norasakkunkit, 1997). Criticism from and demands made by others, then, may not be interpreted as strain and thus may not threaten healthrelated indicators among Asian Americans as it appears to do among European Americans (Fuligni et al., 2009). Rather, Asian Americans may view criticism and relationship demands as opportunities to fulfill relational obligations, which can enhance belongingness to a group and social harmony (Heine, Kitayama, & Lehman, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that inflammation may partially mediate the link between supportiveness of social relationships and physical health. However, cultural differences between Asians and European Americans in the nature of relationships and in seeking social support suggest that there may be cultural differences in the relation between supportive relationships and proinflammatory activity. One hundred and twenty-one young adult participants completed assessments of support from their close relationships (parents, romantic partner, and close friends) and provided oral mucosal transudate samples for assessment of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the type II soluble receptor for tumor necrosis factor-α (sTNFαRII). As predicted, more supportive relationships were related to lower levels of IL-6 among European Americans, but not among Asian Americans. There were no relations to sTNFαRII in either group. We conclude that associations between supportive relationships and inflammatory activity may differ in ways that reflect cultural differences in the construal of relationships and social support.
    Social Psychological and Personality Science 09/2013; 4(5):511-520. DOI:10.1177/1948550612467831 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    • "In contrast, in the models of age 15 CRP, we observe a positive association between depression and greater CRP, which is consistent with prior research using adult samples (Taylor et al., 2004, 2006). Although it is challenging to identify comparable mediation analyses in child and adolescent samples, several studies that examined childhood adversity and inflammation in children (Wolf et al., 2008; Fuligni et al., 2009a) and adults (Danese et al., 2007) found that associations persist even after adjustment for psychological functioning and smoking, consistent with our findings. There are several limitations of the present study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Retrospective studies show that childhood adversity is associated with systemic inflammation in adulthood. Few prospective studies have examined whether childhood adversity influences inflammation in an observable manner during childhood or adolescence and if these effects are sustained over time. Methods: Using longitudinal data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, we examined associations between acute adverse events at seven time points prior to age 8 and inflammation at ages 10 and 15. Inflammatory markers at age 10 included interleukin-6 (IL-6; N=4655) and C-reactive protein (CRP; N=4647), and CRP was measured again at age 15 (N=3286). We further evaluated whether body mass index (BMI), depression, or cigarette smoking mediated associations between adverse events and inflammation. Results: Adverse events in middle childhood (occurring between ages 6 to 8), as well as cumulative adversity from birth to 8 years, were associated with higher levels of IL-6 and CRP at age 10. Adverse events reported in early childhood (1.5years) or middle childhood, and cumulative adversity from birth through 8years predicted increased levels of CRP at age 15, and these associations persisted after adjustment for CRP at age 10. Some, but not all, of these associations were mediated by BMI. Conclusions: This study documents that exposure to adverse events prior to age 8 is associated with elevated inflammation at age 10 and in mid-adolescence. These findings provide prospective evidence for a biological mechanism by which early experiences may shape long-term health. Future studies with earlier assessments of inflammation are necessary in order to elucidate potential sensitive periods and mechanisms that link childhood adversity to later disease vulnerability.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 06/2012; 3(2). DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.05.013 · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    • "In a prospective study, healthy adolescent girls who reported more interpersonal stress at the onset of the study had higher levels of NF-jB and stimulated interleukin-6 (IL-6) 6 months later compared to those reporting less stress (Miller, Rohleder, & Cole, 2009). In another study, adolescents who reported more frequent negative interpersonal interactions had higher C-reactive protein (CRP; a downstream marker of inflammation) levels 8 months later compared to adolescents who reported fewer negative interactions (Fuligni et al., 2009). These associations existed in both studies even after investigators controlled for general psychological distress. "
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    ABSTRACT: There are well documented links between close relationships and physical health, such that those who have supportive close relationships have lower rates of morbidity and mortality compared to those who do not. Inflammation is one mechanism that may help to explain this link. Chronically high levels of inflammation predict disease. Across the lifespan, people who have supportive close relationships have lower levels of systemic inflammation compared to people who have cold, unsupportive, conflict-ridden relationships. Not only are current relationships associated with inflammation, but past relationships are as well. In this article, we will first review the literature linking current close relationships across the lifespan to inflammation. We will then explore recent work showing troubled past relationships also have lasting consequence on people's inflammatory levels. Finally, we will explore developmental pathways that may explain these findings.
    Social and Personality Psychology Compass 11/2011; 5(11):891-903. DOI:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00392.x
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