Trait Positive Affect Buffers the Effects of Acute Stress on Skin Barrier Recovery

Department of Psychology, University of Califonia, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 06/2009; 28(3):373-8. DOI: 10.1037/a0014662
Source: PubMed


This study examines the role of self-reported trait positive affect (PA) on skin barrier recovery after skin disruption, and whether the role of trait PA in wound healing is consistent with the direct effects model or the stress-buffering model of PA and health.
Sixty healthy participants (mean age 22.7 +/- 3.9 years) completed a self-report measure of trait positive and negative affect, underwent a "tape-stripping" procedure that disrupts normal skin barrier function, and were randomly assigned to a Stress (Trier Social Stress Test) or No Stress (reading task) condition.
Skin barrier recovery was assessed by measuring transepidermal water loss up to 2 hr after skin disruption.
Multilevel modeling indicated that greater trait PA was related to faster skin barrier recovery (p < .05). The effects of PA on skin barrier recovery were independent of levels of trait NA.
These findings suggest that trait PA may influence skin barrier recovery following a brief stressor. In addition, these results provide additional evidence that trait PA can positively impact objective health outcomes.

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