Defensiveness, Trait Anxiety, and Epstein-Barr Viral Capsid Antigen Antibody Titers in Healthy College Students

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The relationship of individual differences in repressive coping styles with differences in antibody titer to Epstein-Barr viral capsid antigen (EBV-VCA) were investigated in a normal, healthy college population made up of people previously exposed to EBV. Each of 54 1st-year undergraduates completed a battery of physical-status questions and items pertaining to potential behavioral immunomodulatory confounds, along with the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (T-MAS) and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MC-SDS). Ss reporting high and middle levels of anxiety had higher antibody titers to EBV, suggesting poorer immune control over the latent virus, as compared with the low-anxious group. Similarly, high-defensive Ss had higher antibody titers than their low-defensive counterparts, and neither group differed from the middle group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993



  • defensiveness
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • repressive coping
  • trait anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

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