Perceived stress, loneliness, and interaction with fellow students does not affect innate mucosal immunity in first year university students

Andrew J. Wawrzyniak, Martha C.Pollard Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to better understand how stress, loneliness, and interactions with peers may affect innate mucosal immunity in new university students. To examine these relationships, 68 new undergraduate students (27 male, 41 female; mean age=18.89±0.73 years) completed psychosocial measures at four times over a 13-month period and provided saliva samples to measure salivary secretory immunoglobulin-A (sIgA) to determine innate immune functioning. The UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Interaction with Students domain from the Affective Quality of University Life Scale were administered at four time points over 1 year at approximately the start of the first two semesters, exam time, and the start of the second academic year. A lower salivary sIgA secretion rate was found at the beginning of students' academic careers; however, none of the three measures were found to be related to sIgA secretion rates at any assessment after controlling for sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, recent illnesses, and current medications. Previous studies have had mixed results in demonstrating a relationship between sIgA and stress and social interactions. In light of this, the present study also did not find this effect in first-year university students assessed at four time points. These results are discussed in relation to variances in psychosocial assessments; further studies accounting for cross-cultural differences, additional inventories, and more immune markers are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Academic stress
  • Innate immunity
  • Interpersonal
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Psychosocial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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