Social support mediates loneliness and Human Herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) antibody Titers

Denise Dixon, Stacy Cruess, Kristin Kilbourn, Nancy Klimas, Mary Ann Fletcher, Gail Ironson, Andrew Baum, Neil Schneiderman, Michael H Antoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study investigated the impact of a severe environmental stressor and the role that declining social integration played in mediating its effect on loneliness and immune status. Increased loneliness and decreased social support in the months following the stressor (storm) were significantly associated with increased HHV-6 antibody titers, reflecting poorer control over the virus. Poorer social integration mediated the relationship between loneliness and HHV-6, even after controlling for nonspecific polyclonal B-cell activation, disease status (CD3+CD4+ cell counts), living arrangements, acute social losses (bereavement), and potential disruptions in social-support resources. These findings suggest that specific elements of social support may explain the oft-noted negative effects of loneliness on the immune system, and generalized to a medically vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1132
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume31
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001

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Human Herpesvirus 6
Loneliness
Social Support
Antibodies
Bereavement
Vulnerable Populations
CD4 Lymphocyte Count
Immune System
B-Lymphocytes
Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Social support mediates loneliness and Human Herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) antibody Titers. / Dixon, Denise; Cruess, Stacy; Kilbourn, Kristin; Klimas, Nancy; Fletcher, Mary Ann; Ironson, Gail; Baum, Andrew; Schneiderman, Neil; Antoni, Michael H.

In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 6, 01.06.2001, p. 1111-1132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dixon D, Cruess S, Kilbourn K, Klimas N, Fletcher MA, Ironson G et al. Social support mediates loneliness and Human Herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) antibody Titers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2001 Jun 1;31(6):1111-1132.
Dixon, Denise ; Cruess, Stacy ; Kilbourn, Kristin ; Klimas, Nancy ; Fletcher, Mary Ann ; Ironson, Gail ; Baum, Andrew ; Schneiderman, Neil ; Antoni, Michael H. / Social support mediates loneliness and Human Herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) antibody Titers. In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2001 ; Vol. 31, No. 6. pp. 1111-1132.
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