Attachment avoidance predicts inflammatory responses to marital conflictBrain, Behavior, and Immunity (2009)
AbstractMarital stress has been associated with immune dysregulation, including increased production of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Attachment style, one’s expectations about the availability and responsiveness of others in intimate relationships, appears to influence physiological stress reactivity and thus could influence inflammatory responses to marital conflict. Thirty-five couples were invited for two 24-hour admissions to a hospital research unit. The first visit included a structured social support interaction, while the second visit comprised the discussion of a marital disagreement. A mixed effect within-subject repeated measure model indicated that attachment avoidance significantly influenced IL-6 production during the conflict visit but not during the social support visit. Individuals with higher attachment avoidance had on average an 11% increase in total IL-6 production during the conflict visit as compared to the social support visit, while individuals with lower attachment avoidance had, on average, a 6% decrease in IL-6 production during the conflict visit as compared to the social support visit. Furthermore, greater attachment avoidance was associated with a higher frequency of negative behaviors and a lower frequency of positive behaviors during the marital interaction, providing a mechanism by which attachment avoidance may influence inflammatory responses to marital conflict. In sum, these results suggest that attachment avoidance modulates marital behavior and stress-induced immune dysregulation.
- marital conflict,
- attachment style,
Publication DateOctober, 2009
Citation InformationJean-Phillipe Gouin, Ronald Glaser, Timothy J. Loving, William B. Malarkey, et al.. "Attachment avoidance predicts inflammatory responses to marital conflict" Brain, Behavior, and Immunity Vol. 23 Iss. 7 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeffrey_stowell/3/