Psychosocial influences on upper respiratory infectious illness in children

Julie M Turner-Cobb, A Steptoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fifty-five boys and 61 girls, aged 5-16 years, took part in a 15-week longitudinal study of stress and upper respiratory infectious illness. Life events, social support, and psychological coping were measured, and hassles and mood were assessed repeatedly throughout the study period. Upper respiratory symptoms were recorded daily, and episodes of upper respiratory infection were verified by clinical examination. Forty-eight verified episodes of infection were recorded from 41 participants (35.3% of the total sample). Life events and social support interacted in predicting the occurrence of infection, whereas hassles interacted with avoidant psychological coping, independently of age, gender, family composition, social class, negative affect, parental perceived stress, parental smoking, or alcohol consumption. The duration of symptomatic episodes was negatively associated with problem-focused coping, and positively related to avoidant coping. Hassle levels were elevated 3 weeks prior to symptom onset. These results indicate that the impact of life stress on vulnerability to infectious illness in children is moderated by psychological coping and social resources, and that different psychosocial factors influence the occurrence and duration of infections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998

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Psychology
Social Support
Infection
Psychological Stress
Social Class
Respiratory Tract Infections
Alcohol Drinking
Longitudinal Studies
Smoking

Cite this

Psychosocial influences on upper respiratory infectious illness in children. / Turner-Cobb, Julie M; Steptoe, A.

In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 45, No. 4, 10.1998, p. 319-330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Turner-Cobb, Julie M ; Steptoe, A. / Psychosocial influences on upper respiratory infectious illness in children. In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 1998 ; Vol. 45, No. 4. pp. 319-330.
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