|Журнал: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 34 (2013) 79–85||
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706, United States
Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 22 N. Charter Street, Madison, WI 53715, United States
Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Jordan Hall, Building 420, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States
Department of Mental Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Department of Communication, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, 2-6-1 Zenoukuji, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166-8585, Japan
Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin, 2245 Medical Science Center, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, United States
Previous studies conducted in Western cultures have shown that negative emotions predict higher levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers, specifically interleukin-6 (IL-6). This link between negative emotions and IL-6 may be specific to Western cultures where negative emotions are perceived to be problematic and thus may not extend to Eastern cultures where negative emotions are seen as acceptable and normal.
Using samples of 1044 American and 382 Japanese middle-aged and older adults, we investigated whether the relationship between negative emotions and IL-6 varies by cultural context. Negative emotions predicted higher IL-6 among American adults, whereas no association was evident among Japanese adults. Furthermore, the interaction between culture and negative emotions remained even after controlling for demographic variables, psychological factors (positive emotions, neuroticism, extraversion), health behaviors (smoking status, alcohol consumption), and health status (chronic conditions, BMI).
These findings highlight the role of cultural context in shaping how negative emotions affect inflammatory physiology and underscore the importance of cultural ideas and practices relevant to negative emotions for understanding of the interplay between psychology, physiology, and health.