The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor

By Harold G. Koenig; Harvey Jay Cohen | Go to book overview

6
Psychosocial Stress,
Social Networks, and
Susceptibility to Infection
SHELDON COHEN

During the past several decades, support has grown for the premise that psychological and social factors can influence physical health. This includes evidence that enduring stressful life events and prolonged negative moods (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger) can increase risk for physical illness and early death (e.g., reviews by Booth-Kewley & Friedman, 1987; Cohen & Williamson, 1991; Schneiderman et al., 1989). It also includes evidence that those who participate in diverse social networks that include family, friends, workmates, neighbors, and fellow members of social and religious groups live longer and healthier lives than their less socially adept counterparts (e.g., Berkman & Syme, 1979; House et al., 1988; Vogt et al., 1992).

My own interests in this area have focused on the potential impact of psychological and social factors on the immune system, and consequently on our ability to fight off infectious disease. Here I begin by providing a selective overview of the evidence for the effects of psychosocial factors on the functional capabilities of the immune system. I then discuss similar data linking these same factors to the onset and progression of infectious disease. I provide only cursory reviews and refer the reader to Cohen and Herbert (1996), Cohen, Miller, et al. (2001), and Herbert and Cohen

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The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword *
  • Contents ix
  • Contributors xi
  • The Link Between Religion and Health *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Connection Between Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion 11
  • References *
  • 2 - The Development and History of Psychoneuroimmunology 31
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 3 - Understanding How Stress Affects the Physical Body 43
  • References 60
  • 4 - Stress, Natural Killer Cells, and Cancer 69
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 5 - Psychosocial Interventions and Prognosis in Cancer 84
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 6 - Psychosocial Stress, Social Networks, and Susceptibility to Infection 101
  • References 117
  • 7 - Psychosocial Factors, Immunity, and Wound Healing 124
  • References *
  • 8 - Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality/ Religiousness, and Immune Function in Hiv/aids Patients 139
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 9 - Hostility, Neuroendocrine Changes, and Health Outcomes 160
  • References *
  • 10 - Psychological Stress and Autoimmune Disease 174
  • References *
  • 11 - Immune, Neuroendocrine, and Religious Measures 197
  • References *
  • 12 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Eastern Religious Traditions 250
  • References *
  • 13 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Western Religious Traditions 262
  • References *
  • 14 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion: Implications for Society and Culture 275
  • References *
  • 15 - Avenues for Future Research 286
  • Conclusions 295
  • Index 297
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