Emotion, Social Relationships, and Health

By Carol D. Ryff; Burton H. Singer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

8
Social Context and
Other Psychological Influences on the
Development of Immunity
Christopher L. Coe & Gabriele R. Lubach

Infant animals are born with biological needs for a certain type of rearing environment to facilitate the normal maturation and expression of behavioral and physiological processes. When rearing conditions deviate significantly from the species-typical norm, it is known that infant growth and development proceeds in an abnormal manner. In the case of mammalian offspring, caregiving by the mother appears to be an essential dimension of this environmental context, which is critical for the correct ontogeny of behavioral and emotional well-being. For many animals, the nursing mother is both a source of sustenance and warmth and the vehicle for ensuring social bonding, emotional security, and initial learning about the environment. In addition, there has been a general consensus since the 1950s that the healthy maturation of several of the infant's physiological systems is also dependent on appropriate parenting. The important enabling role of this early experience in facilitating physiological development was revealed by demonstrating abnormal growth, endocrine activity, and brain neurochemistry in animals after perturbations of the mother-infant relationship. The findings discussed in the rest of this chapter extend the perspective from the field of developmental psychobiology to encompass the effects of the social environment on the maturation of immunity. We will be reviewing a series of studies that show the influence of several different rearing events on immune competence in young monkeys, through both transient stress-induced alterations in immune responses and more prolonged changes in the set points at which some immune processes become established during maturation.

Our research also reflects the influence of a newer discipline commonly known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which has been investigating the relationships among psychosocial factors, immune responses, and immune-related disease. The coalescing of PNI as a field is usually attributed to a book with this

-243-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Emotion, Social Relationships, and Health
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 289

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?