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Teenage stress has implications for adult health
Date:3/10/2009

interaction with family, peers or school personnel for example, conflicts with family and friends, peer harassment or any kind of punishment by parents or teachers. Blood samples were obtained an average of eight months later and assayed for circulating levels of the CRP protein; the research protocol took into account such factors as socioeconomic status, major stressful life events and being overly sensitive to rejection or daily psychological distress.

The researchers found that daily interpersonal stress experienced during the high school years was associated with elevated levels of inflammation, as measured by higher levels of CRP, even among normal, healthy teens.

"Our findings are consistent with the emerging body of evidence that points to the link between stress and increased inflammation, which places individuals at risk for the later development of cardiovascular disease," said Fuligni, who is also a member of the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and the UCLA Center for Culture and Health.

The results are also interesting because they suggest that the association of interpersonal stress with inflammation exists regardless of individual teens' psychological appraisal of stressful experiences or any tendency to be particularly sensitive to social rejection, he said.

Fuligni suggests the results of this research show the importance of focusing on actual daily stressful experiences when examining the implications of psychological and social factors for the development of risk for CVD during the teenage years.

"Although the frequency of some of these experiences may be low, they could have a significant impact upon long-term physical health during adulthood," Fulgini said.


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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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