25th APS Annual Convention: Mark Your Calendar (Washington, DC, USA - May 23-26, 2013)

Invited Symposium

Personality, Emotion, and Health

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 10:30 AM - 11:50 AM
Delaware Suite A

Wendy Berry Mendes Chair: Wendy Berry Mendes
University of California, San Francisco

An enduring question in psychological science is how do individual- or social-processes “get under the skin” to affect physical health? This symposium brings together leading researchers who explore this question from different perspectives by examining how chronic affective states or other individual differences affect physical health functioning.

Subject Area: Personality/Emotion

Sheldon Cohen

Personality and Immunity
Sheldon Cohen
Carnegie Mellon University
Over the last 20 years, we have found that sociability, hostility and positive and negative emotional styles show robust relationships with immune function. Here we present representative data on the roles of these dispositions in immune response and in risk for the common cold, and discuss what we know about pathways linking personality to immunity.

Wendy Johnson

Gene-Environment Transactions in the SES-Health Gradient
Wendy Johnson
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Several studies have indicated that genetic variance in physical health is greater in lower SES environments and the greater variance is independent of any genetic influences on SES itself. This suggests that environmental circumstances associated with low SES increase expression of genetic vulnerabilities to physical illness we all carry.

Jerry M. Suls

Physical Disease Risk: Implications of the Overlap Among Affective Disorders
Jerry M. Suls
University of Iowa
In epidemiological studies, anger, anxiety and depressive disorder predict increased cardiac risk and reduced longevity. Conceptual and empirical overlap of these temperaments, however, has tended to be ignored. This talk describes the overlap, results of their independent contributions to disease and implications for basic science and public health.

Laura D. Kubzansky

Distress-Proneness and the Habit of Discontent: Far Reaching Effects on Physical Health
Laura D. Kubzansky
Harvard University
Individuals prone to distress appear to be more vulnerable to disease, and such predispositions may emerge early and persist over the life course. This session will consider whether chronic negative emotion influences physical health (focusing on cardiovascular disease) and how early in the life course effects are set into motion.

Laura A. King

Laura A. King (Discussant)
University of Missouri, Columbia

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