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Negatives of negative support.

Negatives of negative support

In a long-term, ongoing study of the effects of chronic stress, psychologist Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser and her co-workers at Ohio State University in Columbus are studying a group of people caring for parents or spouses with Alzheimer's disease. Earlier, they reported these caregivers had weaker immune systems, more depression and more infectious illnesses than a matched control group (SN:9/12/87, p.168). Now Kiecolt-Glaser says the quality of support these caregivers receive from family and friends also affects the immune system.

"In general, positive support appears to be a positive thing," she says. But "negative or upsetting support," such as criticism of how they cared for a relative, proved unhealthy to those who got it. "We find they have the poorest immune function among our subjects," Kiecolt-Glaser says.
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Title Annotation:effects of emotional support on immune response
Author:Young, Patrick
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 28, 1989
Words:134
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