CitationMillwood, Summer N. & Manczak, Erika M. (2023). Patterns of adolescent perceived social support and inflammation in adulthood within major racial groups: Findings from a longitudinal, nationally representative sample. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. vol. 110 pp. 95-106
AbstractInflammation, the body’s protective response to injury and infection, plays a critical role in physical and mental health outcomes. Elevated chronic inflammation is implicated as a predictor of disease and all-cause mortality and is linked with several psychological disorders. Given that social support is associated with lower rates of mortality and psychopathology, the links between inflammation and social support are well-studied. However, there are many significant gaps related to both the specificity and generalizability of extant findings. There is a paucity of research on the association between social support and inflammation within different racial groups. Additionally, more research is warranted to understand whether social support from different sources uniquely contributes to inflammation, above and beyond other sources of support. Thus, the current study examined whether perceived emotional social support during adolescence predicted inflammation during adulthood within several racial groups. Participants (n = 3,390) were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), identified as either Asian, Black, Latinx, White, or Multiracial, and had complete data on study variables. Consistent with our hypotheses and previous research, greater perceived support during adolescence was associated with lower inflammation during adulthood, but only for White participants. Contrastingly, greater perceived support during adolescence was associated with higher inflammation during adulthood for individuals who identified as Asian, Latinx, Black, or Multiracial. Furthermore, patterns of social support and inflammation within each racial group varied by relationship type. These results highlight the importance of studying relationship processes and health outcomes within racial groups to understand their unique, lived experiences.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Author(s)Millwood, Summer N.
Manczak, Erika M.