Publications by authors named "Samuele Zilioli"

63 Publications

Links between socioeconomic status, daily depressive affect, diurnal cortisol patterns, and all-cause mortality.

Psychosom Med 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Purdue University, Department of Psychology Wayne State University, Department of Psychology The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Biobehavioral Health Wayne State University, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences.

Objective: Socioeconomic status (SES) remains a robust risk factor for mortality. Various theoretical models postulate that lower SES is associated with higher negative affect, which then initiates a cascade of physiological disturbances that contribute to illness and early mortality. However, few studies have explicitly investigated the interplay between psychological and biological factors in determining SES disparities in mortality. This study examined the role of daily negative affect and cortisol secretion in explaining the SES-mortality link in a large sample of US adults.

Methods: Using data from the Midlife in the United States study (N = 1,735, Mage = 56.40 ± 12.10 years, 56.4% female), we tested longitudinal associations between SES, daily negative affect, daily cortisol levels, and all-cause mortality 13 years later. Daily negative affect was classified into three clusters reflecting depressive affect, anxiety, and anger.

Results: Higher SES was linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio = 0.94, 95% CI [0.90, 0.97]). Furthermore, there was a sequential link between higher SES and lower mortality through lower daily depressive affect and a steeper ("healthier") diurnal cortisol slope (indirect effect = -0.001, Z = -2.14, p = .032, 95% CI = [-0.002, 0.000]). Daily anxiety and anger were not associated with cortisol levels or mortality (ps > .05).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that daily negative emotional experiences and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning may constitute important psychological and physiological pathways underlying the link between SES and all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001004DOI Listing
August 2021

Cortisol Reactivity as a Mediator of Peer Victimization on Child Internalizing and Externalizing Problems: The Role of Gender Differences.

Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol 2021 Aug 17. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.

Children exposed to peer victimization are at increased risk for psychopathology. However, the physiological mechanisms linking peer victimization to child psychopathology and the potential gender differences in these links remain inadequately understood. The present study examined whether cortisol reactivity to acute stress mediated the associations between relational and physical victimization and internalizing and externalizing problems and whether these associations differed between boys and girls. A sample of 150 Chinese children (aged 9-13 years; M = 10.69 years; 51% boys) reported experiences of relational and physical victimization and participated in a standardized laboratory psychosocial stress task, during which six salivary cortisol samples were collected. Parents or primary caregivers reported their children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Overall, neither physical nor relational victimization was associated with cortisol reactivity. However, when examined separately by gender, relational victimization was associated with blunted cortisol reactivity for boys but not for girls. Further, among boys but not girls, relational victimization was indirectly associated with internalizing and externalizing problems via blunted cortisol reactivity. Our findings suggest that blunted cortisol reactivity may serve as a physiological pathway linking peer victimization to psychopathology for boys but not for girls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-021-00855-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Naturalistically observed interpersonal problems and diabetes management in older adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

Psychol Health 2021 Aug 4:1-16. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Objective: This study investigated the links between naturalistically observed and self-reported interpersonal problems, diabetes management, and glucose levels in older adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

Design: Sixty-eight older adolescents and young adults (aged 17-20 years) participated in a cross-sectional study that consisted of three home visits and a daily diary segment.

Main Outcome Measures: Participants wore the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) for four days to capture interpersonal problems and wore a continuous glucose monitor for blood glucose levels. Researchers also collected HbA1 values, conducted an interview to assess diabetes management, and collected participant-reported severity of interpersonal problems.

Results: High EAR-observed interpersonal problems were associated with poor diabetes management. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high EAR-observed interpersonal problems continued to explain variance in poor diabetes management after including self-reported interpersonal problems and covariates.

Conclusion: These findings corroborate literature suggesting that negative interactions are associated with type 1 diabetes management. This study is the first to use the EAR to capture naturalistically observed interactions in this population and identify its utility beyond self-reports. These findings highlight the importance of considering naturalistically observed interactions when developing interventions to promote better diabetes management in older adolescents and young adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2021.1960345DOI Listing
August 2021

Effects of the Great Recession on Educational Disparities in Cardiometabolic Health.

Ann Behav Med 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Background: Macroeconomic crises can exaggerate existing educational disparities in health. Few studies, however, have examined whether macroeconomic crises get under the skin to affect educational disparities in health-related biological processes.

Purpose: This study aimed to examine the effect of the economic recession of 2008 (i.e., Great Recession) on educational disparities in cardiometabolic risk and self-reported psychological distress.

Methods: Data were drawn from two subsamples of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study: the second wave of the MIDUS sample (pre-recession cohort, N = 985) and the refresher sample (post-recession cohort, N = 863). Educational attainment was categorized into high school education or less, some college, and bachelor's degree or higher. Outcomes included metabolic syndrome, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6, as well as self-reported perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and financial distress.

Results: Results showed that having a bachelor's degree or higher (compared to having a high school education or less) was more strongly associated with decreased metabolic syndrome symptoms in the post-recession cohort than the pre-recession cohort, above and beyond demographic, health, and behavioral covariates. These findings did not extend to systemic inflammation or psychological distress.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that chronic macroeconomic stressors may widen the educational gap in physical health, particularly cardiometabolic health, by modifying biological and anthropometric risk factors implicated in metabolic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaab065DOI Listing
July 2021

The School-Ladder Effect: Subjective Socioeconomic Status and Diurnal Cortisol Profile among Adolescents.

Psychosom Med 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Psychology, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, Zhuhai, China Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States Department of Psychology, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, China Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China.

Objective: Subjective socioeconomic status (SES) is a well-established psychosocial determinant of adolescents' self-report health. However, whether low subjective SES is associated with stress-related physiological risks (e.g., dysregulations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis activity) remains uncertain. This study examined the impacts of subjective SES with different reference groups (i.e., perception of family SES relative to other students in the school versus other people in the city) on adolescents' diurnal cortisol profiles.

Methods: A sample of 255 adolescents (aged 11-14; 53.7% boys) completed a battery of psychological scales, including school-referenced subjective SES and city-referenced subjective SES. Diurnal cortisol was assessed by collecting saliva samples four times a day across two consecutive days. Four cortisol parameters (cortisol at awakening, cortisol awakening response [CAR], cortisol slope, and total cortisol secretion [AUCg]) were derived.

Results: Higher levels of school-referenced subjective SES were associated with higher cortisol levels at awakening (β = 0.0483, SE = 0.0219, p = 0.028), steeper cortisol slopes (β = -0.0036, SE = 0.0017, p = 0.034), and higher cortisol AUCg (b = 0.50, SE = 0.24, p = 0.036), but not with CAR (p = 0.77), after adjusting for covariates. In contrast, city-referenced subjective SES was not associated with any of the cortisol parameters (cortisol at awakening [p = 0.90], CAR [p = 0.74], cortisol slope [p = 0.84], and cortisol AUCg [p = 0.68]).

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of the reference group for subjective SES and provide a further understanding of socioeconomic disparities in adolescents' stress physiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000974DOI Listing
July 2021

Perceived Social Support and Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation: Testing Main and Stress-Buffering Effects in an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Adults.

Psychosom Med 2021 Sep;83(7):767-776

From the Departments of Psychology (Jiang, Zilioli) and Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (Zilioli), Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; Microgen Laboratories (Stowe), La Marque, Texas; School of Medicine (Rubinstein), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Department of Preventative Medicine and Community Health (Peek), The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; and Department of Biomedical Sciences (Cutchin), Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, Yakima, Washington.

Objective: Perceived social support is consistently associated with physical health outcomes, and one potential physiological mechanism underlying this association is immune function. In this study, we tested both the main and stress-buffering effects of perceived social support on cellular immunity measured via latent herpesvirus reactivation.

Methods: Data were collected from a community-based sample of 1443 ethnically diverse adults between the ages of 25 and 90 years. Participants self-reported measures of perceived social support, stressful life events, daily hassles, and perceived stress, and provided a blood sample to assess antibody titers to the herpes simplex virus type 1 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Results: In accordance with the main effect hypothesis, results indicated that perceived social support was directly associated with EBV viral capsid antigen antibody titers (β = -0.06, 95% confidence interval = -0.12 to -0.01, p = .029). Perceived social support, however, did not interact with stressful life events, daily hassles, or perceived stress to influence latent herpesvirus reactivation (p values > .05). Neither race/ethnicity nor age moderated any of the interactions between perceived social support and the stress measures on latent herpesvirus reactivation (p values > .10).

Conclusions: Overall, the current study supports the main effect hypothesis, according to which higher levels of perceived social support were associated with lower levels of herpesvirus antibody titers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419084PMC
September 2021

Psychosocial experiences modulate asthma-associated genes through gene-environment interactions.

Elife 2021 Jun 18;10. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States.

Social interactions and the overall psychosocial environment have a demonstrated impact on health, particularly for people living in disadvantaged urban areas. Here, we investigated the effect of psychosocial experiences on gene expression in peripheral blood immune cells of children with asthma in Metro Detroit. Using RNA-sequencing and a new machine learning approach, we identified transcriptional signatures of 19 variables including psychosocial factors, blood cell composition, and asthma symptoms. Importantly, we found 169 genes associated with asthma or allergic disease that are regulated by psychosocial factors and 344 significant gene-environment interactions for gene expression levels. These results demonstrate that immune gene expression mediates the link between negative psychosocial experiences and asthma risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.63852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282343PMC
June 2021

Socioeconomic status, financial stress, and glucocorticoid resistance among youth with asthma: Testing the moderation effects of maternal involvement and warmth.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 08 17;96:92-99. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, United States; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: Children who grow up in more socioeconomically disadvantaged homes experience greater levels of inflammation and worse asthma symptoms than children from more advantaged families. However, recent evidence suggests that certain family-level factors can mitigate health disparities associated with socioeconomic status (SES). In a sample of youth with asthma, we investigated the potential buffering effects of maternal involvement and warmth on SES disparities in asthma-related immune responses, assessed via glucocorticoid resistance (GR) of immune cells.

Methods: One hundred and forty-three youth (10-16 years of age) with asthma completed measures of maternal involvement and warmth, and their primary caregivers reported their levels of education, income, and financial stress. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from youth's blood were isolated, cultured, and assayed to determine mitogen-stimulated (PMA/INO + Etho) and mitogen/hydrocortisone-stimulated (PMA/INO + Cort) levels of two Th-2 cytokines (i.e., interleukin-5, interleukin-13) and one Th-1 cytokine (i.e., interferon-γ). GR was calculated by subtracting log-transformed cytokine concentration in the PMA/INO + Etho samples from log-transformed cytokine concentration in the PMA/INO + Cort samples.

Results: Both maternal involvement and warmth moderated the indirect pathway from family SES to GR of Th-2 cytokines via financial stress. Specifically, we found that low family SES was associated with elevated GR of Th-2 cytokines via increased financial stress among youth reporting low levels of maternal involvement and warmth, but not among those reporting high levels of maternal involvement or warmth.

Conclusions: These results highlight the protective role of maternal involvement and warmth in health-related biological processes modulated by family SES among youth with asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.05.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8319072PMC
August 2021

Endocrine and immunomodulatory effects of social isolation and loneliness across adulthood.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2021 06 8;128:105194. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, USA.

Experimental and observational evidence agreed on two interconnected biological mechanisms responsible for the links between social isolation/loneliness and health: alterations in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and compromised functioning of the innate immune system. However, most existing studies did not consider the simultaneous impact of social isolation and loneliness on biological outcomes. Further, they only assessed one biological outcome at a time and did not test any moderation by age, despite empirical and theoretical evidence supporting the plausibility of this hypothesis. To address these gaps in the literature, we tested the associations between two indicators of social isolation (living status and frequency of social contacts) and loneliness and daily cortisol secretion and two markers of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP] and interleukin-6 [IL-6]) in a sample of adults aged between 25 and 75 years old. Data were drawn from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Refresher study (N = 314). We found that, above and beyond loneliness, living alone was associated with a flattened diurnal cortisol slope (i.e., reduced changes in cortisol levels during waking hours that are indicative of a dysregulated HPA axis) and higher CRP levels. On the other hand, higher loneliness was associated with higher IL-6 levels, above and beyond our measures of social isolation. Loneliness did not mediate any of the effects of social isolation on either cortisol or CRP, and age did not moderate any of the relationships reported above. Our findings support the idea that social isolation and loneliness have unique and independent endocrine and immune effects despite being linked to each other. Understanding the specific biological pathways through which these aspects of social well-being exert their effects on health across the lifespan has critical consequences for both intervention development and public health policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105194DOI Listing
June 2021

Momentary emotions and salivary cortisol: A systematic review and meta-analysis of ecological momentary assessment studies.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2021 06 1;125:365-379. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, United States; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, United States. Electronic address:

An integrated view of the stress response requires consideration of both the emotional and hormonal sequelae of stress, which are regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Understanding the extent of the association between emotions and cortisol at the momentary level can shed light on the biopsychological pathways linking stress to health. Research in this area has adopted heterogeneous approaches and produced mixed findings; thus, it is critical to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis. Systematic searches in major databases identified 22 studies (negative emotions [k = 19; 38,418 momentary observations]; positive emotions [k = 15; 31,721 momentary observations]). Meta-analysis found a significant positive association between momentary negative emotions and cortisol (r = .06, p < .001) and a significant negative association between momentary positive emotions and cortisol (r = -.05, p = .003). No methodological differences moderated these associations. Our findings suggest that emotional states correlate with cortisol levels at the momentary level. We discuss the health implications of our findings and provide recommendations for advancing this area of research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.042DOI Listing
June 2021

Perceived stress is linked to heightened biomarkers of inflammation via diurnal cortisol in a national sample of adults.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 03 28;93:206-213. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, United States; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, United States. Electronic address:

Exposure to and perceptions of stress have been associated with altered systemic inflammation, but the intermediate processes by which stress links to inflammation are not fully understood. Diurnal cortisol slopes were examined as a pathway by which self-reported psychosocial stress is associated with inflammation [i.e., C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), fibrinogen, E-Selectin, and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1)] in a large sample of adults (the Midlife in the US study; N = 914; 55.9% female; aged 34-84 years). Structural equation modeling indicated that perceived psychological stress was associated with flattened diurnal cortisol slopes and flatter diurnal cortisol slopes were, in turn, associated with heightened inflammation in these cross-sectional analyses (index of indirect pathway, ω = 0.003, 95% CI [0.001, 0.004], ω = 0.027; with covariates, ω = 0.001, [0.0002, 0.002], ω = 0.011). A similar indirect effect was evident for self-reported traumatic life events (ω = 0.007, [0.004, 0.012], ω = 0.030); however, inclusion of covariates (i.e., age, gender, race, ethnicity, body mass index, and other factors associated with physical health) accounted for this finding (ω = 0.001, [-0.001, 0.004], ω = 0.005). These results support an allostatic load model of psychosomatic health, in which cortisol (along with other stress-responsive signaling molecules) is a necessary component for understanding links between stress exposure, perceived stress, and immune functioning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274563PMC
March 2021

Low fundamental and formant frequencies predict fighting ability among male mixed martial arts fighters.

Sci Rep 2021 01 13;11(1):905. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, 409 Carpenter Building, University Park, PA, 16802, USA.

Human voice pitch is highly sexually dimorphic and eminently quantifiable, making it an ideal phenotype for studying the influence of sexual selection. In both traditional and industrial populations, lower pitch in men predicts mating success, reproductive success, and social status and shapes social perceptions, especially those related to physical formidability. Due to practical and ethical constraints however, scant evidence tests the central question of whether male voice pitch and other acoustic measures indicate actual fighting ability in humans. To address this, we examined pitch, pitch variability, and formant position of 475 mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from an elite fighting league, with each fighter's acoustic measures assessed from multiple voice recordings extracted from audio or video interviews available online (YouTube, Google Video, podcasts), totaling 1312 voice recording samples. In four regression models each predicting a separate measure of fighting ability (win percentages, number of fights, Elo ratings, and retirement status), no acoustic measure significantly predicted fighting ability above and beyond covariates. However, after fight statistics, fight history, height, weight, and age were used to extract underlying dimensions of fighting ability via factor analysis, pitch and formant position negatively predicted "Fighting Experience" and "Size" factor scores in a multivariate regression model, explaining 3-8% of the variance. Our findings suggest that lower male pitch and formants may be valid cues of some components of fighting ability in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79408-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806622PMC
January 2021

Socioeconomic status and medication adherence among youth with asthma: the mediating role of frequency of children's daily routines.

Psychol Health 2021 Jan 4:1-17. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Objective: The current research aims to examine a potential explanation for SES disparities in youth medication adherence: the frequency of children's daily routines.

Design: In a cross-sectional sample of 194 youth with asthma (112 boys and 82 girls; average age = 12.8 years old) and their primary caregivers primarily from the Detroit metropolitan area, caregivers reported their SES and the frequency of their children's daily routines during the first laboratory visit. At a follow-up visit, caregivers and their children completed the Family Asthma Management System Scale (FAMSS), a well-validated, semi-structured interview that assess children's degree of adherence to prescribed medications.

Main Outcome Measures: Children's daily routines were measured with the Child Routines Inventory while children's medication adherence was measured with the FAMSS.

Results: Mediation analyses revealed that the association between subjective (but not objective) SES and medication adherence was partially mediated by the frequency of children's daily routines.

Conclusion: These results suggest that the frequency of children's daily routines is an important factor linking SES and medication adherence, a finding with important implications for improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities between low SES children and their high SES counterparts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2020.1869739DOI Listing
January 2021

Perceived Social Support and Children's Physiological Responses to Stress: An Examination of the Stress-Buffering Hypothesis.

Psychosom Med 2021 01;83(1):51-61

From the Institute of Developmental Psychology (Chen, Wang, Lin), Beijing Normal University, Beijing; Department of Psychology (Chen), University of Macau, Macau SAR, China; and Departments of Psychology (Zilioli, Jiang) and Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (Zilioli), Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Objective: The current study aimed to examine the stress-buffering effect of children's perceived social support on their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and autonomic nervous system reactivity to an acute laboratory stressor.

Methods: A sample of 150 children (aged 9-13 years, mean [standard deviation] age = 10.69 [0.93] years, 74 girls) reported perceived social support, stressful life events, and underwent the Modified Trier Social Stress Test, during which six saliva samples were collected. A two-piece multilevel growth curve model with landmark registration was used to detect trajectory differences in the reactivity and recovery phases of the stress response and account for individual variation in the timing of poststressor peak hormone concentrations.

Results: The interaction between stressful life events and perceived social support significantly predicted poststressor peak cortisol levels (β = 0.0805, SE = 0.0328, p = .015) and cortisol recovery slope (β = -0.0011, SE = 0.0005, p = .040). Children with more life events and low social support exhibited the lowest poststressor peak cortisol levels and the flattest cortisol recovery slope. In contrast, children high in stressful life events and high in social support displayed cortisol response profiles more similar to those of children with low stressful life events. Conversely, there were no statistically significant two-way interactions of stressful life events and perceived social support on salivary α-amylase parameters (i.e., poststressor peak [p = .38], reactivity slope [p = .81], and recovery slope [p = .32]).

Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence for the buffering effect of children's perceived social support on the association between life stress and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis response profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000875DOI Listing
January 2021

Correction to Rodriguez-Stanley et al. (2020).

J Fam Psychol 2020 Oct;34(7):845

Department of Psychology.

Reports an error in "Housework, health, and well-being in older adults: The role of socioeconomic status" by Jacqueline Rodriguez-Stanley, María Alonso-Ferres, Samuele Zilioli and Richard B. Slatcher (, 2020[Aug], Vol 34[5], 610-620). In the article (http://dx.doi.org/10 .1037/fam0000630), values are incorrectly reported in columns 1-3 of Table 1 and in the "Eudaimonic well-being," "Physical health," and "Sleep dysfunction" columns of Table 2. Although the significance of the associations and analyses remain unchanged, the corrected table columns are included in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2020-09875-001.) For most adults, household chores are undesirable tasks yet need to be completed regularly. Previous research has identified absolute hours spent on household chores and one's perceived fairness of the housework distribution as predictors of romantic relationship quality and well-being outcomes. Drawing from the Equity Theory, we hypothesized that perceived fairness acts as an underlying psychological mechanism linking household chores hours to long-term effects of relationship quality, well-being, physical health, and sleep quality in a sample of 2,644 married and cohabiting adults from the Midlife Development in the U.S. study. Additionally, following the Reserve Capacity Model, socioeconomic status (SES) was tested as a moderator because of its association with exposure to stressors and psychological resources which contribute to perceived fairness. Moderated mediation results showed significant indirect effects of household chore hours through perceived fairness on prospective measures of well-being, marital quality, physical health, and sleep dysfunction among individuals of lower SES but not higher SES when controlling for age, sex, and paid work hours. These results highlight the importance of perceived fairness and the influence of SES in the links among household chores and long-term relationship processes, health, and well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000800DOI Listing
October 2020

Exogenous testosterone increases the audience effect in healthy males: evidence for the social status hypothesis.

Proc Biol Sci 2020 07 15;287(1931):20200976. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.

Several studies have implicated testosterone in the modulation of altruistic behaviours instrumental to advancing social status. Independent studies have also shown that people tend to behave more altruistically when being watched (i.e. audience effect). To date, little is known about whether testosterone could modulate the audience effect. In the current study, we tested the effect of testosterone on altruistic behaviour using a donation task, wherein participants were asked to either accept or reject a monetary transfer to a charity organization accompanying a personal cost either in the presence or absence of an observer. We administered testosterone gel or placebo to healthy young men ( = 140) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, mixed design. Our results showed that participants were more likely to accept the monetary transfer to the charity when being observed compared to when they completed the task alone. More importantly, this audience effect was amplified among people receiving testosterone versus placebo. Our findings suggest that testosterone administration increases the audience effect and further buttress the social status hypothesis, according to which testosterone promotes status-seeking behaviour in a context-dependent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7423654PMC
July 2020

Socioeconomic status and differential psychological and immune responses to a human-caused disaster.

Brain Behav Immun 2020 08 20;88:935-939. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Health Care Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, United States; Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, United States.

Objective: Individuals from different socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds may respond variably to stressful events, and such differences are likely to contribute to health disparities. The current study leveraged data collected before and after a petrochemical explosion and aimed to investigate how individuals from different SES backgrounds responded to this unexpected stressor in terms of perceived social support, perceived stress, and systemic inflammation.

Methods: Data were drawn from 124 participants (M = 55.9 ± 16.1 years, 69.4% female, 29.0% White) living close to a petrochemical complex where the explosion occurred in 2005. SES was assessed at baseline, and perceived stress and inflammatory markers (i.e., C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6 [IL-6]) were assessed at both pre- and post-explosion. Perceived social support was assessed at post-explosion.

Results: Lower SES was associated with less perceived social support. Lower SES was also associated with a larger increase in perceived stress and higher levels of IL-6, but not CRP. Perceived social support did not moderate or mediate the effects of SES on changes in perceived stress, IL-6, or CRP. The associations between SES and inflammatory markers were also not explained by changes in perceived stress.

Conclusion: Findings from this study support the idea that individuals from different SES backgrounds respond differently to stressors at both the psychosocial (perceived social support and perceived stress) and biological (inflammation) levels. Our findings also suggest that these two processes appear to act independently from each other.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415684PMC
August 2020

Self-reported physical and psychological symptoms among victims and perpetrators of bullying in Arab American Adolescents.

J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs 2020 11 28;33(4):201-208. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Problem: The adverse effects of bullying victimization among adolescents have been examined extensively. However, few studies have examined how bullying perpetration affects health. Moreover, ethnic or religious minorities are particularly at risk for bullying involvement, but little is known about bullying among Arab Americans. The purpose of this study is to examine how bullying perpetration and victimization are related-independently and concurrently-to physical and psychological problems among Arab American adolescents.

Method: Arab American adolescents (N = 150), ages 12-16, were recruited from a community center and a mosque located in Southeast Michigan. Participants completed the Adolescent Peer Relations Instrument, the Children's Somatization Inventory, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, and the Perceived Stress Scale.

Findings: Both bullying perpetration and victimization correlated positively with physical and psychological symptoms. Hierarchical regressions indicated that both perpetration and victimization simultaneously and significantly predicted physical and psychological symptoms, and these relationships were independent of the demographic factors and general life stress.

Conclusions: Bullying perpetration and victimization are associated with adverse health outcomes in Arab American adolescents, independent of life stress. These findings are among the first ones in this population and pave the way for future research and intervention programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcap.12270DOI Listing
November 2020

Housework, health, and well-being in older adults: The role of socioeconomic status.

J Fam Psychol 2020 Aug 13;34(5):610-620. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Department of Psychology.

For most adults, household chores are undesirable tasks yet need to be completed regularly. Previous research has identified absolute hours spent on household chores and one's perceived fairness of the housework distribution as predictors of romantic relationship quality and well-being outcomes. Drawing from the Equity Theory, we hypothesized that perceived fairness acts as an underlying psychological mechanism linking household chores hours to long-term effects of relationship quality, well-being, physical health, and sleep quality in a sample of 2,644 married and cohabiting adults from the Midlife Development in the U.S. study. Additionally, following the Reserve Capacity Model, socioeconomic status (SES) was tested as a moderator because of its association with exposure to stressors and psychological resources which contribute to perceived fairness. Moderated mediation results showed significant indirect effects of household chore hours through perceived fairness on prospective measures of well-being, marital quality, physical health, and sleep dysfunction among individuals of lower SES but not higher SES when controlling for age, sex, and paid work hours. These results highlight the importance of perceived fairness and the influence of SES in the links among household chores and long-term relationship processes, health, and well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7374043PMC
August 2020

Single dose testosterone administration increases impulsivity in the intertemporal choice task among healthy males.

Horm Behav 2020 02 27;118:104634. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China; School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

Circulating levels of testosterone have been positively associated with impulsivity. The present study investigates the effect of testosterone administration on impulsivity in an intertemporal choice task, where participants are given a choice between smaller-sooner rewards and larger-later rewards. Healthy young male participants (n = 111) received a single-dose of 150 mg testosterone gel in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design. At 180 min post-administration, participants performed the decision-making task. Both model-free (i.e., higher indifference point) and model-based (i.e., steeper discounting rate) parameters revealed that testosterone administration increased impulsive choice. This finding supports the hypothesis that exogenous testosterone increases impulsivity among healthy young males in a laboratory task.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.104634DOI Listing
February 2020

Corrigendum to "Brief report: Neighborhood disadvantage and hair cortisol among older urban African Americans" [Psychoneuroendocrinology 80 (2017) 36-38].

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2020 Jan 16;111:104508. Epub 2019 Nov 16.

Department of Health Care Sciences, Wayne State University, United States; Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, United States. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.104508DOI Listing
January 2020

Socioeconomic Status, Ecologically Assessed Social Activities, and Daily Cortisol Among Older Urban African Americans.

J Aging Health 2020 Aug-Sep;32(7-8):830-840. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Health Care Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Higher socioeconomic status (SES) individuals report more social activities than their lower SES counterparts. Yet, SES and racial health disparities are often confounded. Here, we tested whether the frequency of engagement in social activities contributed to the association between SES and daily cortisol secretion among urban African American older adults. Ninety-two community-dwelling African Americans aged 55 years and older reported what they were doing at regular intervals across the day on an Android smartphone for seven consecutive days. They also provided four saliva samples at four time points a day during the same period. Higher SES older adults engaged in proportionally more social activities than their lower SES counterparts. A greater relative frequency of weekly social activities was associated with a steeper diurnal cortisol decline. Higher SES was indirectly linked to a steeper cortisol decline via increased relative frequency of weekly social activities. Our findings suggest that engagement in weekly social activities represents a behavioral intermediary for SES health disparities in endocrine function among older urban African American adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0898264319856481DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940549PMC
April 2021

Testosterone administration increases social discounting in healthy males.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2019 10 26;108:127-134. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Zurich Center for Neuroeconomics, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Although testosterone is thought to induce antisocial and aggressive behavior, research on social economic interactions has associated it with prosocial and affiliative behavior. Here, we investigated the effects of testosterone on social distance-dependent generosity in an economic discounting task where participants chose between selfish and generous alternatives. We administered testosterone gel or placebo to men in a double-blind, randomized design and measured how willing they were to share rewards with close and distant others. Across two studies (total n = 174), testosterone administration consistently increased social discounting, that is participants became more selfish, particularly with regard to distant others (vs. close others). This effect was not explained by testosterone-induced increases in social distance perception. Our findings provide causal evidence that-testosterone reduces generosity in human economic decision-making. Moreover, they suggest that the valuation and the perception of social distance are independently affected by testosterone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.06.013DOI Listing
October 2019

Human reproductive behavior, life history, and the Challenge Hypothesis: A 30-year review, retrospective and future directions.

Horm Behav 2020 07 25;123:104530. Epub 2019 May 25.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, United States of America; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, United States of America. Electronic address:

The Challenge Hypothesis (Wingfield et al., 1990) originally focused on adult male avian testosterone elevated in response to same-sex competition in reproductive contexts. The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate how the Challenge Hypothesis has shaped ideas about human life histories. We conduct a citation analysis, drawing upon 400 Google Scholar citations in the human literature to identify patterns in this body of scholarship. We cover key factors, such as context and personality traits, that help explain variable testosterone responses such as winning/losing to adult competitive behavior. Findings from studies on courtship and sexual behavior indicate some variation in testosterone responses depending on factors such as motivation. A large body of research indicates that male testosterone levels are often lower in contexts of long-term committed partnerships and nurturant fathering and aligned with variation in male mating and parenting effort. As the Challenge Hypothesis is extended across the life course, DHEA and androstenedione (rather than testosterone) appear more responsive to juvenile male competitive behavior, and during reproductive senescence, baseline male testosterone levels decrease just as male life history allocations show decreased mating effort. We discuss how research on testosterone administration, particularly in older men, provides causal insight into effects of testosterone in humans, and how this "natural experiment" can be viewed in light of the Challenge Hypothesis. We synthesize central concepts and findings, such as an expanded array of costs of testosterone that inform life history tradeoffs between maintenance and reproductive effort, and we conclude with directions for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.04.017DOI Listing
July 2020

Basal cortisol, cortisol reactivity, and telomere length: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2019 05 22;103:163-172. Epub 2019 Jan 22.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI United States; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI United States. Electronic address:

The objective of the present study is to synthesize the existing empirical literature and perform a meta-analysis of published data on the relationship between cortisol and telomere length. We systematically searched studies that examined the relationship between cortisol and telomere length in humans on electronic databases and screened reference sections of included articles. Fourteen studies were included in the meta-analysis, with effect sizes being extracted for two cortisol measures: basal cortisol levels and cortisol reactivity to acute psychological stress. Results from random effects models showed that basal cortisol levels (13 effect sizes from 12 cross-sectional studies, N = 3675 participants) were not significantly correlated with telomere length (r =-0.05, 95% CI [-0.11, 0.02]). Further, results stratified by the specimen type for cortisol measurement (i.e., saliva, urine, blood) showed that none of the three basal cortisol level measures were correlated with telomere length. However, we found a statistically significant correlation between salivary cortisol reactivity to acute psychosocial stress (6 cross-sectional studies, N = 958 participants) and telomere length (r = -0.13, 95% CI [-0.23, -0.03]). Subgroup analyses revealed that correlations between salivary cortisol reactivity and telomere length were more evident in studies conducted among children (vs. adults) and in studies that included female participants only (vs. both genders). However, the small number of available studies limits the conclusions derived from subgroup analyses, and more studies are needed before moderator effects can be properly established. Overall, findings of this study support the existence of a relationship between cortisol reactivity and telomere shortening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.01.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6450740PMC
May 2019

Testosterone, cortisol, and status-striving personality features: A review and empirical evaluation of the Dual Hormone hypothesis.

Horm Behav 2019 03 1;109:25-37. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Decades of research in behavioral endocrinology has implicated the gonadal hormone testosterone in the regulation of mating effort, often expressed in primates in the form of aggressive and/or status-striving behavior. Based on the idea that neuroendocrine axes influence each other, recent work among humans has proposed that links between testosterone and indices of status-striving are rendered conditional by the effects of glucocorticoids. The Dual Hormone hypothesis is one particular instance of this argument, predicting that cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone on dominance, aggression, and risk-taking in humans. Support for the Dual Hormone hypothesis is wide-ranging, but considerations of theoretical ambiguity, null findings, and low statistical power pose problems for interpreting the published literature. Here, we contribute to the development of the Dual Hormone hypothesis by (1) critically reviewing the extant literature-including p-curve analyses of published findings; and, (2) "opening the file drawer" and examining relationships between testosterone, cortisol, and status-striving personality features in seven previously published studies from our laboratories (total N = 718; median N per feature = 318) that examined unrelated predictions. Results from p-curve suggest that published studies have only 16% power to detect effects, while our own data show no robust interactions between testosterone and cortisol in predicting status-striving personality features. We discuss the implications of these results for the Dual Hormone hypothesis, limitations of our analyses, and the development of future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.01.006DOI Listing
March 2019

Pair-bonding, fatherhood, and the role of testosterone: A meta-analytic review.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2019 03 9;98:221-233. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA; Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Males of many species must allocate limited energy budgets between mating and parenting effort. The Challenge Hypothesis provides a framework for understanding these life-history trade-offs via the disparate roles of testosterone (T) in aggression, sexual behavior, and parenting. It predicts that males pursuing mating opportunities have higher T than males pursuing paternal strategies, and in humans, many studies indeed report that men who are fathers and/or pair-bonded have lower T than childless and/or unpaired men. However, the magnitude of these effects, and the influence of methodological variation on effect sizes, have not been quantitatively assessed. We meta-analyzed 114 effects from 66 published and unpublished studies covering four predictions inspired by the Challenge Hypothesis. We confirm that pair-bonded men have lower T than single men, and fathers have lower T than childless men. Furthermore, men more oriented toward pair-bonding or offspring investment had lower T. We discuss the practical meaningfulness of the effect sizes we estimate in relation to known factors (e.g., aging, geographic population) that influence men's T concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.01.010DOI Listing
March 2019

Diurnal Cortisol in a Sample of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Chinese Children: Evidence for the Shift-and-Persist Hypothesis.

Psychosom Med 2019 Feb/Mar;81(2):200-208

From the Institute of Developmental Psychology (Chen, Lin), Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China; Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (Li), University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina; Department of Psychology (Imami, Zilioli), Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; Institute of Psychology and Behavior (Zhao), Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, China; Department of Psychology (Zhao), Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, Henan, China; and Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (Zilioli), Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Objective: Low socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most well-established social determinants of health. However, little is known about what can protect the health of individuals (especially children) living in low-SES circumstances. This study explored whether the psychological strategy of "shift-and-persist" protects low-SES children from stress-related physiological risks, as measured through blunted (unhealthy) diurnal cortisol profiles.

Methods: A sample of 645 children (aged 8-15 years) from low-SES backgrounds and having at least one HIV-positive parent completed a battery of psychological scales. Diurnal cortisol assessments included collection of saliva samples four times a day for 3 days, from which three cortisol parameters (cortisol at awakening, cortisol awakening response, and cortisol slope) were derived.

Results: Higher levels of shift-and-persist, considered as a single variable, were associated with higher cortisol at awakening (B = 0.0119, SE = 0.0034, p < .001) and a steeper cortisol slope (B = -0.0007, SE = 0.0003, p = .023). These associations remained significant after adjusting for covariates and did not vary by age. In supplementary analyses, where shifting and persisting were treated as separate variables, the interaction between these two coping strategies significantly predicted cortisol at awakening (B = 0.0250, SE = 0.0107, p = .020) and the cortisol slope (B = -0.0022, SE = 0.0011, p = .040), suggesting that the combination of shift-and-persist is important for predicting diurnal cortisol profiles.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that shift-and-persist is associated with healthier diurnal cortisol profiles among socioeconomically disadvantaged children and introduce the possibility that this coping strategy is protective against other stressors, such as those uniquely faced by children in our study (i.e., being affected by parental HIV).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6355348PMC
April 2020

Self-Disclosure and Perceived Responsiveness Among Youth With Asthma: Links to Affect and Anti-Inflammatory Gene Expression.

Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2019 08 28;45(8):1155-1169. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

1 Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Self-disclosure and perceived responsiveness are important building blocks of social relationships that have long-lasting consequences for health and well-being. However, the conditions under which self-disclosure and responsiveness are likely to benefit health, and how early in life these benefits arise, remain unclear. Among 141 youth (aged 10-17) with asthma, we investigated how average daily levels of self-disclosure and responsiveness are linked to positive and negative affect and the expression of the glucocorticoid receptor gene , a marker of improved regulation of stress physiology and immune functioning. Higher levels of self-disclosure were associated with higher expression and positive affect when perceptions of responsiveness were high. Furthermore, perceived responsiveness was linked to expression for females but not males. These results suggest that the potential benefits of self-disclosure depend on the extent to which interaction partners are perceived as responsive and that these benefits emerge prior to adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167218808497DOI Listing
August 2019

Exogenous Testosterone Increases Decoy Effect in Healthy Males.

Front Psychol 2018 13;9:2188. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

There is increasing interest in the role played by testosterone in economic decision-making and social cognition. However, despite the growing body of findings in this field of research, no empirical study to date has tested whether testosterone modulates decision-making when an asymmetrically dominated decoy option is introduced in a choice set. Within a choice set that comprises two options, an asymmetrically dominated decoy option is a third option that, when introduced in the choice set, is much worse than one of the existing options, but comparable to the other existing option. Introduction of a decoy option leads to a preference toward the dominating option (i.e., decoy effect). Healthy male participants ( = 63) received a single-dose of 150 mg testosterone gel in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design. At 180 min post-administration, participants took part in a decision-making task to elicit decoy effect. Results showed that participants in the testosterone group made less consistent choices and more target choices (i.e., decoy effect) than participants in the placebo group. These findings are interpreted in light of the dual-process theory and are in line with existing evidence suggesting that testosterone promotes more intuitive and automatic judgments in human decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6243091PMC
November 2018
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