A Systematic Review of Associations Between Emotion Regulation Characteristics and Inflammation

This review has been published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. The abstract says:

“Elevated inflammation is a risk factor for many psychiatric (e.g., depression) and somatic conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis). Inflammation is influenced by psychosocial processes such as emotion regulation. Characterization of which emotion regulation characteristics impact inflammation could help refine psychosocial interventions aimed at normalizing health-harming inflammatory activity for individuals with psychiatric and somatic illnesses. We systematically reviewed the literature on associations between a variety of emotion regulation traits and inflammation. Out of 2,816 articles identified, 38 were included in the final review. 28 (74%) found that (a) poor emotion regulation is associated with higher inflammation and/or (b) strong emotion regulation skills are associated with lower inflammation. Consistency of results differed as a function of the emotion regulation construct investigated and methodological characteristics. Results were most consistent for studies testing positive coping/social support seeking or broadly defined emotion regulation/dysregulation. Methodologically, studies testing reactivity to a stressor, adopting a vulnerability-stress framework, or using longitudinal data were most consistent. Implications for integrated, transdiagnostic psychoimmunological theories are discussed, as well as recommendations for clinical research.”

You can read the full review from here.

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