|Title||Social Relationships and Salivary Telomere Length Among Middle-Aged and Older African American and White Adults.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Authors||Lincoln, KD, Lloyd, DA, Nguyen, AW|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|Date Published||2017 May 09|
|Keywords||African Americans, Social Relationships, Telomeres, Women and Minorities|
Objectives: A common mechanism underlying premature morbidity may be accelerated biological aging as reflected by salivary telomere length (STL). This study examined the extent to which social relationships, both positive and negative, can be protective or confer risk relative to biological aging.
Method: Data from the Health and Retirement Study and multiple regression were used to examine cross-sectional associations between STL, self-reported social support, and negative interaction (e.g., conflict, criticism) with family in a nationally representative sample of African American and non-Hispanic White middle-aged and older adults (N = 4,080).
Results: Social support from family was associated with shorter STL. Negative interaction with family had no main effect on STL but interactions characterized by high social support and more frequent negative interactions were associated with longer STL. Negative interaction with family was negatively associated with STL for African Americans and Whites but the magnitude of the effect was greater for African Americans.
Discussion: Study findings highlight the role of social relationships in physiological deterioration among middle-aged and older adults and identify a potential mechanism whereby race is linked to accelerated biological aging. Findings highlight the importance of considering positive and negative aspects of social relationships to understand the consequences of social connections for cellular aging in diverse populations.
|User Guide Notes|
|Alternate Journal||J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci|