Perceived Partner Responsiveness Predicts Diurnal Cortisol Profiles 10 Years Later

2015-07-01
Slatcher, Richard B.
Selçuk, Emre
Ong, Anthony D.
Several decades of research have demonstrated that marital relationships have a powerful influence on physical health. However, surprisingly little is known about how marriage affects healthboth in terms of psychological processes and biological ones. Over a 10-year period, we investigated the associations between perceived partner responsivenessthe extent to which people feel understood, cared for, and appreciated by their romantic partnersand diurnal cortisol in a large sample of married and cohabitating couples in the United States. Partner responsiveness predicted higher cortisol values at awakening and steeper (i.e., healthier) cortisol slopes at the 10-year follow-up. These associations remained strong after we controlled for demographic factors, depressive symptoms, agreeableness, and other positive and negative relationship factors. Furthermore, declines in negative affect over the 10-year period mediated the prospective association between responsiveness and cortisol slope. These findings suggest that diurnal cortisol may be a key biological pathway through which social relationships affect long-term health.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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Citation Formats
R. B. Slatcher, E. Selçuk, and A. D. Ong, “Perceived Partner Responsiveness Predicts Diurnal Cortisol Profiles 10 Years Later,” PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, pp. 972–982, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/56621.