Psychological correlates of immunological indices

Shulamith Kreitler*, Shlomo Berliner, Moshe Aronson, Nadir Arber, Hans Kreitler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Most psychoimmunological studies have focused on the effects of short‐term situation‐bound stress. This study was designed to explore the effects of different short‐and long‐term psychological factors on immunity, as reflected in the state of leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation (LAA) in the peripheral blood, the white blood cell count (WBCC) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). The subjects were 91 healthy men and women, aged 18–69 years. They were administered the tests for LAA, WBCC and ESR, the Life Experiences Survey (Sarason et al.), the Questionnaire of Personal Problems (Kreitler and Kreitler), three measures of emotions, scales of neuroticism (Eysenck), stress susceptibility (Tellegen), strength of excitation, inhibition and mobility of nervous processes (Strelau), and the cognitive orientation (CO) of health. The results showed that the state of LAA in the peripheral blood correlated with 21.3 per cent of the psychological variables and that in a regression analysis these accounted for 38.2 per cent of the variance in LAA, the major predictors being specific personal problems and a constituent of the CO of health. The former alone accounted for 22.8 per cent of the variance and the latter for 26.6 per cent. The major predictor in men was personal problems and in women CO of health. WBCC and ESR were related to psychological factors to a lesser degree and to other predictors, mainly emotional. The conclusions emphasize the relatedness of LAA to specific sources of stress of short (viz problems) and long (viz deficient means of reducing stress) duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalStress Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation
  • cognitive orientation of health
  • psychoimmunology
  • stress


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