Individuals with Attachment Anxiety Produce 11% More Stress Hormones

Study

Individuals with Attachment Anxiety Produce 11% More Stress Hormones

C. Price C. Price • 2/22/13

How secure an individual feels in a relationship could impact his or her health.

According to a new study, individuals with high levels of attachment anxiety produce an average of 11 percent more cortisol and 11 to 22 percent more T-cells than individuals with less attachment anxiety.

Lisa Jaremka, the lead author of the study with Ohio State University, asked 85 married couples about the stability of their relationship and measured saliva and blood samples to test levels of stress hormones and immune cells.

“Individuals with high levels of attachment anxiety

produce an average of 11 percent more cortisol.”

Jaremka was specifically looking to measure what’s known as “attachment anxiety,” a psychological state where an individual requires constant reassurance and feels extreme concerns about being rejected.

In the biological portion of the study, Jaremka measured each participant’s T-cell levels and levels of cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress.

While the study’s results bode poorly for those who suffer from feelings of relationship anxiety, Jaremka noted these feelings are constantly changing.

“Most research that does exist in this area supports the idea that being in very caring, loving, close relationships might be a catalyst to change from being very anxious to not,” she said.

Source: Psychological Science. Photo source: chicagophoenix.com.