Gender differences in delayed-type hypersensitivity response: effects of stress and coping in first-year law students.

TitleGender differences in delayed-type hypersensitivity response: effects of stress and coping in first-year law students.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
JournalBrain, behavior, and immunity
Volume23
Issue5
Pagination672-6
ISSN0889-1591
Abstract

Law students show significant deficits in emotional and physical well-being compared with groups of students in other areas of higher education. Furthermore, evidence suggests that these effects may be worse for women than for men. The use of active coping can positively affect immunity under stress, but this may be most true for men in the context of law school. The current study examined the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin responses of first-year law students (n=121) and a comparison group (n=30). Students' health behaviors, self-evaluative emotions, and coping strategies were also reported. Male law students had larger DTH responses than females, but this gender effect was not present in the comparison group. Endorsement of perseverance under stress (n=19), an active coping strategy, moderated the gender effect on immunity. Perseverance associated with larger DTH responses and more positive self-evaluative emotion, but only among men. These results indicate that active coping may be less efficacious for women than for men in law school, which in turn may limit women's opportunities to attenuate negative effects of law school.

URLhttp://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0889-1591(09)00002-6
DOI10.1016/j.bbi.2008.12.011
Short TitleBrain Behav Immun
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