Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 570–578 | Cite as

Educational Status, Anger, and Inflammation in the MIDUS National Sample: Does Race Matter?

  • Jennifer Morozink Boylan
  • Tené T. Lewis
  • Christopher L. Coe
  • Carol D. Ryff
Original Article



Racial differences in anger frequency and expression styles have been found. Further, African Americans receive fewer health benefits from higher education than Whites.


This study seeks to investigate racial differences in how anger moderates the association between education and inflammation.


Midlife in the US participants (n = 1,200; 43.0 % male; 18.5 % African American) provided education and anger data via survey assessments. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and fibrinogen were determined from a fasting blood sample following an overnight clinic visit.


African Americans reported higher anger-out, IL-6, and fibrinogen and lower anger-control than Whites. Anger-out predicted higher IL-6 and fibrinogen among African Americans with higher education; whereas, trait anger and anger-out predicted lower fibrinogen among Whites with higher education. Anger-out marginally predicted higher IL-6 in less educated Whites.


Findings underscore racial differences in the benefits and consequences of educational attainment, and how social inequities and anger are manifested in inflammatory physiology.


Anger Race differences Educational attainment Inflammation 


Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards

Authors Jennifer Morozink Boylan, Tené T. Lewis, Christopher L. Coe, and Carol D. Ryff declare that they have no conflict of interest. All participants provided written informed consent. All procedures followed were in accordance with the American Psychological Association ethical standards and with the Helsinki Declaration. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards at University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as at Georgetown University and the University of California, Los Angeles.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Morozink Boylan
    • 1
  • Tené T. Lewis
    • 2
  • Christopher L. Coe
    • 3
    • 4
  • Carol D. Ryff
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Harlow Center for Biological PsychologyMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Institute on AgingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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