One of the most consistent findings from viral challenge studies (see Common Cold) is that the experience of stress is positively associated with susceptibility to the common cold. Here stress is defined as a psychological state resulting from outside factors or events placing demands on an individual that exceed his or her resources or ability to cope (Cohen, Kessler, & Gordon, 1995). Although stressful experiences such as bereavement and care giving have long been believed to suppress host resistance, the common cold studies were the first to demonstrate the role of the stress factor under prospective, controlled conditions.
Cohen, Tyrrell, and Smith (1991) conducted one of the first studies to explore the role of stress in susceptibility to the common cold. The authors assessed several stress factors, including life events and perceived stress in a sample of healthy adults, and then experimentally exposed...
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References and Readings
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Janicki-Deverts, D., Crittenden, C.N. (2013). Common Cold: The Stress Factor. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_796
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