Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Martin, Randall B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Immunoglobulin A; Health--Psychological aspects; Saliva


This study examined the short-term influences of emotional expression (crying and laughing) and depressed mood on salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA). It also examined the moderating influences of humor and cry coping on the relationship between stress and S-IgA. Finally, it examined the relationships among stress, S-IgA and retrospective reports of illness. Sixty-three subjects completed the study's three sessions: one group (administered cry and humor coping measures) and two individual sessions (viewed control or emotional films and filled out illness, stress, and mood measures). As in previous studies, an inverse relationship between S-IgA and saliva volume was present; analyses using either adjusted or unadjusted S-IgA yielded similar results. The films had the expected effects on depressed mood. This study did not replicate previous findings involving the interaction of level of crying and depressed mood effects on S-IgA change. Although not statistically significant, viewing a humorous film appeared to have a general immunoenhancing effect with a mean S-IgA increase of about five percent. The control films produced the greatest trend of S-IgA Increase and may have been related to relaxation effects found in previous studies. Buffering effects of cry and humor coping were not supported by the present study. A statistically significant relationship was present between retrospective reports of illness and a measure of daily hassles.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [83]-91).


x, 193 pages




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