A growing body of research suggests that threats to the social self, or threats to one's social esteem, acceptance, or status, can elicit a coordinated response, including increases in self-conscious emotion, cortisol, and proinflammatory cytokine activity. These psychobiological changes
may have important benefits under certain acute contexts, including providing a signaling function for detecting social threat, initiating biological processes to adequately respond to the threat, and supporting behavioral patterns of submission or disengagement, which may be adaptive in this
context. However, prolonged or chronic experiences of social self threat could have damaging mental and physical health consequences; situational and individual characteristics may render some more vulnerable to these negative effects.
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Document Type: Research Article
University of California, Irvine, California, USA
University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
April 1, 2009