Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether psychological stress, specifically examination stress, would decrease immune system functioning. Twenty-five first-year master's and doctoral students who volunteered to participate in the study were psychologically and immunologically assessed during two high- and two low-stress periods. Immunological assessments included a white blood cell differential count and nitroblue tetrazolium test (NBT) to measure neutrophil functioning. Psychological instruments administered at each assessment period included Clinical Analysis Questionnaire (CAQ), Bender Gestalt Test, State- Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and a Brief Stress Questionnaire. Stepwise discriminant function analysis of data revealed five variables which contributed significantly to change under stress and yielded an average canonical correlation of .79 (p < .002) providing evidence of support for the hypothesis that increased psychological stress will alter immune functioning and heighten psychological responses.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Didriksen, Nancy A. (Nancy Andrews)