: This study examined the associations among loneliness, stressful life events, urinary cortisol levels, and immunocompetency. Blood and urine were obtained from 33 psychiatric inpatients on the day after admission, at which time the patients completed the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview Life Events Scale (PERI), and the MMPI. Patients who scored above the median on loneliness had significantly higher urinary cortisol levels. The high loneliness group also had significantly lower levels of natural killer cell activity, as well as a poorer T-lymphocyte response to phytohemagglutinin. The high loneliness subjects described themselves as more distressed than the low loneliness group on the MMPI. There were no consistent significant effects on either the immunologic measures or the MMPI associated with the PERI.
Copyright (C) 1984 by American Psychosomatic Society