In Our Lives and Under Our Skin: An Investigation of Specific Psychobiological Mediators Linking Family Relationships and Health Using the Biobehavioral Family Model

Jacob B. Priest, Patricia N.E. Roberson, Sarah B. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to use the Biobehavioral Family Model (BBFM) to delineate which psychophysiological variables link romantic and family relationship satisfaction variables to health outcomes. Data from individuals who reported being partnered from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS II), Project 4 (n = 812) were used to test a structural equation model which explored which psychophysiological variables potentially mediated associations between positive and negative family emotional climate variables and disease activity. This model found that current and past family variables had larger associations with the psychophysiological variables than romantic partner variables; depressive symptoms, anxiety, and inflammation partially mediated associations between family relationships and health; and, contrary to the hypotheses, romantic partner and family support were linked to worse health outcomes. However, the findings should be viewed with regard to the cross-sectional design of the study. Overall, the findings support the use of the BBFM as a model that can guide clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Process
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Afecciones crónicas
  • Biobehavioral Family Model
  • Biomarker
  • Biopsicosocial
  • Biopsychosocial
  • Chronic Health Conditions
  • Familias y salud
  • Families and Health
  • Mental Health
  • Salud mental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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