The Strength of Family Ties: Perceptions of Network Relationship Quality and Levels of C-Reactive Proteins in the North Texas Heart Study

Bert N. Uchino, John M. Ruiz, Timothy W. Smith, Joshua M. Smyth, Daniel J. Taylor, Matthew Allison, Chul Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Although the quality of one’s social relationships has been linked to important physical health outcomes, less work has been conducted examining family and friends that differ in their underlying positivity and negativity. Purpose: The main aim of this study was to examine the association between supportive, aversive, and ambivalent family/friends with levels of C-reactive proteins. Methods: Three hundred participants from the North Texas Heart Study completed the social relationships index and a blood draw to assess high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins (hs-CRPs). Results: After standard controls, the number of supportive family members predicted lower hs-CRP levels, whereas the number of ambivalent family members predicted higher hs-CRP levels. These links were independent of depressive symptoms and perceived stress. Conclusions: These data highlight the importance of considering specific types of relationships and their underlying positive and negative aspects in research on social ties and physical health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-781
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 25 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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