Daily Hugging Predicts Lower Levels of Two Proinflammatory Cytokines

Lisa J. van Raalte, Kory Floyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The current study asked a sample (N = 20) of healthy young adults to report their daily hugging behaviors over a 14-day period and to collect their saliva at the beginning and end of the study. Based on affection exchange theory, we hypothesized that the frequency of hugging would be inversely related to proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukins (IL) 1-β, 6, and 8, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Controlling for baseline levels, hugging was significantly and inversely related to IL1-β and TNF-α after the 14-day period. Associations with IL-6 and IL-8, although nonsignificant, were also in the hypothesized direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-506
Number of pages20
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Affection
  • Cytokines
  • Health
  • Hugging
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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