Repressive and defensive coping styles predict resting plasma endorphin levels in the elderly

John P. Kline, Iris Bell, Gary E. Schwartz, Vincent Hau, Thomas Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Jamner, L.D., Schwartz, G.E., 1986, Psychosom. Med. 48, 211-223, have proposed that repressive and defensive coping are associated with greater central endogenous opioid activity. They reasoned that high-defensive (HD) participants' attenuated distress, increased pain tolerances, attenuated somatic symptomatology, and accentuated reports of positive emotions are consistent with actions of centrally active opioid peptides. The present study assessed plasma β-endorphin (END) levels, Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSD), and Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS) scores in men (n=6) and women (n=20) between the ages of 59 and 79. Contrary to predictions, HD had lower plasma endorphin levels than did low-defensive (LD) participants. Raw MCSD scores correlated negatively with endorphin levels. Findings were significant for women only, which may have been due to the small sample of men. The results are discussed as they related to the hypothesis that defensiveness involves alteration of central opioid systems. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Anxiety
  • Defensiveness
  • Endorphins
  • Opiod peptides
  • Personality
  • Social desirability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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