The physiology of affectionate communication

Kory Floyd, Corey A. Pavlich, Dana R. Dinsmore, Colter D. Ray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Affectionate communication consists of the verbal and nonverbal means through which people convey messages of love, fondness, appreciation, and commitment to others in close relationships. Like all interpersonal behaviors, affectionate communication has physiological antecedents, correlates, and consequences, many of which have implications for physical and mental wellness. This chapter begins by situating affectionate behavior in a bioevolutionary frame, noting its adaptive nature with respect to survival, procreation, and well-being. The chapter then reviews research on the genetic and neurological distinctions between highly affectionate and less affectionate individuals; the stress management and stress recovery benefits of affection exchange; the associations between affection, immunocompetence, and experiences of relaxation and calm; and the physical and psychological detriments associated with affection deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Physiology of Interpersonal Communication
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780190679446
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Affection
  • Affection deprivation
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Health
  • Hormones
  • Immune system
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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