Psychological well-being and salivary markers of inflammation: The moderating effect of age

Sung Ha Lee, Jeanyung Chey, Woo Young Ahn, Choong Wan Woo, Yoosik Youm, Hairin Kim, Naeun Oh, Hyeyoung Park, Suhwan Gim, Eunjin Lee, Incheol Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence suggests a significant impact of higher psychological well-being (PWB) on health outcomes; however, such associations have been studied exclusively in middle-aged to older adults. This study examined the aging effect on PWB measures as well as the moderating effect of age on the link between PWB and inflammation, using salivary markers by comparing the younger adults (n = 127; Mage = 22.98 years) versus older adults (n = 75; Mage = 75.60 years). Older adults showed significantly lower levels of PWB, particularly regarding purpose in life and personal growth. Moreover, higher purpose in life was associated with lower salivary IL-1ß and IL-6 (b = 0.83, p <.001; b = 0.81, p <.01) only in the older adult group but not in younger adults. These findings highlight the potential buffering effect of the sense of living well on physiological pathways in later life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Center for Happiness Studies via the Center for Social Sciences at Seoul National University and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. NRF‐2021R1C1C2095353). Funding information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Association of Applied Psychology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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