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Affective States and Health 

Affective States and Health
Affective States and Health

Laura D. Kubzansky

, Ashley Winning

, and Ichiro Kawachi

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date: 28 January 2021

Emotions—both negative and positive—affect health through a variety of physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that they evoke. Emotions are shaped by social context and thus provide an important answer to the puzzle of how material disadvantage “gets under the skin” to give rise to the socioeconomic gradient in health. The chapter provides an overview of the theory of emotions as well as approaches for investigating the influence of emotions on health (experimental and observational). It summarizes the epidemiological evidence linking emotions to diverse health outcomes and describes emerging directions for research: strengthening causal inference, incorporating lifecourse perspectives, and leveraging novel biomarkers for understanding biological mechanisms.

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