shot-button
Subscription Subscription
Home > Lifestyle News > Health And Fitness News > Article > Research reveals that your social rank influences your response to stress

Research reveals that your social rank influences your response to stress

Updated on: 03 April,2023 03:56 PM IST  |  Washington
ANI |

Research found that not only does rank inform how an individual responds to chronic psychosocial stress, but that the type of stress also matters

Research reveals that your social rank influences your response to stress

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Does a person's social position influence their degree of stress? Tulane University researchers investigated this topic and discovered that social rank, particularly in females, did alter stress response.


In a study published in Current Biology, Tulane psychology professor Jonathan Fadok, PhD, and postdoctoral researcher Lydia Smith-Osborne looked at two forms of psychosocial stress -- social isolation and social instability -- and how they manifest themselves based on social rank.



They conducted their research on adult female mice, putting them in pairs and allowing them to form a stable social relationships over several days. In each pair, one of the mice had a high, or dominant social status, while the other was considered the subordinate with a relatively low social status. After establishing a baseline, they monitored changes in behavior, stress hormones, and neuronal activation in response to chronic social stress.


"We analyzed how these different forms of stress impact behavior and the stress hormone corticosterone (an analogue of the human hormone, cortisol) in individuals based on their social rank," said Fadok, an assistant professor in the Tulane Department of Psychology and the Tulane Brain Institute. "We also looked throughout the brain to identify brain areas that are activated in response to psychosocial stress."

"We found that not only does rank inform how an individual responds to chronic psychosocial stress, but that the type of stress also matters," said Smith-Osborne, a DVM/PhD and the first author on the study.

She discovered that mice with lower social status were more susceptible to social instability, which is akin to ever-changing or inconsistent social groups. Those with higher ranks were more susceptible to social isolation, or loneliness.

There were also differences in the parts of the brain that became activated by social encounters, based upon the social status of the animal responding to it and whether they had experienced psychosocial stress.

"Some areas of a dominant animal's brain would react differently to social isolation than to social uncertainty, for example," Smith-Osborne said. "And this was also true for subordinates. Rank gave the animals a unique neurobiological 'fingerprint' for how they responded to chronic stress."

Do the researchers think the results can translate to people? Perhaps, Fadok said. "Overall, these findings may have implications for understanding the impact that social status and social networks have on the prevalence of stress-related mental illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder and major depression," he said. "However, future studies that use more complex social situations are needed before these results can translate to humans."

Also Read: These three tips may help you optimise stress, sleep and immunity

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK