Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Interpersonal Processes

  • Sierra CronanEmail author
  • Bert N. Uchino
  • Robert G. Kent de Grey
  • Ryan Trettevik
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1425-2



Interpersonal processes refer broadly to actual or perceived elements of the social world. These processes can be generally positive (e.g., support) or negative (e.g., conflict) and can be further specified in terms of more specific types such as emotional support or insensitivity to others. It is also used to refer to the broader social context (e.g., social networks) in which such processes are embedded.



Interpersonal processes such as social support and social negativity have long been suspected as contributors to physical health outcomes. However, most biomedical research aimed at understanding disease has focused on biological processes (e.g., physiology, pathogens). There is now strong evidence linking interpersonal processes to such biological pathways and concrete health outcomes (e.g., hypertension). Linking interpersonal processes to biological pathways provides a bridge that can connect...


Social Support Ambulatory Blood Pressure Interpersonal Functioning Interpersonal Process Support Provider 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Readings

  1. Barrera, M., Glasgow, R. E., Mckay, H. G., Boles, S. M., & Feil, E. G. (2002). Do Internet- based support interventions change perceptions of social support? An experimental trial of approaches for supporting diabetes self-management. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 637–654.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Berkman, L. F., Glass, T., Brissette, I., & Seeman, T. E. (2000). From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium. Social Science and Medicine, 51, 843–857.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Brooks, K., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (2011). Social negativity and health: Conceptual and measurement issues. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(11), 904–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, S. L., Nesse, R. M., Vinokur, A. D., & Smith, D. M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14, 320–327.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 59, 676–684.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. De Vogli, R., Chandola, T., & Marmot, M. G. (2007). Negative aspects of close relationships and heart disease. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167, 1951–1957.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickerson, S. S. (2008). Emotional and physiological responses to social-evaluative threat. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1362–1368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eisenberger, N. I. (2010). The neural basis of social pain: Findings and implications. In G. MacDonald & L. A. Jensen-Campbell (Eds.), Social pain: Neuropsychological and health implications of loss and exclusion (pp. 53–78). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  9. Frison, E., Eggermont, S. (2015). Toward an integrated and differential approach to the relationships between loneliness, different types of Facebook use, and adolescents’ depressed mood. Communication Research, 34(2), 1–28.Google Scholar
  10. Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality: A meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine, 7, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martire, L. M., Schulz, R., Helgeson, V. S., Small, B. J., & Saghafi, E. M. (2010). Review and meta-analysis of couple-oriented interventions for chronic illness. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 325–342.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller, G. E., Brody, G. H., Yu, T., & Chen, E. (2014). A family-oriented psychosocial intervention reduces inflammation in low-SES African American youth. PNAS, 111(31), 11287–11292. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1406578111
  13. Olson, D. A., Liu, J., & Shultz, K. (2012). The influence of Facebook usage on perceptions of social support, personal efficacy, and life satisfaction. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 12, 133–143.Google Scholar
  14. Repetti, R. L., Taylor, S. E., & Seeman, T. E. (2002). Risky families: Family social environments and the mental and physical health of offspring. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 330–366.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Selcuk, E., & Ong, A. D. (2013). Perceived partner responsiveness moderates the association between received emotional support and all-cause mortality. Health Psychology, 32, 231–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Smith, K. P., & Christakis, N. A. (2008). Social networks and health. Annual Review of Sociology, 34, 405–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Thoits, P. (2011). Mechanisms linking social ties and support to physical and mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(2), 145–161.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Uchino, B. N. (2009). Understanding the links between social support and physical health: A lifespan perspective with emphasis on the separability of perceived and received support. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 4, 236–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Umberson, D., & Montez, J. K. (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51, S54–S66.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Whillans, A., Dunn, E., Dickerson, S., Sandstrom, G., Madden, K. (2016). Is spending money on others good for your heart? Health Psychology, 35(6), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wills, T. A., & Shinar, O. (2000). Measuring perceived and received social support. In S. Cohen, L. Gordon, & B. Gottlieb (Eds.), Social support measurement and intervention: A guide for health and social scientists (pp. 86–135). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sierra Cronan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bert N. Uchino
    • 1
  • Robert G. Kent de Grey
    • 1
  • Ryan Trettevik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Health Psychology ProgramUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Crystal L. Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA