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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Affiliation with others is a basic human coping response for managing a broad array of stressful circumstances. Affiliating with others is both psychologically and biologically comforting, and biologically may depend upon oxytocin and brain opioid pathways. The origins of affiliative responses to stress include early life experiences, genetic factors, and epigenetic processes that interact with the availability of supportive others during times of stress. The beneficial consequences of affiliation for mental and physical health are strong and robust. Future research will continue to clarify the underlying biopsychosocial pathways that explicate why this is the case.

Keywords:  affiliation, coping, fight-or-flight, social support, stress, tend-and-befriend

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