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Emotions in Social Relationships and Their Implications for Health and Disease: Introduction to the Special Issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.


Social relationships and emotions are important to health and disease, but research in this area has largely progressed along parallel and distinct historical paths. These areas are critically linked because relationships are among the most powerful elicitors of health-relevant emotions and emotions can in turn influence relationships for better or worse. Conceptually, relationships and emotions can have mediational, reciprocal, and interactive influences on health outcomes, associations that seem dependent on the broader sociocultural context. The articles in this issue of Psychosomatic Medicine are based on a joint meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society and the Society for Affective Science titled "Emotions in social relationships: implications for health and disease." Recent research and conceptual models that fall at the interface of relationships, emotions, and health are highlighted in this special issue. Future work that capitalizes on these links will be critical if this area is to fulfill its potential in terms of new scientific insights and intervention opportunities.

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