Effects of social support in an academic context on low-grade inflammation in high school students

Edith Chen*, Régine Debrosse, Paula J. Ham, Lauren C. Hoffer, Adam K.K. Leigh, Mesmin Destin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bolstering academic motivation is a high priority in school settings, but some evidence suggests this could take a toll on students’ physical health. To address this, this study compared the effects of an experimental manipulation of academic motivation alone (AM) to academic motivation enhanced with social support (SS + AM) on markers of inflammation in a sample of 80 high school 9th graders. Outcomes included low-grade inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6); a motivation measure; and grade point average (GPA), taken at baseline and follow-up (beginning and end of school year, respectively). Students in the SS + AM condition had lower levels of inflammation at follow-up (covarying baseline levels) compared to those in the AM condition. The two groups were equivalent on motivation and GPA at follow-up. This preliminary study suggests that incorporating social support into academic motivation programs has the potential to benefit inflammatory markers in young people while allowing them to maintain positive academic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Academic motivation
  • Adolescents
  • Inflammation
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of social support in an academic context on low-grade inflammation in high school students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this