Relations between mucosal immunity and children's mental health: The role of child sex

Peggy S. Keller, Mona El-Sheikh, Brian Vaughn, Douglas A. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study examines relations between children's salivary interleukin-6 (IL-6) and secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) and mental health. Child sex was considered as a moderator of relations. Data were from 329 normally developing children (M age = 9.85. years; SD = .98. years); 67% of children were European American and 33% were African American. Saliva samples were obtained during the afternoon and assayed for SIgA and IL-6. Parents completed questionnaire measures of child internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and children completed self-report measures of anxiety and depression. Structural equation models were fit to the data, and indicated that greater levels of salivary IL-6 and SIgA were associated with adjustment problems more strongly for girls than for boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2 2010


  • Child mental health
  • Externalizing symptoms
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Salivary interleukin-6
  • Secretory immunoglobulin A
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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