Resources and Lymphocyte Terminal Maturity Among Older Adults

Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Rebecca G. Reed, Steven R. Presnell, Ahmad Al-Attar, Charles T. Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Women’s financial resources were associated with more terminal maturity in natural killer lymphocytes, generally associated with loss of proliferative potential, during the “Great Recession”. This preregistered analysis expanded on that finding in a longitudinal design including both genders and examining the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) serostatus. Method: Older adults (N = 138, 57% women) were assessed longitudinally during 2012–2017; including self-reported psychological, social, financial, and status-skill resources, CMV antibody titers and serostatus, and assessment of T and natural killer lymphocyte terminal maturity (LTM). Results: Neither total nor financial resources were associated with LTM. Adjusting only for age, more psychological resources (e.g., meaning, hope, humor) were associated with lower T LTM (percent: c = γ 1.11 [γ 1.78, γ.44]; number: c = γ.99 [γ 1.70, γ.27]). There were no significant interactions with age, gender, or CMV serostatus; however, additionally adjusting for serostatus reduced the effect of psychological resources (percent: c = γ.41 [γ 93,.12]; number: (c = γ.40 [γ.94,.13]). Conclusions: Outside the context of the “Great Recession”, psychological resources but not financial resources were associated with terminal maturity in T cells, a relationship related to CMV serostatus. Further studies in different and more diverse samples, and in different eras, are needed to understand what resources are most protective against immunological aging, when, and for whom.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association


  • Aging
  • Immunosenescence
  • Latent infection
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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