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Sex-specific Effects of Music Listening on Couples' Stress in Everyday Life


Wuttke-Linnemann, A; Nater, Urs M; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ditzen, Beate (2019). Sex-specific Effects of Music Listening on Couples' Stress in Everyday Life. Scientific Reports, 9(1):4880.

Abstract

Music listening in daily life is associated with stress-reducing effects on the individual with increasing effects when music listening occurs in a social context. As little is known about effects on couples, we investigated whether beneficial effects can be found in couples. Forty heterosexual couples were investigated using ambulatory assessment. Participants completed six assessments on music listening and subjective stress per day for five consecutive days. With each assessment, saliva samples for the later analysis of cortisol and alpha-amylase were collected. Music listening affected biopsychological stress markers in women and men, however in different ways: While music listening reduced cortisol in women, it increased alpha-amylase in men. Dyadic effects of music listening on stress markers were found. Men showed lower secretion of cortisol if women listened to music which was more pronounced when couples shared musical preferences. Both men and women showed higher alpha-amylase activity when their partner had listened to music. Music listening influences couples' psychobiological stress levels in a sex-dependent manner with evidence of dyadic co-variation in physiological responses to music. Interventions for promoting stress reduction should consider that women and men differ in their use of music in everyday life.

Abstract

Music listening in daily life is associated with stress-reducing effects on the individual with increasing effects when music listening occurs in a social context. As little is known about effects on couples, we investigated whether beneficial effects can be found in couples. Forty heterosexual couples were investigated using ambulatory assessment. Participants completed six assessments on music listening and subjective stress per day for five consecutive days. With each assessment, saliva samples for the later analysis of cortisol and alpha-amylase were collected. Music listening affected biopsychological stress markers in women and men, however in different ways: While music listening reduced cortisol in women, it increased alpha-amylase in men. Dyadic effects of music listening on stress markers were found. Men showed lower secretion of cortisol if women listened to music which was more pronounced when couples shared musical preferences. Both men and women showed higher alpha-amylase activity when their partner had listened to music. Music listening influences couples' psychobiological stress levels in a sex-dependent manner with evidence of dyadic co-variation in physiological responses to music. Interventions for promoting stress reduction should consider that women and men differ in their use of music in everyday life.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:19 March 2019
Deposited On:25 Mar 2019 13:22
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 23:35
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40056-0
PubMed ID:30890714
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID105314_124627
  • : Project TitleOxytocin, Couple Interaction and Wound Healing
  • : FunderVolkswagen Foundation
  • : Grant IDgrant number II/84905
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderDeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title

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