Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Urbana, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9743
Approve DateOctober 23, 2018
Project TitleRodrigues, Dr. Michelle A., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'The Biological Impact of Tend-and-Befriend Strategies: How Female Social Relationships Mediate Stress in Female Scientists'
MICHELLE A. RODRIGUES, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “The Biological Impact of Tend-and-Befriend Strategies: How Female Social Relationships Mediate Stress in Female Scientists.” Modern anthropology is no longer the study of the foreign “other”: today we explore the effects of culturally shaped social experiences on both dominant and marginalized groups next door. This project compares the effects of racial and gender discrimination between women of color and white women scientists to understand the embodiment of stress via cortisol and systemic inflammation, and how it is affected by social identity. Invoking tend-and-befriend theory, the research examined how social support, particularly female friendship, moderates the embodiment of stress. Data was collected from female scientists of color (N=20) and white female scientists (N=20). Participants collected daily urine samples (N=40), and filled out a daily surveys. Urinary hormones, including cortisol and inflammatory biomarkers, were assayed via enzyme-linked immunosurbent multiplex assays. Preliminary research from the women of color indicate that workplace incivilities and racial microaggressions are associated. Analysis from a subset of women of color (N=10) indicates that talking to partners, but not friends or family, was significantly negatively associated with somatic symptoms and sleep latency, and somatic symptoms and daily social media use were associated with daily elevations in cortisol. Further analysis will be performed with the full dataset.