• Psychobiological correlates of allostatic load
  • Offidani, Emanuela <1977>


  • M-PSI/08 Psicologia clinica


  • Introduction: The term Clinimetric was introduced by Feinstein in 1982, who first noticed that despite all the improvements in the assessment methods, a number of clinical phenomena were still unconsidered during the evaluation process. Yet today clinical phenomena, such as stress, relevant in diseases progression and course, are not completely evaluated. Only recently, according to the clinimetric approach, Fava and colleagues have introduced specific criteria for evaluating the allostatic overload in clinical setting. Methods: Participants were 240 blood donors recruited from May 2007 to December 2009 in 4 different blood Centers (AVIS) in Italy. Blood samples from each participant were collected for laboratory test the same day the self-rating instruments were administered (Psychosocial Index, Symptom Questionnaire, Psychological well-being scales, Temperament and Character inventory, Self-Report Altruism scale). The study explore different aspects describing sample characteristics and correlates of stress in the total sample (part I), new selection criteria applied to existing instruments to identify individuals reporting allostatic load (part II), and differences on biological correlates between subjects with vs without AL. Results: Significant differences according to gender and past illnesses have been found in different dimensions of well-being and distress. Further, distress was explained for more than 60% by 4 main factors such as anxiety, somatic symptoms, environmental mastery and persistence. According to the new criteria, 98 donors reported AL. Allostatic load individuals reported to engage in less altruistic behaviours. Also they differ in personality traits and characters from controls. In the last part, results showed significant differences among donors according to allostatic load on diverse biological parameters (RBC, MCV, immune essay). Conclusion: This study presents obvious limitations due to its preliminary nature. Further research are need to confirm that these new criteria may lead to identify high risk individuals reporting not only stressful situations but also vulnerabilities.


  • 2011-04-12


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Offidani, Emanuela (2011) Psychobiological correlates of allostatic load, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Psicologia generale e clinica , 23 Ciclo.