When in a stressful situation, access to adult attachment figures (e.g., romantic partners) is an important means by which adults regulate stress responses. The practice of smelling a partner’s worn garment is reported as a self-treatment against stress. Here, we experimentally determined whether exposure to a partner’s body odor attenuates adults’ subjective discomfort and psychophysiological responses, and whether such effects are qualified by adult attachment security. In a blocked design, participants (N = 34) were presented with their partner’s body odor, their own body odor, the odor of a clean t-shirt and rose odor, while exposed to weak electric shocks to induce discomfort and stress responses. Results showed that partner body odor reduces subjective discomfort during a stressful event, as compared with the odor of oneself. Also, highly secure participants had attenuated skin conductance when exposed to partner odor. We conclude that partner odor is a scent of security, especially for attachment-secure adults.

The scent of security: Odor of romantic partner alters subjective discomfort and autonomic stress responses in an adult attachment-dependent manner. Physiology & behavior

Liuzza MT;
2019-01-01

Abstract

When in a stressful situation, access to adult attachment figures (e.g., romantic partners) is an important means by which adults regulate stress responses. The practice of smelling a partner’s worn garment is reported as a self-treatment against stress. Here, we experimentally determined whether exposure to a partner’s body odor attenuates adults’ subjective discomfort and psychophysiological responses, and whether such effects are qualified by adult attachment security. In a blocked design, participants (N = 34) were presented with their partner’s body odor, their own body odor, the odor of a clean t-shirt and rose odor, while exposed to weak electric shocks to induce discomfort and stress responses. Results showed that partner body odor reduces subjective discomfort during a stressful event, as compared with the odor of oneself. Also, highly secure participants had attenuated skin conductance when exposed to partner odor. We conclude that partner odor is a scent of security, especially for attachment-secure adults.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/57735
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