Job status and high-effort coping influence work blood pressure in women and blacks.


Journal Article

Work-related stress has been associated with an increased risk of hypertension and more severe cardiovascular problems in white men but has been less studied in women and black men. To determine whether the trait of high-effort coping (John Henryism) was related to higher blood pressure during work and laboratory challenges, we studied a biracial sample of 72 men and 71 women working full time outside the home who underwent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for one 8-hour workday. This was followed by laboratory monitoring of blood pressure during resting baseline and five brief stressors. Women who were high-effort copers and had high status jobs had higher diastolic pressures at work and in the lab than other women; their pressure levels did not differ from those of men, but other women had lower pressures than men. In blacks, the same combination of high-effort coping plus high job status was similarly associated with high work and laboratory diastolic pressure, as well as higher work systolic pressure. The trait of high-effort coping was observed in the large majority (71%) of the women and blacks who had achieved high status jobs but was seen in a minority (36%) of white men with high status jobs and was unrelated to increased blood pressure in the latter group.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Light, KC; Brownley, KA; Turner, JR; Hinderliter, AL; Girdler, SS; Sherwood, A; Anderson, NB

Published Date

  • April 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 4 Pt 1

Start / End Page

  • 554 - 559

PubMed ID

  • 7721397

Pubmed Central ID

  • 7721397

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0194-911X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/01.hyp.25.4.554


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States