Neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and emotional responses of hostile men: the role of interpersonal challenge.
OBJECTIVE: We examined the effects of hostility and harassment on neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and emotional responses in 52 healthy white men. METHODS: Subjects were preselected on the basis of scores in the top and bottom quartiles (above 23 and below 15, respectively) on the Cook and Medley Hostility (Ho) scale. Subjects participated in a solvable anagram task. Thirty subjects were harassed by the technician during the task. RESULTS: Harassed subjects with high Ho scores exhibited enhanced and prolonged blood pressures, heart rate, forearm blood flow, forearm vascular resistance, norepinephrine, testosterone, and cortisol responses relative to low-Ho subjects in the harassed condition and high and low-Ho subjects in the nonharassed condition. Heightened physiological reactivity in high-Ho subjects was correlated with arousal of negative affects. CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with the general hypothesis that high hostile men show excessive behaviorally-induced cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responsivity to interpersonal challenging situations. Moreover, in high-Ho men, the stress-induced cardiovascular and neuroendocrine hyperreactivity is associated with the arousal of negative affects such as anger.
Suarez, EC; Kuhn, CM; Schanberg, SM; Williams, RB; Zimmermann, EA
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