Effects of racist provocation and social support on cardiovascular reactivity in African American women.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

It has been speculated that exposure to the chronic stress of racism contributes to the high rates of hypertension among African Americans. Social support may buffer the effects of stress on cardiovascular (CV) health by attenuating stress-induced CV responses that have been linked to hypertension. In this study we investigated the effects of racism and social support on CV reactivity in African American women. Participants showed greater increases in CV and emotional responses while responding and listening to racist provocation. Augmented blood pressure (BP) persisted through recovery following racial stress. Participants receiving no support showed the greatest increases in anger during racist provocation. No significant effects were seen for support on CV reactivity. These results provide some of the first evidence that interactive confrontation with racism elicits significant increases in CV reactivity and emotional distress. Furthermore, individuals receiving less support may be at greater risk for the potentially health-damaging effects of racial stress. These findings may have significant implications for the health of African Americans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McNeilly, MD; Robinson, EL; Anderson, NB; Pieper, CF; Shah, A; Toth, PS; Martin, P; Jackson, D; Saulter, TD; White, C; Kuchibatla, M; Collado, SM; Gerin, W

Published Date

  • 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 321 - 338

PubMed ID

  • 16250771

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1070-5503

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1207/s15327558ijbm0204_3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England