Mediating effects of social support on the relationship among perceived stress, depression, and hypertension in African Americans.
PURPOSE:African Americans are disproportionately affected by hypertension. The goal here was to better understand the relationship between well-being and environmental factors and their influence on hypertension. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive association among perceived stress, depression, and hypertension mediated by social support. METHODS:Data from 2 sample populations were included: the Carolina African American Study of Aging (N = 395) and the Baltimore Study of Black Aging (N = 602) provided information on demographics, perceived stress, social support, depression, and hypertension. Regression analysis was used to examine the hypothesis. RESULTS:Significant relationships were found between perceived stress/depression and hypertension. The relationship between depression and hypertension was partially mediated by social support (given), while the relationship between depression and hypertension was not. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the impact of stress and hypertension is mediated by individual coping strategies. Given the excess stress and hypertension experienced by African Americans, coping may be a particularly salient factor in longevity. Future research should provide insight about specific aspects of coping and other personal characteristics that facilitate and limit the effect of coping on hypertension.
Heard, E; Whitfield, KE; Edwards, CL; Bruce, MA; Beech, BM
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