Emotional responsivity during daily life: relationship to psychosocial functioning and ambulatory blood pressure.
Emotional responsivity refers to acute changes in affective states. This study examined the relationship of emotional responsivity during daily life with ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and psychosocial functioning. Subjects were 162 employed men and women, aged 25-45 years. Subjects underwent 24-h ABP monitoring in which they completed a behavioral diary with each cuff inflation. On a separate day, subjects completed a psychometric test battery including measures of depression, trait anxiety, and social support. Emotional Responsivity, an index of negative emotional variability during waking hours, was operationalized as the standard deviation of each individual's negative emotions scores throughout the day. Individuals with high levels of emotional responsivity showed greater increases in ABP and heart rate (HR) associated with negative emotions. Emotionally responsive individuals also reported less satisfaction with social support and higher levels of perceived daily stress, trait anxiety, and depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that psychosocial traits that have been linked to cardiovascular disease may be associated with more marked cardiovascular activation occurring in response to negative emotions experienced throughout the day.
Carels, RA; Blumenthal, JA; Sherwood, A
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