Social dominance and 22-year all-cause mortality in men.
OBJECTIVE: Research findings suggest that, in addition to hostility, social dominance-related variables may be related to morbidity and mortality. The purposes of the present study were to evaluate a) whether pressured social dominance (defined as a pattern of structured-interview-defined characteristics of verbal competition, immediateness of response, and fast speaking rate) was related to long-term health outcomes, namely, all-cause mortality, and b) whether individuals characterized by other patterns of structured-interview-derived characteristics also varied in terms of mortality. METHOD: The present study represents an analysis of the data from the 22-year mortality follow-up of 750 men from the Western Collaborative Group Study. Cluster analytic techniques were used to classify individuals according to their speech and behavioral characteristics during a structured interview. Cox proportional hazards models were used to test the association between the behavioral characteristics and the risk of all-cause mortality. RESULTS: The pattern of characteristics reflecting pressured social dominance was found to be positively related to mortality (RR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.4, p < .02); this relation held after controlling for diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and smoking status at study entry, and also after controlling for hostility. In addition, the pattern of characteristics in which hostility was salient was found to be positively related to mortality (RR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.1-2.2, p < .02). Finally, a pattern of characteristics that suggests placid individuals who are neither hostile nor socially dominant was found to be significantly negatively related to mortality (RR = .638, 95% CI = .419-.974, p < .04). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that, in future research concerning psychosocial factors and long-term survival, attention should be given to social dominance as well as to hostility.
Houston, BK; Babyak, MA; Chesney, MA; Black, G; Ragland, DR
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