Cardiovascular reactivity among hostile men and women: the effects of sex and anger suppression.
This study examined cardiovascular reactivity differences among hostile men and women. Sixty-four individuals (33 women 31 men; M = 19.9 years of age) were selected from a sample of 105 volunteers based on their Cook-Medley Hostility Scale scores (Cook & Medley, 1954; less than or equal to 24). Analyses revealed no significant sex differences in Cook-Medley Hostility scores. At baseline, men had higher mean systolic blood pressure (SBP) level. However, during the Stroop Color-Word Conflict Task (Stroop, 1935), high-hostile men and women exhibited similar cardiovascular responses. Further analyses revealed that cardiovascular responses to the Stroop task were differentially associated with among men and women as a function of anger suppression. For women, anger suppression was positively associated with diastolic blood pressure (DBP) responses and negatively associated with SBP responses. In contrast, anger suppression was negatively associated with DBP changes and not associated with SBP responses for men. The results suggest that personality factors, such as high hostility and anger suppression, may influence the degree to which men and women differ in their cardiovascular responses to interpersonal stressors.
Harralson, TL; Suarez, EC; Lawler, KA
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