Cardiovascular reactivity to stress in men : effects of masculine gender role stress appraisal and masculine performance challenge
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Previous research has shown that excessive cardiovascular reactivity may be important in the development of coronary heart disease. The present study examines the role of masculine cognitive appraisal of stress as a mediator of cardiovascular reactivity in men. The reactivity of men who differed on a measure of cognitive appraisal of masculine gender role stress (MGRS) was compared using the cold-pressor test under conditions of high and low masculine performance challenge. Under conditions of minimal challenge, it was predicted that high and low MGRS men would not differ on reactivity. Under high challenge, high MGRS men were expected to show greater reactivity than low MGRS men. Since coping responses are related to appraisal of stressful situations and impact on cardiovascular reactivity, subjects' coping responses were also assessed. Analysis of results for systolic blood pressure confirmed the major predictions. High MGRS men showed greater systolic blood pressure reactivity than low MGRS men under high challenge and equal or less reactivity under low masculine performance challenge. In general, the high and low MGRS groups did not differ in their use of coping strategies as a function of the high and low challenge condition. The implications of MGRS appraisal for men's health are discussed.
- Masters Theses