Anger and denial as predictors of cardiovascular reactivity in women
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Behavioral and physiological reactivity, and its relationship to cardiovascular disease has been studied in men for a number of years, and the expression of anger has been identified as a possible contributing factor. Few studies, however, have focused specifically on the reactivity of women, and those which have suggest that women are less reactive to laboratory tasks than men. For the present study, 45 undergraduate women, ages 19-21 were selected from a larger sample of 135 women to represent three discrete groups: (1) low anger/low denial, (2) high anger/low denial, and (3) low anger/high denial, based on their scores on the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, P and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. It was hypothesized that the three groups would show reliable differences in heart rate and blood pressure during presentation of a stressful laboratory stimulus, the Stroop Color and Word Test. Each subject received three counterbalanced conditions: (1) no feedback, (2) error feedback without observer present, (3) error feedback with observer present. As hypothesized, women who reported a high level of denial and a low level of anger exhibited reliably greater systolic blood pressure to the no-feedback condition than subjects who reported low levels of denial and anger. The hypothesis that all groups would display greater A reactivity in a condition which provided error feedback with observation was not supported.
- Masters Theses