Mental activation of supportive ties, hostility, and cardiovascular reactivity to laboratory stress in young men and women

Timothy W. Smith, John M. Ruiz, Bert N. Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

In addition to actual social interactions, internal representations of supportive ties could affect mechanisms linking relationships and health. Undergraduates (41 men, 41 women) wrote about supportive ties or casual acquaintances. Supportive ties were rated as warmer and less controlling than acquaintances, and writing about them evoked reductions in negative affect, especially for low-hostile participants. Compared with the acquaintance condition, the supportive tie condition resulted in reduced heart rate and blood pressure response during a subsequent speech stressor. Among women, the supportive tie condition reduced blood pressure response among low- but not among high-hostile participants. Hence, mental activation of supportive ties altered effects of laboratory stress and might be relevant to the effects of social relations on health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-485
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Hostility
  • Interpersonal circumplex
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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