Cardiovascular Responses of Adolescents During a Naturally Occurring Stressor and Their Behavioral and Psychophysiological Predictors

Karen A. Matthews, Stephen B. Manuck, Patrice G. Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present investigation examined the behavioral and psychophysiological characteristics of 23 adolescents who differed in levels of blood pressure and heart rate prior to and following a naturally occurring stressor - giving a required five-minute speech in a high school English class. Measured characteristics were Type A behavior, hostility and anger, trait anxiety, family history of hypertension, and blood pressure and heart rate responses to three standardized laboratory stressors (serial subtraction, star-tracing, and handgrip tasks). Results showed that anxious adolescents achieved elevated levels of systolic blood pressure and heart rate during public speaking relative to the next English class, whereas angry adolescents achieved elevated levels of diastolic blood pressure. Those adolescents who exhibited exaggerated increases in the cardiovascular measures while performing laboratory tasks also achieved elevated levels of blood pressure and/or heart rate during the naturally occurring stressor, but the strength of the relationships varied across tasks and physiological parameters. These findings should be viewed as tentative because of the uniqueness and size of the sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1986
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Heart rate
  • Natural stressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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