Influence of ethnicity and gender on cardiovascular responses to active coping and inhibitory-passive coping challenges

Patrice G. Saab, Maria M. Llabre, Neil Schneiderman, Barry E. Hurwitz, Paige Green McDonald, Jovier Evans, William Wohlgemuth, Peter Hayashi, Beth Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate how black and white men and women responded physiologically to specific laboratory challenges. Methods: Hemodynamic responses to an active coping (evaluated speaking) and two inhibitory-passive coping (mirror tracing, cold presser) tasks were examined in 138 black and white men and women. Results: Significant ethnicity by gender interactions occurred for the evaluated speaking task. Black men responded with lower blood pressure, cardiac output or heart rate, or both, than black women, white men, and white women, who did not differ from each other. Black men, relative to the other subgroups, also reported more inhibitory-passive coping, hostility, and pessimism, and less social support. Whites also responded with greater increases in systolic blood pressure during mirror tracing than blacks. Conclusions: These findings indicate that black-white differences in physiological responsivity obtained for men may have limited generalizability for women. The results also suggest that environmental and social factors rather than genetic or constitutional factors may play a role in black-white reactivity differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-446
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Active coping
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Inhibitory- passive coping
  • Psychosocial differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of ethnicity and gender on cardiovascular responses to active coping and inhibitory-passive coping challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this