Interpersonal behavior and cardiovascular reactivity in pharmacologically-treated hypertensives

Alan M. Delamater, C. Barr Taylor, John Schneider, Robert Allen, Margaret Chesney, W. Stewart Agras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examined the interpersonal behavior and concomitant cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) of hypertensive patients whose resting blood pressure was controlled by antihypertensive medication. Thirty hypertensive and 30 normotensive subjects matched for age, sex and occupational status were recruited from an industrial setting. The groups were compared on measures of interpersonal behavior, blood pressure and heart rate while they engaged in both role-played (RP) and naturalistic interactions (NI) requiring positive and negative assertion. Interpersonal behavior of the groups was generally similar, with two exceptions: hypertensives made fewer requests for new behavior in the negative RP and verbalized more praise statements in the positive NI. There were no differences between the groups on measures of CVR during interpersonal interactions. Overall effectiveness during scenes requiring negative assertion was associated with increased cardiovascular reactivity, especially for hypertensives. The interpersonal behavior and cardiovascular responses of patients taking beta-blocker medication did not differ from those taking diuretics. These findings are discussed with regard to methodological considerations pertinent to the assessment of interpersonal behavior and the issue of heterogeneity among hypertensives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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