Hostility and cardiovascular recovery from laboratory stress
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This study examined the effect of trait hostility on cardiovascular recovery from laboratory stressors in a group of 91 male and female subjects from a medical center community in New York.;Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in American males and females. Hostility is one of the risk factors contributing to heart disease, but the mechanism to account for the link is not clear. Various researchers have proposed models to account for the association. However, cardiovascular recovery from stress has been virtually ignored in the hostility literature.;Therefore, the researcher set out to test the effect of trait hostility on cardiovascular recovery from laboratory stressors. Two cognitive stressors were used to elicit stress; the Stroop color-word matching task, and a mental arithmetic task. Hostility was measured by the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (Ho). The two outcome measures were vagal tone, as measured by high frequency heart period variability (HF HPV), and heart rate (HR).;In this sample, no differences were found between hostility groups in cardiovascular reactivity to stress. Significant slope differences were found between hostility groups for task two for both outcome recovery measures. Significant curve differences were found between hostility groups for task one for HF HPV recovery. Multiple regressions showed that hostility significantly predicted HF HPV recovery for task two.;The researcher discussed several limitations in this study: stressor type; construct validity of the Ho; and failure to use mediating variables. Future research in this area might include use of interpersonal types of stressors as well as multiple measurement tools of hostility and related variables. Further, more field research is required to investigate how individuals respond in natural environments.
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