The relationship among rumination, verbal behavior, and blood pressure in women
Barber, Jessica Anne
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Rumination has been found to influence the effects of anger on physiological functioning including blood pressure (BP), and has been implicated in the mechanism whereby anger leads to the development of hypertension (HTN). The current study proposed to identify an outward, behavioral component of trait rumination (TR), verbal behavior and to examine the combined effects of rumination and verbal behavior on BP. It was hypothesized that (1) there would be a positive relationship between TR and resting BP, (2) that TR would be positively related to verbal behavior with individuals with higher TR exhibiting more negative verbal behavior, (3) that there would be a positive relationship between BP and negative verbal behavior, and (4) that negative verbal behavior would mediate the relationship between TR and BP. Forty-six normotensive female participants (mean age = 34.74 years, SD = 11.78) filled out a self-report questionnaire assessing trait levels of anger rumination and participated in a 4-minute anger-recall task. Neither TR nor verbal behavior was related to BP, however TR was related to one aspect of verbal style, mean affect (p < .05). Additionally, TR was found to be predictive of affect (p < .05). Results indicate that TR is associated with a less emotional style of verbal anger expression.