The effects of sociotropy and cognitive rumination on blood pressure recovery
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Objective. Delayed cardiovascular recovery has been implicated in a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Cognitive rumination, sociotropy and spirituality have been hypothesized as contributing factors in slowing recovery. This study measured both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in order to determine the effects sociotropy, rumination and spirituality have on blood pressure recovery. Methods. 100 female participants were recruited and randomly assigned to a distraction vs. no-distraction groups. Participants were asked to complete a set of surveys and then recall an anger provoking event. During the recovery period the distraction group was then asked to read a story and answer questions while the no-distraction group was asked to sit quietly and relax. Results. The data confirmed the hypothesis that recovery from provocation is faster among participants who are distracted following provocation compared to participants who are not distracted (Systolic recovery: t=2.484, p<.05, Diastolic recovery: t=2.250, p<.05). Neither sociotropy nor self-reported rumination was related to recovery following provocation. There was a positive relationship between spirituality and sociotropy (r=.27, p<.01) and between spirituality and rumination (r=.24, p<.05). Conclusions. This study explored the relationship between rumination, sociotropy and blood pressure recovery in orthodox Jewish women. The study replicated previous results of the beneficial impact of distraction on blood pressure recovery. High sociotropy and high rumination were found to be correlated and future research may focus on this high risk group. Exploring the role of spirituality and its impact on sociotropy and rumination as other factors such as social support was beyond the scope of this study but may shed further light on factors that promote and hinder blood pressure recovery and on the interplay of rumination, sociotropy and spirituality.