Personality coping style and ambulatory blood pressure in working men and women
Lebenberg, Ivette Cheryl
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High blood pressure remains a significant medical problem for Americans in the 21st century. Research assessing the relationships among psychosocial variables and elevated blood pressure is plentiful. Yet, the findings that identify specific variables such as stress and personality as risk factors in the development of cardiovascular illness are inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships among John Henryism (the personality predisposition to cope actively with stressors), environmental work stressors, demographic and medical variables and mean worksite ambulatory blood pressure.;Three hundred and three workers (172 men and 131 women) employed in ten organizations in the New York metropolitan area were recruited for this study. At follow-up, 4 to 12 years later, the participants completed self-report measures including the John Henryism Scale for Active Coping (JHAC-12), the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) to assess job strain and a demographics questionnaire. In addition, participants wore an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for 24 hours during a normal workday.;High John Henryism scores were hypothesized to be related to higher mean ambulatory blood pressure measurements, before and after controlling for confounding variables. The effect of John Henryism on mean ambulatory blood pressure is predicted to be greater for males than for females. The effect of John Henryism on mean ambulatory blood pressure is predicted to be greater for those with high job demands and low decision latitude than for participants in all other combinations of demand and decision latitude positions. The effect of John Henryism on mean ambulatory blood pressure is predicted to be greater for those of lower socioeconomic status than those of higher socioeconomic status.;Analyses revealed that higher John Henryism scores are not significantly related to higher ambulatory blood pressure at work. However, when demographic and medical variables were controlled for, workers who indicated that they were high in the John Henryism personality coping style had significantly lower mean systolic and diastolic ambulatory blood pressure measurements. This finding is opposite to the prediction. Hypothesized interactions of John Henryism and gender, John Henryism and job strain and John Henryism and socioeconomic status were not significant.