Effects of task strain, social conflict, and emotional activation on ambulatory cardiovascular activity: Daily life consequences of recurring stress in a multiethnic adult sample

Thomas W. Kamarck*, Saul M. Shiffman, Leslie Smithline, Jeffrey L. Goodie, Jean A. Paty, Maryann Gnys, Joey Yi Kuan Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) may be an independent predictor of cardiovascular endpoints, but little is known about its psychosocial determinants. The acute effects of psychosocial processes on cardiovascular activity during dally life were examined by random-effects regression. Healthy adults (N = 120) were monitored over a 6-day period with ABP monitors and computer-assisted self-report assessments. Task strain, social conflict, and emotional activation were rated following each ABP measurement, as were activity, posture, and other covariates. Results show that blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were elevated during periods of emotional activation (high negative affect or high arousal). Diastolic BP was lower during periods involving high decisional control, and HR was lower during high-control, low- demand activities. There were substantial individual differences in the effects of psychosocial influences on ambulatory cardiovascular activity. Psychological factors are reliable determinants of ABP, which may account in part for the unique predictive value of ABP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ambulatory blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Emotion
  • Job strain
  • Social conflict

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