Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Hughes, BM
2002
February
Studia Psychologica
Research on psychometrically evaluated social support and cardiovascular reactivity to stress: Accumulated findings and implications
Published
()
Optional Fields
social support cardiovascular reactivity stress psychometric laboratory studies ACUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS BLOOD-PRESSURE MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION LABORATORY STRESSORS ANGINA-PECTORIS LIFE EVENTS RESPONSES CORTISOL HEALTH MEN
44
311
326
The majority of studies to show an effect of social support on cardiovascular reactivity operationalize the independent variable by manipulating supportive interactions between participants and confederates in laboratory settings. Very few studies have assessed the relationship between cardiovascular reactivity and perceived day-to-day social support, that is, support as measured by psychometric instruments that focus on participants' evaluations of their social networks. A review of the seven studies to examine the relationship between psychometrically evaluated social support and cardiovascular reactivity in healthy human participants is presented. The studies employed standard and effective methods to elicit cardiovascular responses, and used psychometric evaluations of global social support. A relationship between support and reactivity was not clearly demonstrated. The nonsignificance of many findings prevented a thorough metaanalysis, although distinguishing between measures of quality and quantity of social support was useful in identifying trends. Quality of support tended not to be associated with reactivity; but quantity of support was positively associated. The difference between laboratory manipulations and psychometric assessments of support is thus highlighted.
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