Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 229-243

First online:

Hostility Predicts Magnitude and Duration of Blood Pressure Response to Anger

  • Barbara L. FredricksonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Michigan
  • , Kimberly E. MaynardAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , Michael J. HelmsAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , Thomas L. HaneyAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , Ilene C. SieglerAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , John C. BarefootAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center

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The hypothesis that hostile and nonhostile individuals would differ in both magnitude and duration of cardiovascular reactivity to relived anger was tested. Participants were 66 older adults (mean age, 62; 38 women and 28 men; 70% Caucasian American, 30% African American). Each took part in a structured interview scored using the Interpersonal Hostility Assessment Technique. Later each relived a self-chosen anger memory while heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured continuously using an Ohmeda Finapres monitor. Hostile participants had larger and longer-lasting blood pressure responses to anger. African Americans also showed longer-lasting blood pressure reactivity to anger. Health and measurement implications are discussed.

anger cardiovascular reactivity cardiovascular recovery hostility Ohmeda Finapres monitor older adults