Examining the Relation Between Physiological and Psychological Components of Stress Reactivity and Recovery in Cigarette Smokers

  • Allison M. BorgesEmail author
  • Edward Selby
  • Marsha Bates
  • Michael Zvolensky
  • Teresa M. Leyro


Cigarette smokers exhibit reduced physiological stress reactivity, yet it is unclear whether blunted reactivity predicts differences in subjective recovery and vice versa. The study examined whether basal heart rate and heart rate reactivity were related to recovery in anxiety following stress, and conversely, whether initial self-reported anxiety and anxiety reactivity were related to heart rate recovery. Fifty-six smokers completed a 10-min baseline period, a 4-min stressor, and a 10-min recovery period during which heart rate and anxiety were continuously assessed. Results indicated significant linear (p < .01, d = 0.31) and quadratic (p = .02, d = 0.27) effects of baseline heart rate and reactivity (linear p < .01, d = 0.80; quadratic p < .01, d = 0.66) on recovery in anxiety and significant linear (p < .01, d = 0.88) and quadratic (p < .01, d = 0.74) effects of anxiety reactivity on heart rate recovery. These findings suggest that reduced reactivity in both heart rate and anxiety predicted slower recovery in the opposite domain. Findings offer initial evidence for psychophysiological integration in cigarette smokers.


Psychophysiology Heart rate reactivity Anxiety reactivity Smoking 



The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison M. Borges
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward Selby
    • 1
  • Marsha Bates
    • 2
  • Michael Zvolensky
    • 3
  • Teresa M. Leyro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRutgers University-New BrunswickNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology and HealthRutgers University-New BrunswickNew BrunswickUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory and Substance Use Treatment ClinicUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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