Advertisement

Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 282–292 | Cite as

Blood pressure reactivity predicts somatic reactivity to stress in daily life

  • Clayton J. Hilmert
  • Scott Ode
  • Desiree J. Zielke
  • Michael D. Robinson
Article

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine whether stress-somatic symptom associations may be more pronounced among individuals whose bodies exhibit higher levels of cardiovascular reactivity to a laboratory social stress task. During an initial laboratory session, participants delivered a 5-min speech and individual differences in cardiovascular reactivity were quantified. The same participants subsequently completed a 15-day experience sampling protocol, in which daily levels of stress and somatic symptoms were assessed. Multi-level modeling was used to assess associations among laboratory cardiovascular reactivity, daily stress and somatic symptoms. Daily symptom reports included a set of commonly experienced physical symptoms reflective of general bodily dysfunction. Individuals displaying high levels of laboratory systolic blood pressure reactivity experienced more somatic symptoms on high-stress days, but this was not the case for individuals low in systolic blood pressure reactivity. The results bridge two hitherto distinct health psychology literatures showing that cardiovascular and somatic reactivity to stress are associated. Stress reactivity individual differences in one system may indicate more general differences in bodily reactivity across systems.

Keywords

Stress Reactivity Psychosomatic Cardiovascular reactivity Somatic symptoms 

References

  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions (p. 212). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Alfven, G., Ostberg, V., & Hjern, A. (2008). Stressor, perceived stress and recurrent pain in Swedish schoolchildren. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 65(4), 381–387.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, S. R. (2007). Dispositional optimism and health status, symptoms and behaviours: Assessing idiothetic relationships using a prospective daily diary approach. Psychology & Health, 22(4), 431–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barsky, A. J. (2000). The validity of bodily symptoms in medical outpatients. In A. A. Stone, J. S. Turkkan, C. A. Bachrach, J. B. Jobe, H. S. Kurtzman, & V. S. Cain (Eds.), The science of self-report: Implications for research and practice (pp. 339–362). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  5. Belani, K., Ozaki, M., Hynson, J., Hartmann, T., Reyford, H., Martino, J. M., et al. (1999). A new noninvasive method to measure blood pressure: Results of a multicenter trial. Anesthesiology, 91(3), 686–692.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, K. W., & Moskowitz, D. S. (1997). Does unhappiness make you sick? The role of affect and neuroticism in the experience of common physical symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(4), 907–917.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Carbone, L. A., Barsky, A. J., Orav, E. J., Fife, A., Fricchione, G. L., Minden, S. L., et al. (2000). Psychiatric symptoms and medical utilization in primary care patients. Psychosomatics: Journal of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, 41(6), 512–518.Google Scholar
  8. Chamberlain, K., & Zika, S. (1990). The minor events approach to stress: Support for the use of daily hassles. British Journal of Psychology, 81(4), 469–481.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Charles, S. T., & Almeida, D. M. (2006). Daily reports of symptoms and negative affect: Not all symptoms are the same. Psychology & Health, 21(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chida, Y., & Hamer, M. (2008). Chronic psychosocial factors and acute physiological responses to laboratory-induced stress in healthy populations: A quantitative review of 30 years of investigations. Psychological Bulletin, 134(6), 829–885.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C., & Gordon, L. U. (1995). Strategies for measuring stress in studies of psychiatric and physical disorders. New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cole, S. W., Kemeny, M. E., Fahey, J. L., Zack, J. A., & Naliboff, B. D. (2003). Psychological risk factors for HIV pathogenesis: Mediation by the autonomic nervous system. Biological Psychiatry, 54(12), 1444–1456.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Compton, R. J., Robinson, M. D., Ode, S., Quandt, L. C., Fineman, S. L., & Carp, J. (2008). Error-monitoring ability predicts daily stress regulation. Psychological Science, 19(7), 702–708.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Normal personality assessment in clinical practice: The NEO personality inventory. Psychological Assessment, 4(1), 5–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Geus, E. J., Kupper, N., Boomsma, D. I., & Snieder, H. (2007). Bivariate genetic modeling of cardiovascular stress reactivity: Does stress uncover genetic variance? Psychosomatic Medicine, 69(4), 356–364.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Enders, C. K., & Tofighi, D. (2007). Centering predictor variables in cross-sectional multilevel models: A new look at an old issue. Psychological Methods, 12(2), 121–138.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Epel, E. S., Lin, J., Wilhelm, F. H., Wolkowitz, O. M., Cawthon, R., Adler, N. E., et al. (2006). Cell aging in relation to stress arousal and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 31(3), 277–287.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Feldman, P. J., Cohen, S., Lepore, S., Matthews, K., Kamarck, T. W., & Marsland, A. L. (1999). Negative emotions and acute physiological responses to stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 21(3), 216–222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Fink, P., Rosendal, M., & Olesen, F. (2005). Classification of somatization and functional somatic symptoms in primary care. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39(9), 772–781.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fleeson, W. (2007). Studying personality processes: Explaining change in between-persons longitudinal and within-person multilevel models. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, & R. F. Krueger (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in personality psychology (pp. 523–542). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  21. Funk, S. C. (1992). Hardiness: A review of theory and research. Health Psychology, 11(5), 335–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Glynn, L. M., Christenfeld, N., & Gerin, W. (1999). Gender, social support, and cardiovascular responses to stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61(2), 234–242.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Goldberg, L. R. (1999). A broad-bandwidth, public domain, personality inventory measuring the lower-level facets of several five-factor models. In I. Mervielde, I. Deary, F. De Fruyt, & F. Ostendorf (Eds.), Personality psychology in Europe (Vol. 7, pp. 7–28). Tilburg, The Netherlands: Tilburg University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Goldberg, L. R., Johnson, J. A., Eber, H. W., Hogan, R., Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., et al. (2006). The international personality item pool and the future of public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(1), 84–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348–362.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion Regulation: Conceptual Foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (Vol. 3–24). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  28. Guze, S. B. (1993). Genetics of Briquet’s syndrome and somatization disorder. A review of family, adoption, and twin studies. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 5(4), 225–230.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Herbert, T. B., & Cohen, S. (1993). Stress and immunity in humans: A meta-analytic review. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55(4), 364–379.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hilmert, C. J., Christenfeld, N., & Kulik, J. A. (2002a). Audience status moderates the effects of social support and self-efficacy on cardiovascular reactivity during public speaking. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(2), 122–131.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Hilmert, C. J., Kulik, J. A., & Christenfeld, N. (2002b). The varied impact of social support on cardiovascular reactivity. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 24(3), 229–240.Google Scholar
  32. Hines, E. A., Jr., & Brown, G. E. (1932). Standard stimulus for measuring vasomotor reactions: Its application in the study of hypertension. Proceedings of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo Clinic, 7, 225–332.Google Scholar
  33. Kamarck, T. W., & Lovallo, W. R. (2003). Cardiovascular reactivity to psychological challenge: Conceptual and measurement considerations. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 9–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Kendler, K. S., Walters, E. E., Truett, K. R., Heath, A. C., Neale, M. C., Martin, N. G., et al. (1995). A twin-family study of self-report symptoms of panic-phobia and somatization. Behavior Genetics, 25(6), 499–515.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., McGuire, L., Robles, T. F., & Glaser, R. (2002). Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: new perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 83–107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Kisely, S., & Simon, G. (2006). An international study comparing the effect of medically explained and unexplained somatic symptoms on psychosocial outcome. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60(2), 125–130.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Kohn, P. M., Lafreniere, K., & Gurevich, M. (1990). The Inventory of College Student’s Recent Life Experiences: A decontaminated hassles scale for a special population. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 13(6), 619–630.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Kristal-Boneh, E., Melamed, S., Kushnir, T., Froom, P., Harari, G., & Ribak, J. (1998). Association between somatic symptoms and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure levels. Psychosomatic Medicine, 60(5), 616–619.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Kroenke, K. (2003). Patients presenting with somatic complaints: Epidemiology, psychiatric co-morbidity and management. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 12(1), 34–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Kunz-Ebrecht, S. R., Mohamed-Ali, V., Feldman, P. J., Kirschbaum, C., & Steptoe, A. (2003). Cortisol responses to mild psychological stress are inversely associated with proinflammatory cytokines. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 17(5), 373–383.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Lazarus, R. S. (2000). Toward better research on stress and coping. American Psychologist, 55(6), 665–673.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Lovallo, W. R. (2005). Cardiovascular reactivity: mechanisms and pathways to cardiovascular disease. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 58(2–3), 119–132.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Lovallo, W. R., & Gerin, W. (2003). Psychophysiological reactivity: Mechanisms and pathways to cardiovascular disease. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 36–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Luminet, O., Vermeulen, N., Demaret, C., Taylor, G. J., & Bagby, R. M. (2006). Alexithymia and levels of processing: Evidence for an overall deficit in remembering emotion words. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(5), 713–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Manuck, S. B., Kaplan, J. R., Adams, M. R., & Clarkson, T. B. (1988). Effects of stress and the sympathetic nervous system on coronary artery atherosclerosis in the cynomolgus macaque. American Heart Journal, 116(1), 328–333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Matthews, K. A., Woodall, K. L., & Allen, M. T. (1993). Cardiovascular reactivity to stress predicts future blood pressure status. Hypertension, 22(4), 479–485.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. McCrae, R. R., Costa, P. T., Jr., Terracciano, A., Parker, W. D., Mills, C. J., De Fruyt, F., et al. (2002). Personality trait development from age 12 to age 18: Longitudinal, cross-sectional, and cross-cultural analyses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(6), 1456–1468.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. McEwen, B. S. (1998). Stress, adaptation, and disease. Allostasis and allostatic load. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 840, 33–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. McEwen, B. S. (2001). Plasticity of the hippocampus: Adaptation to chronic stress and allostatic load. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 933, 265–277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McEwen, B. S., & Stellar, E. (1993). Stress and the individual. Mechanisms leading to disease. Archives of Internal Medicine, 153(18), 2093–2101.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Milne, B. J., Logan, A. G., & Flanagan, P. T. (1985). Alterations in health perception and lifestyle in treated hypertensives. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 38(1), 37–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Ming, E. E., Adler, G. K., Kessler, R. C., Fogg, L. F., Matthews, K. A., Herd, J. A., et al. (2004). Cardiovascular reactivity to work stress predicts subsequent onset of hypertension: The air traffic controller health change study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(4), 459–465.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Murberg, T. A., & Bru, E. (2007). The role of neuroticism and perceived school-related stress in somatic symptoms among students in Norwegian junior high schools. Journal of Adolescence, 30(2), 203–212.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Nezlek, J. B. (2008). An introduction to multilevel modeling for social and personality psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(2), 842–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Obrist, P. A. (1981). Cardiovascular psychophysiology: A perspective. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  57. Pennebaker, J. W. (1982). The psychology of physical symptoms. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  58. Pennebaker, J. W. (2000). Psychological factors influencing the reporting of physical symptoms. In A. A. Stone, J. S. Turkkan, C. A. Bachrach, J. B. Jobe, & H. S. Kurtzman (Eds.), The science of self-report: Implications for research and practice (pp. 299–315). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  59. Peterson, C., Seligman, M. E. P., & Vaillant, G. E. (1988). Pessimistic explanatory style is a risk factor for physical illness: A thirty-five-year longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55(1), 23–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Robinson, M. D., & Clore, G. L. (2002). Belief and feeling: Evidence for an accessibility model of emotional self-report. Psychological Bulletin, 128(6), 934–960.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Robinson, M. D., Wilkowski, B. M., Kirkeby, B. S., & Meier, B. P. (2006). Stuck in a rut: Perseverative response tendencies and the neuroticism–distress relationship. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135(1), 78–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schwartz, A. R., Gerin, W., Davidson, K. W., Pickering, T. G., Brosschot, J. F., Thayer, J. F., et al. (2003). Toward a causal model of cardiovascular responses to stress and the development of cardiovascular disease. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 22–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Selby, J. V., Newman, B., Quiroga, J., Christian, J. C., Austin, M. A., & Fabsitz, R. R. (1991). Concordance for dyslipidemic hypertension in male twins. JAMA, 265(16), 2079–2084.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Sharpe, M., & Bass, C. (1992). Pathophysiological mechanisms in somatization. International Review of Psychiatry, 4(1), 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Singer, J. D. (1998). Using SAS PROC MIXED to fit multilevel models, hierarchical models, and individual growth models. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 23(4), 323–355.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, T. W. (1992). Hostility and health: Current status of a psychosomatic hypothesis. Health Psychology, 11(3), 139–150.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Smith, T. W., Glazer, K., Ruiz, J. M., & Gallo, L. C. (2004). Hostility, anger, aggressiveness, and coronary heart disease: an interpersonal perspective on personality, emotion, and health. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1217–1270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Stewart, J. C., Janicki, D. L., & Kamarck, T. W. (2006). Cardiovascular reactivity to and recovery from psychological challenge as predictors of 3-year change in blood pressure. Health Psychology, 25(1), 111–118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Suls, J., & Martin, R. (2005). The daily life of the garden-variety neurotic: Reactivity, stressor exposure, mood spillover, and maladaptive coping. Journal of Personality, 73(6), 1485–1509.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2006). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  71. Tabachnik, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (Vol. 5). Boston: MA Allyn & Bacon/Person Education.Google Scholar
  72. Tamir, M., & Robinson, M. D. (2004). Knowing good from bad: The paradox of neuroticism, negative affect, and evaluative processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(6), 913–925.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Tennen, H., Affleck, G., Armeli, S., & Carney, M. A. (2000). A daily process approach to coping: Linking theory, research, and practice. American Psychologist, 55(6), 626–636.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Treiber, F. A., Kamarck, T., Schneiderman, N., Sheffield, D., Kapuku, G., & Taylor, T. (2003). Cardiovascular reactivity and development of preclinical and clinical disease states. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 46–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Watkins, L. R., & Maier, S. F. (2005). Immune regulation of central nervous system functions: From sickness responses to pathological pain. Journal of Internal Medicine, 257(2), 139–155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Watson, D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Health complaints, stress, and distress: Exploring the central role of negative affectivity. Psychological Review, 96(2), 234–254.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. Wright, R. A., & Kirby, L. D. (2001). Effort determination of cardiovascular response: An integrative analysis with applications in social psychology. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 33, pp. 255–307). San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clayton J. Hilmert
    • 1
  • Scott Ode
    • 1
  • Desiree J. Zielke
    • 2
  • Michael D. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology Department (NDSU Dept. 2765)North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIndiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations