Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Blood Pressure Reactivity or Responses

  • Brian M. HughesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_445



A blood pressure response is a change in blood pressure that occurs following exposure to a stimulus. In behavioral medicine, the term is reserved for responses to psychological stress. Blood pressure responses can be quantified as the arithmetic difference between blood pressure measured during a true resting state and that measured during exposure to a stressor. Blood pressure reactivity refers to an individual’s characteristic pattern of blood pressure responses across time.


Basis of the Blood Pressure Response to Stress

As cognitive stress is disruptive to a person’s mental resting state, it is associated with visceral neurological changes in brain function caused by the contemplation, initiation, and maintenance of those activities required by the mental stress response. As a consequence, psychological stress can be...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyNational University of Ireland, GalwayGalwayIreland