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Psychol Sci. 2001 May;12(3):225-9.

African Americans and high blood pressure: the role of stereotype threat.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106, USA.


We examined the effect of stereotype threat on blood pressure reactivity. Compared with European Americans, and African Americans under little or no stereotype threat, African Americans under stereotype threat exhibited larger increases in mean arterial blood pressure during an academic test, and performed more poorly on difficult test items. We discuss the significance of these findings for understanding the incidence of hypertension among African Americans.

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