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Health Psychol. 1992;11(4):233-40.

Cognitive coping strategies and blood pressure responses to real-life stress in healthy young men.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.


Coping style is an important feature in the understanding of the relation between real-life stress and associated blood pressure (BP) responses. In this study, 10 high- and 10 low-"self-focused-coping" (SFC) male college students were tested with ambulatory BP monitoring on two typical schooldays, one of which included an examination. It was found that the high-SFC subjects, defined as those who tend to keep to themselves and/or blame themselves in stressful situations, showed higher BP responses than the low-SFC subjects, but only on the exam day. Further, the high-SFC subjects showed higher BP during the exam but also had BP elevations that were sustained during other activities throughout the same day, including evening rest. These results are discussed in terms of the relation between psychological and physiological responding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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