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Ann Behav Med. 2007 Oct;34(2):154-65.

Anger management style moderates effects of emotion suppression during initial stress on pain and cardiovascular responses during subsequent pain-induction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA. John.burns@rosalindfranklin.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suppression of emotion, anger in particular, may be linked to heightened pain intensity during a subsequent painful event, but it is not clear whether an individual's anger management style (trait anger-out or trait anger-in) moderates effects on pain intensity and cardiovascular responses during pain.

PURPOSE:

To determine whether (a) trait anger-out and/or trait anger-in moderate effects of Emotion-Induction (anger, anxiety)xEmotion Suppression (nonsuppression, experiential, expressive) manipulations during mental arithmetic on pain intensity and cardiovascular responses during and following a cold pressor pain task, such that "mismatch" relationships emerge (preferred anger management style is discrepant from situation demands), and (b) general emotional expressivity accounts for these effects.

METHOD:

Healthy nonpatients (N=187) were assigned to 1 of 6 conditions for a mental arithmetic task. Cells were formed by crossing 2 Emotion-Induction (anxiety, anger)x3 Emotion Suppression (nonsuppression, experiential, expressive) conditions. After mental arithmetic, participants underwent a cold pressor followed by recovery. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), heart rate (HR), and pain intensity ratings were recorded. Spielberger Anger Expression Inventory tapped anger management style.

RESULTS:

General Linear Model procedures tested Emotion-Induction x Emotion SuppressionxAnger-Out or Anger-In (continuous)xPeriod (baseline, cold pressor, recovery) effects on pain intensity, SBP, DBP, and HR. A 4-way interaction emerged for pain intensity: Only for those in the anger-induction/experiential suppression condition, anger-out was related significantly to pain recovery. Three-way interactions emerged for SBP and DBP: Only for those in expressive suppression condition, anger-out was related significantly to SBP during and following cold pressor and to DBP following cold pressor. General emotion expressivity did not account for anger-out effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

A mismatch situation may apply for high anger-out people who suppress emotion in a certain circumstance and thus may suffer greater discomfort and physiological responsiveness to subsequent pain than high anger-out people not having to suppress.

PMID:
17927554
DOI:
10.1080/08836610701566837
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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