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Ann Behav Med. 2009 Dec;38(3):170-9. doi: 10.1007/s12160-009-9152-1.

Married with children: the influence of parental status and gender on ambulatory blood pressure.

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1
Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, 1024 Spencer W. Kimball Tower, Provo, UT 84020, USA. julianne.holt-lunstad@byu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although there is substantial evidence that social relationships and marriage may influence both psychological and physical health, little is known about the influence of children.

PURPOSE:

This study examined the competing predictions regarding the directional influence of parental status and its interaction with gender-given that mothers are typically disproportionately more responsible for everyday care of children-on cardiovascular functioning.

METHOD:

We examined ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) over 24 hours among 198 married males and females.

RESULTS:

Couples without children had significantly higher ambulatory SBP and DBP than those with children. Moreover, we found a significant interaction between parental status and gender that suggested women with children showed the lowest ABP, whereas women without children displayed the highest ABP.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that parenthood, and especially motherhood, may be cardioprotective.

PMID:
20077164
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-009-9152-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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