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Health Psychol. 1995 May;14(3):210-6.

Cynicism, social support, and cardiovascular reactivity.

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Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890, USA.


This study examined whether highly cynical individuals benefit less from social support during an acute stressor than individuals low in cynicism. College students (52 men, 52 women) performed a stressful speech task alone or in the presence of a supportive confederate. There was an interactive effect of social support and cynicism on cardiovascular reactivity: Low cynicism participants who received support has smaller increases in blood pressure during the speech than low cynicism participants without support and high cynicism participants with or without support. Participants' psychological stress appeared to mediate the main effects of support on blood pressure reactivity, but not the Support x Cynicism interaction. Results suggest that cynical attitudes may undermine the stress buffering potential of interpersonal support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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