Loneliness, social support and cardiovascular reactivity to laboratory stress

Bina Nausheen, Yori Gidron, Aiden Gregg, Harilaos S. Tissarchondou, Robert Peveler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-reported or explicit loneliness and social support have been inconsistently associated with cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to stress. The present study aimed to adapt an implicit measure of loneliness, and use it alongside the measures of explicit loneliness and social support, to investigate their correlations with CVR to laboratory stress. Twenty-five female volunteers aged between 18 and 39 years completed self-reported measures of loneliness and social support, and an Implicit Association Test (IAT) of loneliness. The systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) reactivity indices were measured in response to psychosocial stress induced in the laboratory. Functional support indices of social support were significantly correlated with CVR reactivity to stress. Interestingly, implicit, but not explicit, loneliness was significantly correlated with DBP reactivity after one of the stressors. No associations were found between structural support and CVR indices. Results are discussed in terms of validity of implicit versus explicit measures and possible factors that affect physiological outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalStress
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Implicit association test
  • Loneliness
  • Social support
  • Stress

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