Hostility and anger expression in African American and European American men is associated with cardiovascular and lipid reactivity

Authors

  • Montenique L. Finney,

    1. Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
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  • Catherine M. Stoney,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
      Address reprint requests to: Catherine M. Stoney, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, 210 Townshend Hall, 1885 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1222, USA. E-mail: stoney.1@osu.edu.
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  • Tilmer O. Engebretson

    1. Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
    2. Department of Psychiatry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
    3. Central Ohio Behavioral Medicine, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, USA
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Address reprint requests to: Catherine M. Stoney, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, 210 Townshend Hall, 1885 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1222, USA. E-mail: stoney.1@osu.edu.

Abstract

Physiological stress reactivity has been examined with respect to cynical hostility and anger expression, but primarily among Caucasians. Investigations of African Americans are far fewer and have focused only on the cardiovascular system. This study compared the relationships between hostility and anger expression on the one hand, and both cardiovascular and lipid reactivity on the other, among African Americans and European Americans. Forty-six men participated in a study examining cardiovascular and lipid reactivity to a speech stressor. African American men low in cynical hostility had greater blood pressure reactivity to the stressor; this effect appeared to be due primarily to low cynical men with high Anger In. Independent of ethnicity, those with a general tendency to either always express or always inhibit the expression of anger had higher triglyceride reactivity, relative to those with a more flexible style of anger expression. These results suggest that it is important to examine ethnicity in relationship to measures of hostility and anger expression, to uncover vulnerable individuals.

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