Emotional support during conflict situations elevates blood pressure in African-American boys

improve your grade next time," or an emotionally reassuring one such as, "This is really hard but you can do it." Blood pressure readings were taken during the role playing and several times during the recovery period.

Results obtained from female subjects in the study differed from results for African-American boys and from previously published findings of studies conducted with white women. The 13- to 16-year-old African-American girls in the study were expected to be more receptive to encouragement and other forms of emotional support than to problem-solving support, since much research suggests this is what white adult women prefer and seek in conflict situations. However, the adolescent girls showed no significantly greater blood pressure response to either type of support. The researchers report their findings in the current issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Contact: Dawn K. Wilson, PhD
Center for the Advancement of Health

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