OBJECTIVE: Exaggerated and prolonged cardiovascular responses to mental stress have been implicated in the etiology of hypertension. Rumination may play a role in the maintenance or reactivation of cardiovascular responses to mental stress and prevent cardiovascular adaptation or create sensitization on reexposure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of trait rumination on patterns of cardiovascular response adaptation after repeated exposure to a mental stressor. METHODS: Cardiovascular data were collected from 82 undergraduate women during a baseline period and during a 5-minute emotional recall task on two separate occasions. Trait rumination was assessed using the Stress-Reactive Rumination Scale. RESULTS: A series of session (Sessions 1 and 2)-by-trait rumination general linear model repeated-measures analyses of covariance revealed several session-by-trait rumination interactions, such that participants who displayed higher levels of trait rumination showed less SBP (partial η = 0.83, p = .01), diastolic blood pressure (partial η = 0.84, p = .01), and heart rate (partial η = 0.82, p = .02) adaptation to the laboratory mental stress task at the second exposure relative to those with lower levels of trait rumination. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that trait rumination may contribute to sustained increases in blood pressure by influencing adaptation to mental stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health