Family history of hypertension effects on blood pressure and personality measures

Open Access
Cognetti, Matthew John
Area of Honors:
Biobehavioral Health
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • William Gerin, Thesis Supervisor
  • David John Vandenbergh, Honors Advisor
  • Family history of hypertension
  • rumination
  • blood pressure
  • stress response
  • biobehavioral health
  • BBH
Objective: To assess the influence of parental history of hypertension on rumination, social support, loneliness, anxiety, and blood pressure during the stress response. Design: One hundred and eighty five undergraduates underwent an emotional recall task. Personality was assessed at baseline, and blood pressure was assessed during baseline, reactivity, recall, and recovery. Methods: Family history groups were assessed with t-tests on our BP and personality measures. A univariate ANOVA was used to measure the effects of a gender and family history interaction. Results: No differences between groups were found on anxiety, loneliness, social support, and blood pressure measures. A small effect was found between rumination and family history groups. Conclusion: Rumination may play a role in the longer recovery typically seen in individuals with a family history of hypertension.