Support May Elevate Pressure
A study shows emotional support
during conflict situations can elevate blood pressure in black adolescents.
The researchers found boys who received emotional support had higher
blood pressure reactivity than boys who received either problem-solving or
no support when dealing with conflict situations.
"African American boys may interpret emotional support as negative
because boys are traditionally encouraged to be independent," said Dawn
Wilson, head of the study at Virginia Commonwealth University.
"They may react to being placed in a dependent position such as having to
rely on emotional support during a stressful task. They may also show
greater cardiovascular reactivity than females under certain stressful
social conditions because of an increased desire to exert effort and
Girls, on the other hand, reacted differently. The researchers say they
showed no elevation in blood pressure because they are expected to be more
receptive to encouragement and other forms of emotional support than boys.