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Differential hemodynamic effects during the provision of active and passive support in the laboratory

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posted on 2019-04-29, 14:49 authored by Stephen GallagherStephen Gallagher, Siobhán Howard, Marese Heffernan
Objective: Recent research has pointed to the cardiovascular benefits of providing social support to others in times of stress; however, little is known about what factors influence such benefits.Design and measures: In a between-groups design, we investigated the possible interaction between intimacy (friend vs. stranger) and support type (active vs. passive) in determining the cardiovascular responses of support providers. Eighty participants had their blood pressure and heart rate monitored while providing either active or passive social support to a friend or a stranger who completed a stress task.Results: Although there was no interaction effect, a significant main effect showed that those who provided passive support showed larger decreases relative to those in the active support condition. There was no effect of intimacy. Further, these effects withstood adjustment for a number of potential confounds (e.g. sex and body mass index).Conclusion: It appears that the greatest physiological benefit for social support providers may come from providing passive, rather than active support, regardless of whether the support receiver is a friend or a stranger.

History

Publication

Psychology and Health;30 (9), pp. 1088-1102

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Note

peer-reviewed

Rights

"This is an Author's Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Psycholoyg and Health 2015copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2015.1024246

Language

English

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