Defensiveness, cynical hostility and cardiovascular reactivity: A moderator analysis

Randall S. Jorgensen, Kenneth Abdul-Karim, Todd A. Kahan, James J. Frankowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We examined the interaction of a defensive need for approval with cynical hostility, in the prediction of pressor and heart rate reactivity to a stressful mental arithmetic task. For both systolic blood pressure and heart rate, analyses revealed the predicted interaction between defensiveness and cynical hostility, subsequent analyses showed significant correlations of defensiveness with systolic blood pressure and heart rate reactivity only among the high cynical hostility subjects. These analyses support the theory and empirical findings linking the conflicting traits of cynical hostility and defensiveness to cardiovascular reactivity and, quite possibly, to stress-related coronary disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1995


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Cynical hostility
  • Defensiveness
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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