Sociotropic cognition moderates blood pressure response to interpersonal stress in high-risk adolescent girls

Craig K. Ewart, Randall S. Jorgensen, Kenneth B. Kolodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This article tests the hypothesis that 'sociotropic cognition' - heightened preoccupation with being accepted by others - increases vulnerability to cardiovascular stress in females. Adolescent girls (55 African-American; 23 Caucasian) at increased risk of developing essential hypertension due to persisting high normal blood pressure, completed measures of sociotropic cognition, social competence, trait affect and social support. Later, their blood pressure and heart rate were measured during non-social stress (mirror image tracing) and interpersonal stress [Social Competence Interview (SCI)]. Comparisons of blood pressure responses to the tasks disclosed a significant Task main effect, replicating a previous finding that blood pressure is elevated more by SCI than by non-social stress. When Sociotropy was introduced as a moderator, however, a significant Task by Sociotropy interaction indicated that the comparatively greater reactivity to SCI occurred mainly in girls who exhibited high levels of sociotropic thinking. Cognitive sociotropy was associated with a profile of social, emotional and environmental deficits suggesting increased susceptibility to chronic stress and impaired coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


  • Adolescent health
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Hypertension
  • Personality
  • Sociotropy
  • Stress
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sociotropic cognition moderates blood pressure response to interpersonal stress in high-risk adolescent girls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this