Psychosom Med 2005 Jul-Aug;67(4):531-8
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
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Biol Psychol 2005 Apr 29;69(1):5-21. Epub 2004 Dec 29.
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, CB 7175 Medical Building A, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7175, USA.
In animals, ventral stroking for >5 days increases oxytocin (OT) activity and decreases blood pressure (BP), but related human studies are few. Thus, relationships between self-reported frequency of partner hugs, plasma OT and BP levels were examined in 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands/partners ending with hugs. Higher baseline OT before partner contact was associated with lower BP and heart rate, and met criteria to be a partial mediator of the lower resting BP shown by women reporting more frequent hugs (P<0. Read More
Blood Press Monit 2005 Jun;10(3):117-24
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7175, USA.
Background: Prospective studies link marriage to better cardiovascular health, but marital dissatisfaction and discord predict increased rates of hypertension, higher blood pressure (BP), greater reactivity to stress, and left ventricular mass.
Objective: To determine and compare effects of partner status and relationship quality on 24-h BP, urinary norepinephrine and cortisol, and self-reported stress and negative affect.
Methods: Ambulatory BP (ABP) and 24-h urine collections were obtained during a typical work day in 325 adults, including 139 African Americans (AAs). Read More
Psychoneuroendocrinology 2007 Jun 11;32(5):565-74. Epub 2007 May 11.
Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, Binzmuhlestrasse 14/Box 26, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland.
In animal studies, positive social interaction and physical contact play a preeminent role in the control of behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to stress. The aim of this study was to determine whether specific kinds of couple interaction reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and autonomic responses to psychosocial stress in women. Sixty-seven women, aged 20-37 years, who had been married or cohabiting with a male partner for at least 12 months at the time of the study, were exposed to a standardized psychosocial laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test). Read More
Behav Med 2003 ;29(3):123-30
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-7175, USA.
The authors investigated the relationship between brief warm social and physical contact among cohabitating couples and blood pressure (BP) reactivity to stress in a sample of healthy adults (66 African American, 117 Caucasian; 74 women, 109 men). Prior to stress, the warm contact group underwent a 10-minute period of handholding while viewing a romantic video. Followed by a 20-second hug with their partner, while the no contact group rested quietly for 10 minutes and 20 seconds. Read More