Cardiovascular responses during effortful active coping and acute experience of anger in women

Stephan Bongard, Jutta S. Pfeiffer, Mustafa Al'Absi, Volker Hodapp, Gabi Linnenkemper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study addresses the question of whether effortful active coping and anger provocation add in their effects on cardiovascular responses. Heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) responses of 64 female students were collected during an active versus nonactive coping task with and without provocation. After a baseline period, women did mental arithmetic (active coping) or read numbers aloud (nonactive coping). Half of each group was then additionally provoked. Ratings of the emotional states (Positive and Negative Affect Scale) indicate that provocation led to an increase in anger, but not in fear or negative or positive affect. Effortful active coping and provocation elevated cardiovascular activity. Although active coping enhanced all cardiovascular variables, provocation particularly affected HR and DBP. The effects of active coping and provocation on HR and DBP but not on SBP were additive and probably were produced by different physiological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1997


  • Active coping
  • Anger provocation
  • Cardiovascular reactivity

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