Effect of Multiple Roles on Ambulatory Blood Pressure In Women
Terrill, Alexandra Liisa
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The role of psychosocial risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) in women is not yet well understood. Stress has long been implicated as a risk factor for CHD. Conceptually, the common experience of women's multiple roles may contribute to an increase in total stress burden, called background stress, due to conflicting demands and a more diffuse distribution of responsibilities between childcare, housework, and paid employment. The current study examined the relationship between multiple roles, background stress, and blood pressure in a sample of 102 women at a state university using partially latent structural regression analysis modeling. Results showed that being a mother in addition to being a student and/or employee was associated with higher levels of background stress (β = .41, p = .002). A trend between higher background stress and systolic baseline blood pressure was identified background (β = .21, p = .06); analyses did not reveal effects of background stress on ambulatory blood pressure. Follow-up linear regression analyses suggest that background stress is only predictive of higher resting blood pressure in mothers (ps < .05), though results should be interpreted with caution. Other significant direct and indirect effects within the models as well as implications and future directions are discussed.