Perceived stress and blood pressure in early adolescent children.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Diane L. Gill, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The objective of this investigation was to determine the individual contributions of perceived daily, major and total stressors to blood pressure in early adolescent children. Toward this goal, cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in 74 6th- grade students. Height and body weight, measured in standard fashion, were used to calculate body mass index (BMI). Waist and hip circumferences and triceps and calf skinfolds were taken to determine the distribution and percentage of body fat, respectively. Seated resting blood pressure was obtained using a mercury sphygmomanometer The dietary sodium-to-potassium ratio was calculated from a food intake questionnaire, Family history of hypertension was self-reported by participant's parents, and physical activity and perceived stress levels were determined by questionnaire. When added to the hierarchical regression models, the perceived stress variables did not significantly predict any additional variance in systolic or diastolic blood pressure in this early adolescent sample. Additionally, bivariate correlations between the stress variables and blood pressure were nonsignificant. The nonpsychological hypertension risk factors accounted for 25%-35% of the total variance in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Further, regression analyses revealed that with the exception of BMI and the sodium-to-potassium ratio, no other risk factors were independent predictors of systolic or diastolic blood pressure. Further identification and understanding of environmental precursors of childhood hypertension is recommended.

Additional Information

Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 1-7
Language: English
Date: 2000
Blood pressure, Stressors, Adolescent children

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