4th July 02:00
LOVE, HATE AND BLOOD PRESSURE
Love, hate and Blood Pressure
The Hindustan Times
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Washington, July 26 - Psychologists attached to Brigham
Young University in Provo, Utah have found a direct link
between high BP and the way people behave with others.
According to Julianne Holt-Lustad, an assistant professor
of psychology, blood pressure tends to rise in people who
have mixed or conflicting feelings with others.
"The conventional wisdom is that stress is bad for our
health, and that personal relationships are good because
social support helps us deal with our stress," Holt-
Lunstad was quoted as saying in ABC Newsonline.
"But some relationships can cause interpersonal stress,
so we can't just lump all our relationships together.
Most people can lthink of someone they might feel
ambivalent toward - a mother you love very much but who
is also overbearing or critical, or a good friend who's
lots of fun yet very competitive."
Reporting her findings in the new issue of the American
Psychological Association journal Health Psychology,
Holt-Lunstad recognised that not all relationships are
created equal. She went to great lengths to measure the
health effect of relationships based on their varying
"When you're interacting with those you feel aversive or
negative toward, these people are predictable and you
will either avoid them or you can discount them because
you know what to expect from them," she explained.
"But for a person you feel both positive and negative
toward, there could be hope and an expectation for
something positive, and then, when you don't get the
support you wanted, this can be very distressing."
The study, however, results reaffirmed the sense of
security people find among family members, said Kathleen
C. Light, professor and director of the Stress and Health
Research Program at the University of North Carolina
School of Medicine.
"This is an important contribution to the field of health
psychology because it adds to growing literature on the
health benefits associated with close family ties," Light
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