Indexed on: 23 Jul '08Published on: 23 Jul '08Published in: Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
The objective of this study was to examine cardiovascular responses among Black, non-Hispanic White, and Latina/o participants exposed to a potentially discriminatory situation. The study also examined the moderating role of prior history of discrimination on cardiovascular responses.Black, Latina/o, and White participants engaged in a resting baseline and then interacted with an uncivil White research assistant.Two measures of prior exposure to discrimination were administered. Participants' blood pressure and heart rate (HR) were monitored throughout the protocol. The primary outcomes were resting cardiovascular function and cardiovascular reactivity to the uncivil interaction.Past discrimination was related to higher resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) among Latina/o participants and lower resting SBP among White participants. Further, past discrimination was related to attenuated SBP and HR reactivity among Latina/o participants but was related to augmented HR reactivity among White participants. Discrimination was not related to resting levels or reactivity among Black participants.This study is the first to examine the relationship between discrimination and cardiovascular responses to interpersonal incivility among Black, Latina/o, and White individuals. Findings suggest that the relationship between discrimination and cardiovascular risk may differ by ethnicity.