Perceived social support, Emotional support, Gender, Ambulatory blood pressure, Partner responsiveness, Self-disclosure, Health


Perceived support has been related to lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about the specific functional components of support responsible for such links. We tested if emotional, informational, tangible, and belonging support predicted ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and interpersonal interactions (e.g., responsiveness), and if such links were moderated by gender. In this study, 94 married couples underwent 12 h of ABP monitoring during daily life which included a night at home with their spouse. They completed a short-form of the interpersonal support evaluation list that provides information on total (global) support, as well as specific dimensions of support. Results revealed that global support scores did not predict ABP during daily life. However, separating out distinct support components revealed that emotional support was a significant predictor of lower ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressure, primarily for women. Finally, emotional support predicted greater partner responsiveness and self- disclosure, along with less perceived partner negativity although these results were not moderated by gender. These data are discussed in terms of the importance of considering specific support components and the contextual processes that might influence such links.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Elsevier B.V.




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



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Psychology Commons