Keywords

Socioeconomic status, Income, Marital quality, Relationship quality, Physical health, Ambulatory blood pressure

Abstract

Background Socioeconomic status is robustly associated with rates of death and disease. Psychophysiological stress processes are thought to account for a portion of this association. Purpose Although positive and supportive relationships can buffer psychophysiological stress responses, no studies have examined whether the quality of a primary adult relation�ship—marriage—may buffer the negative association be�tween socioeconomic status and stress-related disease processes. Methods The current study examines the interaction between income and marital quality (supportive vs. ambivalent) on individuals’ daily ambulatory blood pressure, a valid and re�liable indicator of cardiovascular risk. Results Results revealed that supportive marital relationships buffered the otherwise higher ambulatory diastolic blood pres�sure associated with low income. Conclusions Results are consistent with the buffering hy�pothesis of social support and suggest that a supportive spouse may buffer stress-related autonomic processes linking low so�cioeconomic status to risk for cardiovascular disease.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2016-4

Publisher

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

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