Date of Graduation
A predictor of cardiovascular disease is increased heart rate and blood pressure reactivity to physical tasks. One psychological factor that is associated with a reduced cardiac (i.e., heart rate) and vascular (blood pressure) reactivity has been social support. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of social support on exercise-related CV reactivity. It was hypothesized that participants would demonstrate lower CVR in the Partner Present condition than in the Alone condition and that level of intimacy would be related to CVR. Male participants (N = 32) who were in an enduring romantic relationship (i.e., minimum duration of 2 months), who were not currently regular exercisers, and had no health problems were recruited for study participation. Participants completed questions that assessed their level of intimacy, exercise self-efficacy, and demographic characteristics. Participants were then asked to perform a symptom limited, maximal bicycle test, and scheduled for two sessions of submaximal exercise at a workload that elicited 60% of heart rate maximum as determined by the fitness assessment. Participants performed the two submaximal exercise bouts in either an Alone or Partner Present condition. A total of 28 participants were entered into the final analysis. Results were analyzed to examine the first hypothesis that social support would buffer CVR to exercise via a repeated measures ANOVA and correlations to examine the second hypothesis that intimacy would be related to CVR. Results revealed no support for hypothesis one during baseline. However, some support for hypothesis one was revealed during Exercise and Recovery phases. Specifically, HR changes during exercise, and HR and PEP changes during recovery were consistent with stress buffering response. Additionally, perception of enjoyment was higher for the Partner Present condition. No support was given to the second hypothesis. Rather, satisfaction with social support not level of intimacy was significantly related to HR (Baseline to Exercise and Exercise and Recovery) and PEP changes (from Exercise to Recovery). Discussion focused on comparison of the present results to past research and the implications for exercise prescribers.
Hollander, Daniel Benjamin, "The effects of social support on men's exercise-related cardiovascular reactivity." (2000). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9049.