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Cardiovascular reactivity in a simulated job interview: the role of gender role self-concept

Sieverding, Monika ; Weidner, Gerdi ; von Volkmann, Bettina

In: International journal of behavioral medicine : the official journal of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine, 12 (March 2005), Nr. 1. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1070-5503

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This study investigated the relation of gender role self-concept (G-SC) to cardiovascular and emotional reactions to an ecologically relevant stressor in a sample of graduating male and female university students. Thirty-seven men and 37 women completed the Personal Attribute Questionnaire and worked on four tasks designed to reflect common features of a job interview. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline, during, and after each task; subjective stress was measured at baseline and after each task. Subjective and objective stress scores were averaged across tasks and analyzed by sex and G-SC (i.e., instrumentality, expressiveness). Results indicated that women as a group demonstrated greater emotional reactivity, but did not differ in their physiological reactions when compared to men. Regardless of sex, participants’ instrumentality scores contributed significantly to the variation in subjective stress response: those scoring high on instrumentality reported less stress, but evidenced greater blood pressure reactivity than those scoring low on instrumentality. These results suggest that gender roles, particularly an instrumental self-concept, may play an important role in both subjective and objective reactions to an ecologically relevant stressor.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International journal of behavioral medicine : the official journal of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine
Volume: 12
Number: 1
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 13:22
Date: March 2005
ISSN: 1070-5503
Page Range: pp. 1-10
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Subjects: 150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: cardiovascular reactivity, gender role self-concept, instrumentality, psychosocial stress
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