Hostility, Anger, Aggressiveness, and Coronary Heart Disease: An Interpersonal Perspective on Personality, Emotion, and Health

University of Utah, USA.
Journal of Personality (Impact Factor: 2.44). 01/2005; 72(6):1217-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00296.x
Source: PubMed


The related traits of hostility, anger, and aggressiveness have long been suggested as risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). Our prior review of this literature (Smith, 1992) found both considerable evidence in support of this hypothesis and important limitations that precluded firm conclusions. In the present review, we discuss recent research on the assessment of these traits, their association with CHD and longevity, and mechanisms possibly underlying the association. In doing so, we illustrate the value of the interpersonal tradition in personality psychology (Sullivan, 1953; Leary, 1957; Carson, 1969; Kiesler, 1996) for not only research on the health consequences of hostility, anger, and aggressiveness, but also for the general study of the effects of emotion, personality and other psychosocial characteristics on physical health.

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Available from: John M Ruiz, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "The physiological expression of anger and hostility has been recognised as important in psychosomatic medicine and health (Smith et al., 2004). Effects of anger on physiological parameters are potentially pathoaetiological in the genesis of cardiovascular disease and hypertension, yet are subject to individual differences . "
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    ABSTRACT: Emotion and cognition are dynamically coupled to bodily arousal: The induction of anger, even unconsciously, can reprioritise neural and physiological resources toward action states that bias cognitive processes. Here we examine behavioural, neural and bodily effects of covert anger processing and its influence on cognition, indexed by lexical decision-making. While recording beat-to-beat blood pressure, the words ANGER or RELAX were presented subliminally just prior to rapid word/non-word reaction-time judgements of letter-strings. Subliminal ANGER primes delayed the time taken to reach rapid lexical decisions, relative to RELAX primes. However, individuals with high trait anger were speeded up by subliminal anger primes. ANGER primes increased systolic blood pressure and the magnitude of this increase predicted reaction time prolongation. Within the brain, ANGER trials evoked an enhancement of activity within dorsal pons and an attenuation of activity within visual occipitotemporal and attentional parietal cortices. Activity within periaqueductal grey matter, occipital and parietal regions increased linearly with evoked blood pressure changes, indicating neural substrates through which covert anger impairs semantic decisions, putatively through its expression as visceral arousal. The behavioural and physiological impact of anger states compromises the efficiency of cognitive processing through action-ready changes in autonomic response that skew regional neural activity. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email:
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/scan/nsv099 · 7.37 Impact Factor
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    • "Indeed, most if not all individual difference variables directly relevant to interpersonal functioning – including agreeableness, anger, empathy, extraversion, femininity, Machiavellianism, masculinity, narcissism, etc. – can be understood in terms of their coordinates within the interpersonal circumplex space (see Plutchik and Conte 1997, for an edited volume). Further, the interpersonal circumplex serves as a common currency in linking up constructs and findings from a number of different literatures (Smith, Glazer, Ruiz, and Gallo 2004). We sought to locate tendencies toward implicit self-importance in this interpersonal space using well-validated markers for different areas of the circumplex. "
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    ABSTRACT: Object relations theories emphasize the manner in which the salience/importance of implicit representations of self and other guide interpersonal functioning. Two studies and a pilot test (total N = 304) sought to model such representations. In dyadic contexts, the self is a “you” and the other is a “me”, as verified in a pilot test. Study 1 then used a simple categorization task and found evidence for implicit self-importance: The pronoun “you” was categorized more quickly and accurately when presented in a larger font size, whereas the pronoun “me” was categorized more quickly and accurately when presented in a smaller font size. Study 2 showed that this pattern possesses value in understanding individual differences in interpersonal functioning. As predicted, arrogant people scored higher in implicit self-importance in the paradigm. Findings are discussed from the perspective of dyadic interpersonal dynamics.
    Current Psychology 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12144-014-9205-x · 0.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Comparison of the results observed in the incidence and remission groups suggests that Internet addiction has a temporal effect on hostility if remission from Internet addiction is achieved within a short period. Since long-term hostility can have both negative psychosocial consequences, e.g., interpersonal difficulty, and negative physical consequences, e.g., cardiovascular disorder [42], remission status should be achieved as early as possible in adolescents with Internet addiction. Adolescents with Internet addiction also reportedly have high social anxiety [5] [11], which is another predictor of Internet addiction [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In adolescent populations worldwide, Internet addiction is prevalent and is often comorbid with depression, hostility, and social anxiety of adolescents. This study aimed at evaluating the exacerbation of depression, hostility, and social anxiety in the course of getting addiction to Internet or remitting from Internet addiction among adolescents. Method: This study recruited 2293 adolescents in grade 7 to assess their depression, hostility, social anxiety and Internet addiction. The same assessments were repeated one year later. The incidence group was defined as subjects classified as non-addicted in the first assessment and as addicted in the second assessment. The remission group was defined as subjects classified as addicted in the first assessment and as non-addicted in the second assessment. Results: The incidence group exhibited increased depression and hostility more than the non-addiction group and the effect of on depression was stronger among adolescent girls. Further, the remission group showed decreased depression, hostility, and social anxiety more than the persistent addiction group. Conclusions: Depression and hostility worsen in the addiction process for the Internet among adolescents. Intervention of Internet addiction should be provided to prevent its negative effect on mental health. Depression, hostility, and social anxiety decreased in the process of remission. It suggested that the negative consequences could be reversed if Internet addiction could be remitted within a short duration.
    Comprehensive Psychiatry 05/2014; 55(6). DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.05.003 · 2.25 Impact Factor
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