Impact of stress reduction interventions on hostility and ambulatory systolic blood pressure in African American adolescents

Lynda Brown Wright, Mathew J. Gregoski, Martha S. Tingen, Vernon A. Barnes, Frank A. Treiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of breathing awareness meditation (BAM), life skills (LS) training, and health education (HE) interventions on self-reported hostility and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in 121 African American (AA) ninth graders at increased risk for development of essential hypertension. They were randomly assigned to BAM, LS, or HE and engaged in intervention sessions during health class for 3 months. Before, after, and 3 months following intervention cessation, self-reported hostility and 24-hour ABP were measured. Results indicated that between pre- and postintervention, BAM participants displayed significant reductions in self-reported hostility and 24-hour systolic ABP. Reductions in hostility were significantly related to reductions in 24-hour systolic ABP. Between postintervention and follow-up, participants receiving LS showed a significant reduction in hostility but not in 24-hour ABP. Significant changes were not found for the HE group in 24-hour ABP or self-reported hostility, but these change scores were significantly correlated. The implications of the findings are discussed with regard to behavioral stress reduction programs for the physical and emotional health of AAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-233
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011



  • behavioral interventions
  • clinical trial
  • essential hypertension
  • hostility
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology

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