“There is a body of evidence in social psychology research suggesting that women care more about and pay more attention to the quality of their relationships,” said Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. “Our findings suggest that women are particularly sensitive to negative interactions, which is consistent with this previous work.”
Keeping your friends close and your enemies closer may not be the best advice if you are 50 or older.
New research from Carnegie Mellon University’s Rodlescia Sneed and Sheldon Cohen shows that unpleasant or demanding interpersonal encounters increase hypertension risk among older adults.
Published in the American Psychological Association’s Health Psychology Journal, the study provides some of the first concrete evidence that negative social interactions not only influence psychological well-being but also physical health — in this case, blood pressure levels. Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
“This demonstrates how important social networks are as we age — constructing strong, positive relationships are beneficial to prolonged health,” said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
For the study, Sneed and…
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