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The Influence of Communication on Physiology and Health

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James M. Honeycutt, Chris R. Sawyer and Shaughan Keaton

There is a significant amount of research that substantiates the connection between social support/relationships and the development, onset, and/or recovery of several physical diseases/illnesses. Research has shown, for example, that an unhappy marriage can increase the likelihood of becoming ill by 35% while stressful communication can lead to an increase in cardiovascular reactivity which in turn increases the risk of coronary heart disease and premature mortality.
This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the influences of communication on physiology and physical health status occurring in a variety of contexts, from families, interpersonal relationships, and public speaking to sport fandom, affection, fear, and the escalation of conflict. It offers a broad and up-to-date review of the relevant literature in this area of study.
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Chapter 2: Cardiovascular Reactivity in Social Interaction: Predictors and Consequences of Physiological Changes While Speaking in Everyday Life

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Chapter 2

Cardiovascular Reactivity in Social Interaction: Predictors and Consequences of Physiological Changes While Speaking in Everyday Life

Charles H. Tardy

A substantial number of scientific studies indicate that significant changes occur throughout the nervous, cardiovascular, and hematological systems when people speak (Floyd & Afifi, 2011; Lynch, 1985; Matthews, Owens, Allen, & Stoney, 1992; Sawyer & Behnke, 2009; Steptoe, Hamer, & Chida, 2007). For example, pulse, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and cardiac output increase while changes also occur in ejection time, atrial wall movements, and vasculature (e.g., Krantz et al., 1991; Waldstein, Neuman, & Merrill, 1998). These changes occur not only when people speak in public to an audience but also occur when talking with friends, coworkers, and loved ones (e.g., Smith et al., 2009). They can occur even when people imagine interacting with others (Honeycutt, 2010). ← 33 | 34 →

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