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Date of Award

6-11-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jennifer Antick, PhD

Abstract

Background: Individuals with hypertension have been found to demonstrate emotional dampening as well as decreased accuracy on emotion recognition tasks. Purpose: This study sought to further explore possible impacts of hypertension on perceived social variables and quality of interpersonal relationships in a diverse population sample. Methods: Participants were 224 individuals recruited through the MTurk platform. Respondents included individuals who identified as either normotensive (n=122) or hypertensive (n=102). Categorical domains included age, race, education, income, marital status, and psychiatric diagnosis history. The majority of participants fell in the 26-40 year old age range (n=145) with the primary groups of race represented as Caucasian (n=95) and Asian/Pacific Islander (n=85). Participants completed three questionnaires (PROMIS-SIS, PROMIS-SRA, and QRI) that provide information regarding self-perception of social variables as well as quality of interpersonal relationships. Responses from normotensive individuals were compared to responses from hypertensive individuals while controlling for possible covariates using a MANCOVA analysis. Results: Increased levels of social isolation was not found to correlate with hypertension after controlling for possible covariates that included marital status and psychiatric diagnosis. Similarly, perceived fulfillment of social roles and activities was also not found to correlate with a diagnosis of hypertension. Identified domains of support and depth of relationship on the QRI were also not found to correlate to hypertension. However, results suggested a significant relationship between hypertension and the domain of conflict on the QRI. Conclusions: The results suggest a relationship between a diagnosis of hypertension and increased conflict in interpersonal relationships.

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