Psychosocial variables and hypertension:1 a new look at an old controversy

John Sommees-Flanagan, Roger P. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the recent evidence (1979 to 1986) from investigations of whether there is a link between psychosocial variables and elevations in blood pressure. Forty-eight empirical studies are summarized, discussed, and contrasted with reviews and methodological criticisms of past investigations. Strong support is found for an association between hypertension and such psychosocial factors as the identification and expression of anger, the use of inhibiting defense mechanisms (i.e., denial and repression), and interpersonal anxiety. Even when criticisms of the older literature are taken into account, the current findings show surprising continuity with past theoretical statements about the hypertensive personality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial variables and hypertension:1 a new look at an old controversy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this