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Acculturating to the United States confers risk for cardiovascular disease, possibly through cardiovascular reactivity when communicating in a non-native language and interacting with individuals from a different ethnic background. Sixty-four women who immigrated to the United States from Mexico participated in the study. Cardiovascular responses were examined while participants communicated in both English and Spanish with a Caucasian or Mexican–American interaction partner presented via video-recording. Task-related emotional responses and perceptions of the interaction partner were also assessed. Speaking in English evoked greater increases in blood pressure and heart rate than communicating in Spanish, and larger increases in negative affect. English–speaking interaction partners were also viewed as less friendly and more dominant. Interaction partner ethnicity had no effect on cardiovascular reactivity. These findings suggest that health effects of acculturation for Mexican–Americans may involve the cardiovascular stress responses associated with communicating in a non-native language.
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- Cardiovascular reactivity during stressful speaking tasks in Mexican–American women: effects of language use and interaction partner ethnicity
Justin J. MacKenzie
Timothy W. Smith
Bert N. Uchino
- Springer US