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Lee SY, Vergara-Lopez C, Bublitz MH, Gaffey AE, D'Angelo C, Stroud LR. Adolescent girls' cardiovascular responses to peer rejection: exploring the impact of early life stress. Journal of behavioral medicine. 2022 Nov 5.
Detrimental effects of early life stress on cardiovascular health are evident in adolescence. Cardiovascular reactivity and recovery in response to interpersonal stress may be a mechanism. This study aimed to evaluate if adolescent girls with higher early life stress demonstrated greater cardiovascular reactivity and slower recovery to peer rejection. A sample of 92 adolescent girls (age: M = 13.24) self-reported early life stressors. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and heart rate (HR) were continuously measured before, during, and after a laboratory peer rejection paradigm. Counter to hypotheses, adolescent girls with higher early life stress had lower, not higher, HR during the recovery period. Early life stress was not associated with SBP or DBP recovery. Additionally, early life stress was not associated with SBP, DBP, or HR reactivity. Future research is needed to assess if blunted cardiovascular reactivity to interpersonal rejection during adolescence is a mechanism linking early life stress and later cardiovascular disease risk in women.