Perceived social support, coping styles, and chinese immigrants' cardiovascular responses to stress

Yuen Shan Christine Lee, Sonia Suchday, Wylie Rosett Judith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background Social support and coping strategies are important determinants of health, especially for those in the immigrant community adjusting to a new environment. Purpose This study assessed the buffering effects of perceived social support and different coping styles on cardiovascular reactivity to stress among Chinese immigrants in the New York City Chinatown area. Method Participants (N=50, 76% women, and 22-84 years old) completed questionnaires assessing their perceived social support and coping strategy preferences. They were then asked to recall a stress-provoking event related to their immigration experience in a semi-structured interview format. Results Hierarchical multiple regression analyses confirmed the interaction effect between perceived social support and problem-focused, emotion-focused, or reappraisal coping on heart rate reactivity. Additionally, Chinese immigrants who upheld more Chinese values were highly correlated with stronger perceived availability of social support and were more likely to incorporate the use of problem-focused and reappraisal coping styles. Conclusion Findings suggest that high level of social support and the use of reappraisal coping strategies were associated with attenuated cardiovascular responses to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-185
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Cardiovascular health
  • Chinese immigrants
  • Coping
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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