Kristen Salomon, Ph.D

Research Interests

My research examines cardiovascular responses to stress, the psychological and social factors that moderate these responses, and how these work together to contribute to risk for cardiovascular disease. Thus far, my work has been guided by three research questions. First, what specific cardiovascular responses are important to coping with stress and to risk for cardiovascular disease? Second, what are some of the social and personality factors that influence responses to stress and operate as risk factors for cardiovascular disease? Third, when does the social environment serve as a source of stress and when does it serve as a buffer of stress? To answer my first question, I have investigated the reactivity hypothesis and the role of parasympathetic reactivity in stress and coping processes. In regard to my second question, I have utilized a biopsychosocial framework focusing on a number of aspects of coping such as social, personality, emotion, and appraisal antecedents of cardiovascular reactivity during potentially stressful situations. To answer my third question, I have examined the presence of an audience and attitudes as sources and buffers of stress. Also, I recently have begun to examine perceptions of discrimination and blood pressure regulation in ethnic minorities. I have drawn on my multidisciplinary background of training in Psychophysiology, Health Psychology, and Social Psychology in pursuit of my research interests. My goal throughout this diverse training has been to fully understand and integrate all aspects of a biopsychosocial perspective on stress, cardiovascular reactivity and risk for cardiovascular disease.

Click on a link below to hear more about an area of my research.

Cardiovascular reactivity & heart rate variability

Early risk factors for cardiovascular disease

The social environment as a source of stress