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This study used a sample constructed by a merging of two cohorts from studies examining risk factors for hypertension conducted from 1986 to 1991. Subjects were recruited from Miami-Dade County, FL, through community blood pressure screenings and advertisements in newspapers. All subjects were healthy native English speakers. If a subject was taking a prescribed blood pressure medication, they were weaned off (under the guidance of a physician) for a minimum of two weeks to be eligible to participate in the study. Participants were excluded if they were taking other prescription medication and had a history of medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, dizziness, and/or any other cardiovascular disease or chronic physical illness. One-hundred-forty-seven black subjects (83 men and 64 women) ranging in age from 25 to 54 served as potential subjects.

John Henry Active Coping Scale

The JHAC 12 is a 12-item Likert-type scale that measures a behavioral or strong personality predisposition to cope actively with psychosocial stressors in one’s environment. The John Henry active coping score is the sum of the values assigned to each of the 12 responses. In keeping with the scale’s guidelines, scores are dichotomized at the median to categorize respondents into high and low John Henry active coping groups. Scores that fall above the sample median connote mental and physical vigor, tenacity, and a strong sense of personal efficacy when confronting psychosocial environmental stressors. Reliability coefficients for the JHAC 12 from community-based adult samples range from the low 0.70s to the low 0.80s. Scores tend to increase modestly with age, plateauing in the late 40s and early 50s. Blacks have been observed to score higher than whites on John Henryism; however, among blacks, men and women tend to score similarly (James, personal communication, April 7, 2001).

Likert-type scale response options for the JHAC 12 were different for the two project cohorts included in the study: 1) the original 12-item three-option Likert-type version with the response options of “not true”, “somewhat true”, and “very true”; and 2) a 12-item four-option Likert-type version with the response options of “I disagree a lot”, “I disagree a little”, “I agree a little”, and “I agree a lot”. To be consistent with the most recently published study on John Henryism, the responses for the four-point response option version were collapsed into a three-point response. Thus, subjects who selected the response, “I disagree a little” or “I agree a little” on the four-option response version of the scale were transformed to “somewhat true” on the three-option response version of the scale. The responses of “I disagree a lot” and “I agree a lot” from the four-option scale were respectively transformed to “not true” and “very true” on the three-item response version of the scale. This procedure did not markedly affect the reliability of the scale, as the internal consistency reliability in the present study is consistent with other reports Cronbach’s a=0.69. (Fernander et al. examined the psychometric properties of the scale among 75 African Americans and 129 white Americans and found support for the use of this scale in an urban south Florida population).


On the first day of each research protocol, after providing informed consent and following their physical examination and measurement of height and weight, each subject’s blood pressure was assessed in the medical unit of a research laboratory. After resting initially for five minutes, three blood pressure readings were taken on the right arm by a nurse at two-minute intervals using a mercury sphygmomanometer. The average of each subjects’ blood pressure readings served as their casual resting blood pressure. Subjects completed the JHAC 12 and a demographic questionnaire, including an assessment of years of education, on the second day of the research study. canadian cialis online

Preliminary Analyses

The data set was examined to determine which specific data fields were missing. Analyses included those subjects who had complete data for the JHAC 12, casual systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and level of education. Twenty-three participants had missing data on at least one of the above listed variables, and 124 subjects with complete data were included in the study.

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