Chapter

Self-Silencing and the Risk of Heart Disease and Death in Women: The Framingham Offspring Study

Elaine D. Eaker and Margaret Kelly-Hayes

in Silencing the Self Across Cultures

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398090
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776900 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398090.003.0020
Self-Silencing and the Risk of Heart Disease and Death in Women: The Framingham Offspring Study

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This chapter presents data from the Framingham Offspring Study where data were collected on 3682 men and women who were followed for 10 years to document the occurrence of heart disease or death. This study included a measure of self-silencing that asked participants how they dealt with conflict with their spouse. After adjusting for the standard risk factors, the data revealed that women who self-silenced during conflict with their spouse, compared with women who did not, had four times the risk of dying over the 10 years of follow-up. The authors examine this finding and discuss the damaging effects of not engaging with one’s spouse during conflict. The chapter also discusses the importance of future research investigating the many possible health-related consequences of self-silencing.

Keywords: self-silencing; mortality; heart disease; relational conflict; stress

Chapter.  6922 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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