Thomas G. Plante1,2 and Maire Ford1
1Department of Psychology, Santa Clara University.
2Correspondence should be directed to Thomas G. Plante, Psychology Department, Santa Clara
University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053-0333;
This study sought to evaluate the association between perceived and cardiovascular stress responsivity among subjects with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(IBS) and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ). Eight participants with IBS, eight participants with TMJ and 16 nonsymptomatic comparison participants
took part in the experiment. Participants completed a series of personality and mood questionnaires as well as a laboratory procedure measuring aerobic fitness,
cardiovascular responses (i.e., pulse rate and blood pressure), and perceived stress while performing stressful laboratory tasks (i.e., the Stroop Color Naming Test
and a speech task). Although IBS and TMJ participants did not vary significantly from comparison participants in blood pressure or heart rate
during the laboratory procedures, IBS and TMJ participants reported experiencing the laboratory tasks as more stressful than comparison participants.
Although preliminary due to the small sample size, results suggest that IBS and TMJ sufferers may be more sensitive to perceived stress than others.
KEY WORDS: stress; IBS; TMJ; coping.