The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lehman, Barbara J.

Second Advisor

Lemm, Kristi M., 1971-

Third Advisor

Schudlich, Tina Dawn Du Rocher


Research has relied primarily on laboratory settings to examine how emotions and physiology are affected by acute experiences of stress. This is because it is difficult to manipulate acute stress outside the lab and without a discrete manipulation it is difficult to measure physiological and emotional arousal during acute stress. This study found evidence that everyday stress predicts temporary changes in blood pressure. The purpose of this study was to investigate Gray's (1987) behavioral inhibition (BIS) and behavioral activation (BAS) systems, and to identify divergent cardiovascular and emotional outcomes to natural stressors for each of these systems. The data from a set of within-day analyses do not suggest that BIS and BAS moderate the association between blood pressure, heart rate, and momentary affect (frustration, happiness, sadness, and stress) to everyday stress. End of day analyses examined potential enduring effects of stress. The data suggest that there are gender differences in the extent to which everyday stress predicts end of day averages of blood pressure and heart rate. Women had lower overall systolic blood pressure, including on more stressful days. In contrast, men tended to have higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure during stress, and a trend suggested that they have higher diastolic blood pressure on more stressful days. In addition, the data suggest that sensitivity to BIS and BAS is associated with daily affect. In particular, BIS sensitivity predicted daily negative affect and BAS sensitivity predicted both daily positive affect as well as greater positive affect on days with more stressors.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Stress (Psychology)--Physiological aspects; Hypertension--Psychological aspects; Behavioral assessment




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.