Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Fred Gault

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Several risk factors have been linked to cardiovascular diseases; among them are exposure to psychological stressors and caffeine consumption.

The objective of this study was to examine the effects of caffeine consumption on cardiovascular reactivity to role play simulations of social stressors. A double-blind alternating treatment design was employed. Eight subjects (five female and three male) received either caffeine-containing or placebo beverages. Each subject received four samples of each beverage over a total of eight sessions. The results include: (a) stressors increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure along with heart rate in baseline, placebo and drug conditions; (b) caffeine produced increases in blood pressure over placebo but was not statistically significant; and (c) caffeine did not increase cardiovascular reactivity when presented in conjunction with stressful social interactions. An additive effect between caffeine consumption and stressful social interactions was evidenced by increases in blood pressure.