Clayton J. Hilmert

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BACKGROUND Mixed evidence has suggested that homozygous carriers of the short allele (s/s) of the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) may be at increased risk for depression, if they have also been exposed to early or current adversity/stress. We address this debate by examining the relation of a stressful early family(More)
It is well established that a lack of social support constitutes a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, comparable to risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. Although it has been hypothesized that social support may benefit health by reducing physiological reactivity to stressors, the mechanisms underlying this process(More)
Psychosocial resources have been tied to lower psychological and biological responses to stress. The present research replicated this relationship and extended it by examining how differences in dispositional reactivity of certain neural structures may underlie this relationship. Two hypotheses were examined: (a) psychosocial resources are tied to decreased(More)
OBJECTIVE To extend findings that African American women report greater stress during pregnancy, have higher blood pressure (BP), and are twice as likely to have low birthweight infants relative to white women. This study examines a) racial differences in associations between stress and BP during pregnancy, and b) the combined effects of stress and BP on(More)
This investigation considered possible health-related neurobiological processes associated with "emotional approach coping" (EAC), or intentional efforts to identify, process, and express emotions surrounding stressors. It was hypothesized that higher dispositional use of EAC strategies would be related to neural activity indicative of greater trait(More)
OBJECTIVE Research suggests that exposure to racism partially explains why African American women are 2 to 3 times more likely to deliver low birth weight and preterm infants. However, the physiological pathways by which racism exerts these effects are unclear. This study examined how lifetime exposure to racism, in combination with maternal blood pressure(More)
The authors examined the relevance of communalism, operationalized as a cultural orientation emphasizing interdependence, to maternal prenatal emotional health and physiology and distinguished its effects from those of ethnicity and childhood and adult socioeconomic status (SES). African American and European American women (N = 297) were recruited early in(More)
Individual differences in high-frequency heart rate variability (HRV) have been conceptualized in terms of a greater capacity to self-regulate problematic outcomes, but have also been conceptualized in terms of greater moment-to-moment flexibility. From a self-regulation perspective, higher HRV should be inversely correlated with trait neuroticism and(More)
Modeling research that has focused on the effects of observing similar others appears to have underestimated the influence of observing dissimilar others. Two experiments demonstrated that observing a model express liking for a piece of music induced more favorable opinions of the music (positive modeling) when the model was similar to the participant(More)
Exaggerated blood pressure responses to stress are implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease, and an effort has been made to identify factors associated with such responses. One situational factor that impacts cardiovascular responses to stress is the presence of other people and their behavior. Here, we manipulated the status of the audience(More)