Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kathleen M. Ingram


The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of unsupportive social interactions, within Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) cognitive appraisal model, on individual's mood states following an acute cardiac event (i.e., myocardial infarction, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting). It was hypothesized that unsupportive social interactions would exacerbate the effects of a patient's appraisals of threat secondary to an acute cardiac event. Participants in the present investigation were 67 patients from the cardiology unit of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. Each participant had incurred an acute cardiac event, as classified by the International Classification of Disease - 9th Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) requiring hospitalization. Participants received two packets of questionnaires as part of their involvement in the study. One packet was administered to them during their hospital stay, prior to discharge (Time 1), while the second packet was administered at 1-month post-discharge and was mailed to the participant (Time 2). The measures used in this study include: (a) Profile of Mood States (POMS) - short form (Shacham, 1983); (b) Social Support Questionnaire - 6 (Sarason, Sarason, Shearin, & Pierce, 1987); (c) UCLA Social Support Inventory (Dunkel-Schetter, Feinstein, & Call, 1986); (d) Threat appraisal measure (Folkman, Lazarus, Dunkel-Schetter, DeLongis, & Gruen, 1986); and (e) the Unsupportive Social Interactions Inventory (USII) (Ingram, Betz, Mindes, Schmitt, & Smith, in press). Results indicate that unsupportive social interactions were significantly and positively related to both total mood disturbance (r = .56,p < .01) and depression following an acute cardiac event (r = .65, p < .01). Thus, individuals who were experiencing more unsupportive social interactions with members of their social network around the time of their acute cardiac event were also experiencing more intense levels of depression and overall mood disturbance. In addition, threat appraisal and unsupportive social interactions at Time 1 (hospitalization) demonstrated significant main effects on depression and total mood disturbance. However, no moderating effect of unsupportive social interactions and threat appraisal at Time 1 on depression was demonstrated. A post-hoc mediator analysis, limitations, future directions for research, and implications for intervention were discussed.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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