Faculty Advisor

Kertz, Sarah J. PhD


The current study had two aims: (1) measure changes in heart rate variability from the time of learning about a stressor task to completion of the task and (2) measuring the change in heart rate during and after the stressor task. Thirty participants were recruited from a midwestern university campus as well as surrounding communities. The study utilized a laboratory based stressor to examine the influence of perseverative thinking on stress recovery over a 24-hour period. Participants were involved in the study for a continuous 48 hours that included three lab visits. Participants’ activities and heart rates were measured through texted questionnaires and Fitbits between visits. Participants who scored high on measures of anxiety were expected to exhibit longer latency of stress recovery (i.e., return to baseline) after the stressor task. Results indicated a non-significant relationship between trait anxiety and latency of stress recovery; however, significant results were found for the indirect effects of perseverative thinking on the direct relationship.