The current study examined social support and stress as mediators of the hostility - coronary heart disease (CHD) relationship as suggested by the psychosocial vulnerability model in a sample of low-income African Americans. Among 95 CHD patients and 30 healthy controls, hostility was negatively correlated with social support, but was not related to minor stress. CHD patients endorsed higher levels of hostility; however, the relationship between hostility and CHD status was diminished once stress and social support were included in the model. This study lends partial support for the psychosocial vulnerability model of hostility in African Americans, but suggests that the relationship between hostility and stress may be impacted by socioeconomic status. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008.