The relationships between social competence and cardiovascular reactivity were evaluated in 180 children (ages 8-17; 52% female; 53% Caucasian). Participants performed a social task (Social Competence Interview [SCI]) and 2 nonsocial tasks while reactivity measures were obtained. Social competence was coded from SCI audiotapes. Among adolescents, higher scores on the Acceptance-Affiliation subscale were associated with increased heart rate (HR) and blood pressures and with decreased HR variability during the SCI. Among boys, greater Acceptance-Affiliation scores were associated with increased vascular reactivity during the SCI. During the nonsocial tasks, higher Self-Defensiveness and Expressiveness scores were associated with increased cardiac output and stroke volume among African American children. Personal strivings and expressive skills do matter for understanding cardiovascular responses in children.