Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 201–214 | Cite as

The type a behavior pattern, sex differences, and cardiovascular response to and recovery from stress

  • Randall S. Jorgensen
  • B. Kent Houston


Sixty-one subjects performed a Stroop Color-Word Interference task, a mental arithmetic task (serial subtraction of 7s), and a shock avoidance task (repeating digits backward while expecting to be shocked for mistakes). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate were recorded while subjects anticipated, undertook, and recovered from the shock avoidance task, and undertook and recovered from the Stroop and mental arithmetic tasks. The results revealed that, compared to Type B subjects, Type A subjects manifested higher diastolic blood pressure during the Stroop and shock avoidance tasks and higher pulse rate following the mental arithmetic and shock avoidance tasks. No significant interactions were found between sex and A/B Type. The results are congruent with the notion that greater sympathetic nervous system activity among Type A individuals, both men and women, contributes to greater coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease in this group.


Diastolic Blood Pressure Pulse Rate Sympathetic Nervous System Coronary Atherosclerosis Cardiovascular Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Benjamin, L. Facts and artifacts in using analysis of covariance to “undo” the law of initial values.Psychophysiology 1967,4 187–206.Google Scholar
  2. Blumenthal, J. A., Williams, R. B., Kong, Y., Schanberg, S. M., & Thompson, L. W. Type A behavior pattern and coronary atherosclerosis.Circulation 1978,58 634–639.Google Scholar
  3. Brod, J., Fencl, V., Hejl, Z., & Jirka, J. Circulation changes underlying blood pressure elevation during acute emotional stress (mental arithmetic) in normotensive and hypertensive subjects.Clinical Science 1959,18 269–279.Google Scholar
  4. Dembroski, T. M., MacDougall, J. M., Herd, J. A., & Shields, J. L. Effects of level of challenge on pressor and heart rate responses in Type A and Type B subjects.Journal of Applied Social Psychology 1979,9 209–228.Google Scholar
  5. Dimsdale, J. E., Hackett, T. P., Hutter, A. M., Block, P. C., & Catanzano, D. M. Type A personality and extent of coronary atherosclerosis.American Journal of Cardiology 1978,42 583–586.Google Scholar
  6. Dimsdale, J. E., Hackett, T. P., Hutter, A. M., Block, P. C., Catanzano, D. M., & White, P. Type A behavior and angiographic findings.Journal of Psychosomatic Research 1979,23 273–276.Google Scholar
  7. Frank, K. H., Miller, S. S., Kornfeld, D. S., Sporn, H. H., & Weiss, M. B. Type A behavior pattern and coronary angiographic findings.Journal of the American Medical Association 1978,240 761–763.Google Scholar
  8. Friedman, M., Rosenman, R. H., Straus, R., et al. The relationship of behavior pattern A to the state of the coronary vasculature: A study of 51 autopsied subjects.American Journal of Medicine 1968,44 525–528.Google Scholar
  9. Gastorf, J. W., & Teevan, R. C. Type A coronary-prone behavior pattern and fear-of-failure.Motivation and Emotion 1980,4 71–76.Google Scholar
  10. Glass, D. C.Behavior patterns, stress, and coronary disease. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  11. Goldband, S. Stimulus specificity of physiological response to stress and the Type A coronary-prone behavior pattern.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1980,39 670–679.Google Scholar
  12. Hastrup, J. L., Light, K. C., & Obrist, P. A.Relationship of cardiovascular stress response to parental history of hypertension and to sex differences. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Cincinnati, 1979.Google Scholar
  13. Paynes, S. G., Feinleib, M., & Kannel, W. B. The relationship of psychological factors to coronary heart disease in the Framingham study.American Journal of Epidemiology 1980,111 37–58.Google Scholar
  14. Jenkins, C. D. Recent evidence supporting psychologic and social risk factors for coronary disease.New England Journal of Medicine 1976,294 987–994; 1033–1038.Google Scholar
  15. Krantz, D., Glass, D. C., & Snyder, M. L. Helplessness, stress level, and the coronary-prone behavior pattern.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 1974,10 284–300.Google Scholar
  16. Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N.The psychology of sex differences Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  17. MacDougall, J. M., Dembroski, T. M., & Krantz, D. S. Effects of types of challenge on pressor and heart rate responses in Type A and B women.Psychophysiology 1981,18 1–9.Google Scholar
  18. Manuck, S. B., Craft, S. A., & Gold, K. J. Coronary-prone behavior pattern and cardiovascular response.Psychophysiology 1978,15 403–411.Google Scholar
  19. Manuck, S. B., & Garland, F. N. Coronary-prone behavior, task incentive, and cardiovascular response.Psychophysiology 1979,16 136–142.Google Scholar
  20. Manuck, S. B., Harvey, A. H., Lechleiter, S. L., & Neal, K. S. Effects of coping on blood pressure responses to threat of aversive stimulation.Psychophysiology 1978,15 544–549.Google Scholar
  21. Obrist, P. A., Light, K. C., Langer, A. W., Grignolo, A., & McCubbin, J. A. Behavioralcardiac interactions: The psychosomatic hypothesis.Journal of Psychosomatic Research 1978,22 301–325.Google Scholar
  22. Pittner, M. S., & Houston, B. K. Response to stress, cognitive coping strategies, and the Type A behavior pattern.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1980,39 147–157.Google Scholar
  23. Rosenman, R. H., Brand, R. J., Jenkins, C. D., Friedman, M., Straus, R., & Wurm, M. Coronary heart disease in the Western Collaborative Group study.Journal of the American Medical Association 1975,233 872–877.Google Scholar
  24. Shapiro, A. P. An experimental study of comparative responses of blood pressure to different noxious stimuli.Journal of Chronic Diseases 1961,13 293–311.Google Scholar
  25. Van Egeren, L. F. Cardiovascular change during social competition in a mixed-motive game.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1979,37 858–864. (a)Google Scholar
  26. Van Egeren, L. F. Social interactions, communications, and the coronary-prone behavior pattern.Psychosomatic Medicine 1979,41 2–18. (b)Google Scholar
  27. Von Eiff, A. W., & Piekarski, C. Stress reactions of normotensives and hypertensives and the influence of female sex hormones on blood pressure regulation.Progress in Brain Research 1977,47 289–299.Google Scholar
  28. Wechsler, D.Manual for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. New York: Psychological Corporation, 1955.Google Scholar
  29. Welch, R. L.The response of androgynous and feminine women to experimentally induced success or failure in a learned helplessness paradigm and instructions concerning causal attributions of performance. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Kansas, 1976.Google Scholar
  30. Wilder, J. F.Stimulus and response: The law of initial values. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1968.Google Scholar
  31. Williams, R. B., Jr. Psychophysiological processes, the coronary-prone behavior pattern, and coronary heart disease. In T. M. Dembroski, S. M. Weiss, J. L. Shields, S. G. Haynes, & M. Feinleib (Eds.),Coronary-prone behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1978.Google Scholar
  32. Williams, R. B., Jr., Haney, T. L., Lee, K. L., Kong, Y-H., Blumenthal, J. A., & Whalen, R. E. Type A behavior, hostility, and coronary atherosclerosis.Psychosomatic Medicine 1980,42 539–549.Google Scholar
  33. Zyzanski, S. J., Jenkins, C. D., Ryan, T. J., Flessas, A., & Everist, M. Psychological correlates of coronary angiographic findings.Archives of Internal Medicine 1976,136 1234–1237.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randall S. Jorgensen
    • 1
  • B. Kent Houston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrence

Personalised recommendations