Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Hostility, Measurement of

  • Susan A. Everson-Rose
  • Priya Balaji
  • Xiaohui Yu
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_256-2



Hostility is defined by a suspicious, mistrustful attitude and cynical disposition toward others. Considered an enduring personality characteristic, hostility is characterized by cognitive, behavioral, and affective or emotional dimensions.


Measurement of hostility can be based on structured interviews, with interviewer ratings of behavioral dimensions and verbal expressions of hostility based on participants’ actions and responses within the interview setting. The classic example of this method of assessing hostility is the structured interview for Type A behavior, which was developed by Drs. Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, the two cardiologists who first coined the term “Type A” to describe what they perceived to be coronary-prone behavior (e.g., hostility, aggressiveness, time urgency, and a need to be hard-driving) among their heart patients (Friedman and Rosenman 1971). The Type A interview is...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Barefoot, J. C., Dodge, K. A., Peterson, B. L., Dahlstrom, W. G., & Williams, R. B., Jr. (1989). The Cook-Medley hostility scale: Item content and ability to predict survival. Psychosomatic Medicine, 51, 46–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buss, A. H., & Durkee, A. (1957). An inventory for assessing different kinds of hostility. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 21, 343–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cook, W. W., & Medley, D. M. (1954). Proposed hostility and pharisaic virtue scales for the MMPI. Journal of Applied Psychology, 38, 414–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, K., & Hall, P. (1995). What does potential for hostility measure? Gender differences in the expression of hostility. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18, 233–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dembroski, T. M., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1987). Coronary prone behavior: Components of the type A pattern and hostility. Journal of Personality, 55, 211–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Everson, S. A., Kauhanen, J., Kaplan, G. A., Goldberg, D. E., Julkunen, J., Tuomilehto, J., & Salonen, J. T. (1997). Hostility and increased risk of mortality and acute myocardial infarction: The mediating role of behavioral risk factors. American Journal of Epidemiology, 146, 142–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Farmer, C. A., & Aman, M. G. (2009). Confirmation of the factor structure and measurement invariance of the Children’s scale of hostility and aggression. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 26, 10–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Farmer, C. A., & Aman, M. G. (2010). Psychometric properties of the Children’s Scale of Hostility and Aggression: Reactive/Proactive (C-SHARP). Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 270–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friedman, M., & Rosenman, R. H. (1971). Type A behaviour pattern: Its association with coronary heart disease. Annals of Clinical Research, 3, 300–312.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Greenglass, E. R., & Julkunen, J. (1989). Construct validity and sex differences in Cook-Medley hostility. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 209–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hathaway, S. R., & McKinley, J. C. (1940). A multiphasic personality schedule (Minnesota): I. Construction of the schedule. Journal of Psychology, 10, 249–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Siegel, J. M. (1986). The multidimensional anger inventory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wong, J. M., Sin, N. L., & Whooley, M. A. (2014). A comparison of Cook-Medley hostility subscales and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease: Data from the Heart and Soul Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76, 311–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan A. Everson-Rose
    • 1
  • Priya Balaji
    • 1
  • Xiaohui Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Program in Health Disparities ResearchUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mustafa al’Absi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Minnesota Medical SchoolDuluthUSA