Physiological and Psychosocial Correlates of Type A Behavior

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00005155
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 26, 2000
Last Update Posted : May 13, 2016
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Brief Summary:
To test the physiological and psychosocial correlates of Type A behavior.

Condition or disease
Cardiovascular Diseases Heart Diseases Coronary Disease

Detailed Description:


The Type A behavior pattern as described by Friedman and Rosenman is characterized by extremes of competitiveness, easily aroused hostility, a sense of urgency and aggression. In 1981 the Review Panel of Coronary Prone Behavior and Coronary Heart Disease concluded that the Type A behavior pattern was associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease. Studies have challenged the independent predictive value of the behavior pattern with respect to coronary heart disease. There was a need to develop physiological measurements related to coronary-prone behavior and to reexamine the stability of the psychological assessment. It was hypothesized that Type A behavior or some component such as hostility might be associated with a state of chronic, generalized sympathetic-adrenal arousal. Preliminary research was conducted on interpersonal dynamic correlates of Type A behavior among married couples. Research was needed on whether certain types of marriages, according to the Type A/B classification of the two spouses, are more pathogenic than others. Additional research is also needed on which components of the global Type A pattern were of primary importance as risk factors for coronary disease, and which components were enduring, which were transient, and which were situationally related.

In 1982, a household survey on Type A behavior was initiated. Measures included the Jenkins Activity Survey, the Framingham Type A Questionnaire, hostility scales, and other behavioral tests. Information was also collected on demographic variables, social support, marital satisfaction, life events, social values, and job and family stress. After the household survey was completed, the respondents were contacted by the Type A interviewers and the Structured Interviews conducted. A total of 1,114 Type A interviews were completed yielding 902 primary respondents and 239 spouses.


The concurrent relationship of the Structured Interview (SI) global and component Type A behavior measures were tested to levels of chronic and acute sympathetic nervous system activity, as assessed by platelet and plasma catecholamines, heart rate, blood pressure, and pupil size. The correlations among heart rate, pupil size, blood pressure, and the plasma and platelet catecholamine measures were determined as were the relationships with reported global health, chronic disease, and functional disability levels. The five-year predictability was tested of reported global health, chronic disease, and functional disability from measures of global and component Type A behavior.

Tests were made of the differences in the chronic and acute sympathetic-adrenal responses, as assessed by platelet and plasma catecholamines, pupil size, heart rate, and blood pressure, among married couples having different combinations of Structured Interview global and component Type A classifications. The five year marital stability and health of these couples were followed. A comparison was made of one week test-retest reliability with the five year stability of the Structured Interview global and component Type A measures.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.

Study Type : Observational
Study Start Date : February 1982
Actual Study Completion Date : January 1989

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria

Publications: Identifier: NCT00005155     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1027
R01HL028094 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 26, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 13, 2016
Last Verified: May 2000

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Coronary Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Vascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases