Type A behavior, nonverbal expressive style, and health.
Understanding the precise nature of the links among styles of behavior, emotional expression, and the development of heart disease is a major challenge in psychology and health. In the present research, 60 men at high risk for coronary heart disease were examined in terms of their expressive style, their specific nonverbal cues, their personality, and their health. As assessed by the self-report Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS; Jenkins, Zyzanski, & Rosenman, 1979), half the men were Type A and half were Type B. To provide a more refined grouping, the men were further classified on the basis of scores on the Affective Communication Test (ACT; H. S. Friedman, Prince, Riggio, & DiMatteo, 1980), a self-report measure of nonverbal expressiveness. In the framework of theory and research on nonverbal expressive style, videotapes of the men were extensively rated and coded in terms of their judged appearance, the actual audio and video nonverbal cues emitted, and the words said (transcript). Two groups of Type A individuals were found--one that was repressed, tense, and illness-prone, but another that was healthy, talkative, in control, and charismatic. Furthermore, in addition to the expected healthy Type B men, a subgroup of Type B men was found who were submissive, repressed, tense, have an external locus of control, and may be illness-prone. A refined conception of the Type A behavior pattern is deemed necessary in light of these findings. Implications for improving the validity of the Type A construct and understanding the link between psychosocial factors and disease are discussed.
Friedman, HS; Hall, JA; Harris, MJ
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