Type A behavior, personality hardiness, and cardiovascular responses to stress.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
R J Contrada

Abstract

Type A behavior and hardiness were examined as predictors of cardiovascular responses to stress in 68 male undergraduates. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and heart rate were monitored while subjects performed a difficult mirror-tracing task. Type A assessments based on the Structured Interview, but not those based on the Jenkins Activity Survey, were associated with significantly enhanced SBP and DBP elevations. Hardiness was associated with significantly reduced DBP responsiveness. In addition, a significant interaction indicated that the Type B-high hardiness group showed the least DBP reactivity. A near-significant interaction (p = .06) suggested that Type B-high hardiness subjects also reported the least anger. Further exploration of the data indicated that the challenge component of hardiness accounted for its relationship to DBP reactivity. These results have implications both for the psychophysiologic study of Type A behavior and for understanding the health-promoting effects of hardiness.

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