Personality factors and stress

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  • Created on: 11-01-13 07:35
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Personality factors and stress:
1. Type A personality
2. The Hardy personality
Type A personality:
A person who is trying to achieve more and more in less and less time.
Friedman and Rosenman (1959), believed that someone with type A
personality possessed 3 main characteristics:
Competitiveness and achievement striving
Impatience and time urgency
Hostility and aggressiveness
These characteristics were believed to lead to raised blood pressure and
stress hormones; they are both linked to ill health so people with these
characteristics are more likely to develop coronary heart disease. Type B
personality was proposed as the opposite to type A people are more relaxed,
patient and easy-going so are less likely to develop coronary heart disease
through stress.
Research into type A personality:
Friedman and Rosenman, the western collaborative group (1960):
3000 men aged 39 to 59 living in California were examined for CHD and
their personalities were tested using an in-depth interview, which was
conducted in a provocative manner to enhance the type A behaviour.
The findings showed that after 8.5 years twice as many type A personality
participants had died of cardiovascular problems and 12% of type a
participants had heart attacks whereas only 6% of type B participants
had heart attacks.
Type A had higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, they were also
more likely to smoke and have family history of CHD, which increased there
risk even more.
Evaluation of the type A personality:
-VE ­ Ragland and Brand (1988), did a follow up study of the western
collaborative group study 15 years later, they found 15% of men had died of
CHD. However they found no link between type A personality and mortality,
this challenges the previous conclusion that suggested type A personality
leads to higher risk of developing CHD and dying.
-VE ­ Myrtek (2001), carried out a meta-analysis of 35 studies and found that
there is an association between hostility and CHD but other than that there
is no association between the type A personality and CHD.
The Hardy personality:
Kobasa and Maddi (1977) suggested that some people are more psychologically
`hardy' than others. If the characteristics of the Hardy personality are
presents they provide defenses against the negative effects of stress, for
the person. The characteristics include:
Control, hardy people are in control of their lives and are not
controlled by external factors
Commitment, involved with the world around them and have a strong
sense of purpose

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Challenge, see life challenges as problems to be overcome rather
than threats or stressors, enjoy change as an opportunity for
Research on the Hardy personality:
- Kobasa (1979), studied 800 business executives using the SRRS, 150 of the
participants were classed as high stress some had low illness record
others had a high illness record, this suggests something else is affecting
the effects of stress.…read more


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