An introduction to Stress and Personality
Freidman and Rosenman (1959) proposed that there were three different personality types and each would react to stressful situations in different ways:
1. Type A: Hostile, competitive, concerned with the acquisition of material goods and have an exaggerated sense of time urgency. They believed that there individuals would be more stressed and more likely to suffer for CHD.
2. Type B: More relaxed, less ambitious, less impatient and focus more on the quality of life. They do not suffer from stress as much as type A's do.
3. Type C: Hardworking, conventional, sociable but tend to avoid conflict rather than deal with it and suppress rather than express their emotion. They also experience feelings of helplessness when faced with stressful situations. They suffer from more stress than type B's but not as much as type A's.
Type A: Jepson & Forrest (2006)
Jepson & Forrest (2006) investigated factors affecting stress in teachers.
They found a positive relationship between Type A behaviour and stress. This suggests that elements of our personality e.g. being hostile, aggressive and competitive (TAB) can be a factor affecting how much stress we experience.
Type A and Type B: Rosenman et al (1976)
Rosenman et al (1976) studied 3454 middle-aged men on the west coast of the US. They were categorized as either Type A or Type B by structured interview. As participants answered questions, the trained interviewer noted down behavioural signs of Type A behaviour such as rapid finger tapping, restlessness and the pace of talking. Answers to the questions and the general behaviour are put together to provide an overall assessment of Type A and B.
Participants were followed up for 8.5 years. During that time, there were 257 heart attacks of which 69% were in the Type A group, suggesting a significant effect of Type A personality and stress.
Suggesting that high Type A behaviour individuals were vulnerable to heart diease.
Type A and B: Shekelle (1985)
Shekelle (1985) studied over 12000 male participants, with TAB assesses by a self-report questionnaire and structured interview. They found over 7 years that there was no difference in the incidents of heart disease between the Type A and Type B groups.