Identifying A psychological profile of Type A behaviour pattern

Authors

  • Lucio Sibilia MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto di Terapia Medica Sistematica, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy
    • Istituto di Terapia Medica Sistematica, Universitè degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Policlinico Umberto I, Viale del Policlinico, 00161 Roma, Italy. Tel: +396 446 3534. Fax: +396 444 0290. Private: +396 8632 0838
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  • Roberto Picozzi,

    1. Centro di Ricerca in Psicoterapia, Rome, Italy
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  • Anna Maria Nardi

    1. Centro di Ricerca in Psicoterapia, Rome, Italy
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Abstract

A conceptual model of Type A behaviour pattern (TABP) is presented which frames the pattern in terms of current cognitive-behavioural psychology and in the wider context of the psychosocial risk factors of CHD. Type A behaviours are considered as stemming from Type A appraisals, elicited in specific situations in individuals with enhanced emotional reactivity who hold a system of beliefs identifiable as Type A. A study was performed in order to assess the possible associations of personality dimensions such as extraversion and neuroticism to TABP and identify specific dysfunctional beliefs associated with TABP. The Bortner Rating Scale (BRS) was administered as a measure of TABP, together with the Maudsley Personality Inventory (MPI) for measuring extraversion and neuroticism and a shortened version of the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS), in a random subsample of a male white-collar population screened in the worksite for cardiovascular risk factors (N = 200). BRS scores showed a high direct correlation with DAS total scores (r = 0.64), a significant one with neuroticism (r = 0.29) and a weaker one with extraversion (r = 0.15). DAS was factor analysed and a solution found identifying eight factors. Two of them were correlated with TABP, namely ‘support-reliance’, directly correlated, and ‘self-confidence’, inversely. At a robust stepwise multiple regression analysis, using the above psychometric measures as independent variables and BRS scores as dependent variable, a model was found accounting for 35 per cent of variance of TABP distribution. The findings give partial support to the model proposed. The identified dysfunctional beliefs involved a higher sense of dependency of Type A individuals. A prospective study is under way to assess the possible predictive power of these cognitive factors. If confirmed, the model could partially account for inconsistencies of empirical findings in TABP studies.

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