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Certain behavior type patterns in couples have been associated with heightened interpersonal distress and coronary heart disease risk. However, the factors that lead to such pairings seldom have been investigated. The present study examined the associations between personal behavior type and gender-role self-concept related to the selection of hypothetical dating partners.

Eighty-one male and 116 female heterosexual college students completed questionnaires to assess behavior type (Jenkins Activity Survey) and gender-role self-concept (Personal Attributes Questionnaire, PAQ). Participants chose a preferred “dating partner” from vignettes differing in the degree of Type A-Type B behavior displayed. Results of CATMOD and chi-square analyses were generally consistent with the similarity theory of interpersonal attraction. Type A and B males as well as Type B females preferred hypothetical dating partners identical to their own behavior type. Type A females with high PAQ Masculinity scores selected Type A dates, whereas Type A females with low PAQ Masculinity preferred Type Bs. Implications for the selection of actual dating partners, spouses, potential interpersonal distress, and coronary heart disease risk are discussed.