EUGENE F. BRAAKSMA, Marquette University


There are conceptual problems in the typical descriptive analytical approach to type-A behavior. While current research contributes descriptions of the behaviors and psychological characteristics common to coronary-prone individuals, the descriptions lack clarity and, thus, are not particularly useful for programatic research or clinical practice. They also fail to: (a) account for the variety of characteristics associated with the pattern; (b) address possible relationships among characteristics; or (c) address factors regarding the acquisition or maintenance of the pattern. These problems seem to stem from a lack of theory. This study was designed to determine the possible role of ego development theory. Specifically, the mediating effect of lower level ego functioning on the Type-A pattern was assessed. Forty seven Caucasian males between the ages of 30-55 completed instruments assessing Anxiety, Identification Conflict, Hostility, Ego Development, and Type-A Behavior. It was hypothesized that, while there would be direct effects of Anxiety, Identification Conflict, and Hostility on the level of Type-A behavior, the indirect effects of these variables through the intervening variable of Ego Development would be greater. Results of the analysis suggested that there were direct effects for Anxiety and Hostility and that the intervening effect of Ego Development was not tenable. However, an analysis of the data using the subscales of the measure of Type-A behavior (the Jenkins Activity Survey) suggested different results. While one of the subscales yielded results similar to that of the original analysis, two of the subscale results suggested that Ego Development was the strongest overall predictor of these aspects of the Type-A pattern, and that the indirect effects of Identification Conflict and Hostility through the intervening variable of Ego Development were greater than their direct effects. This study suggests (a) support for the subscale scores of the Jenkins Activity Survey in the study of Type-A behavior; (b) ego development theory, in general, and lower levels of ego functioning, in particular, can provide some explanation for Type-A behavior; and (c) that efforts at modifying Type-A behavior will have to move beyond environmental stress, to include the attitudes and perceptions of Type-A individuals. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Recommended Citation

EUGENE F. BRAAKSMA, "THE EFFECTS OF ANXIETY, IDENTIFICATION CONFLICT, HOSTILITY, AND EGO DEVELOPMENT ON THE TYPE-A BEHAVIOR PATTERN" (January 1, 1986). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI8618707.