A Multimethod Study Of Overt Type A Behaviors In Preadolescent And Adolescent Males: Truth From The Mouths Of Babes

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


The history of the concept of "coronary-prone behavior" and the structured interview of Jenkins Activity Survey methods of assessing Type A behavior in adults are discussed. The literature on the assessment of Type A behavior in children revealed little data on the reliability or validity of the available instruments that assess the Type A behavior pattern for children. In order to better evaluate the reliability and validity of measures of Type A in children, the present study used three methods to assess Type A-like behaviors in young males. The Miami Structured Interview was administered to preadolescents (n = 121) and adolescents (n = 93). The interview was modeled in form and content after the Type A structured interview for adults. A teacher rating scale and behavior observations during a difficult perceptual motor task were also obtained for subsets of these boys. Investigation of the reliability of these instruments showed the interview to have higher interrater agreement than the teacher rating scale or the behavior checklist. Investigation of the concurrent validity of the instruments showed the interview scores were related to a factor analytically derived subscale of the teacher ratings. The interview scores were also related to Type A characteristics of "fist clenching", "reorienting", "looking away from the task", and "facial movement" during the difficult perceptual motor task. The teacher ratings were not related to behaviors displayed during the perceptual motor task. The pattern of interrelations among the instruments suggests that the Miami Structured Interview was more predictive of behaviors in other situations than the teacher rating scale or the behavior checklist. Thus, on the basis of the available reliability and validity data, the Miami Structured Interview appears to be the best method of assessing the Type A behavior pattern in preadolescent and adolescent males.


Psychology, Experimental

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