The Relationship Of Breathing Styles To Type A And Type B Behavior Patterns And Autonomic Nervous System Arousal

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology


Ninety subjects (45 males and 45 females) selected from students at a state university were classified as either chest or abdominal breathers based on data gathered by physiographs equipped with chest and abdominal bellows. Subjects were classified as either Type A or Type B based on scores obtained on the Jenkins Activity Survey. Data on two indicators of autonomic nervous system arousal, heart rate and electrodermograph activity, were recorded during three two minute data gathering periods at fifteen second intervals. There were ten minute adapation periods prior to each data gathering period. Approximately half of the subjects took the Jenkins Activity Survey and the State-Trait Anxiety Scale prior to the third data gathering period and the other half took the objective tests following that period.Among Type A chest and abdominal breathers there was a significant difference in the proportions of males and females, with a higher proportion of males being abdominal breathers and a higher proportion of females being chest breathers. These differences were not found among the chest and abdominal breathers who were Type B's. There were no differences in physiological arousal overtime between either Type A's or Type B's nor chest or abdominal breathers. There was no interaction effects between types, breathing style or physiological arousal overtime. Type A's and Type B's did not differ on either state or trait anxiety and state anxiety scores were not affected by administering the objective tests prior to or after the time pressure of the third data gathering period. Similar findings occurred when the anxiety scores for chest and abdominal breathers were compared.In summary, there appears to be no relationship between breathing style, Types (A or B), and levels of physiological arousal.


Psychology, Physiological

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