Title

Stress and Distress as a Function of Jenkins Activity Survey-Defined Type A Behavior and Control Over the Work Environment

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1991

Publication Source

Basic and Applied Social Psychology

Volume

12

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

221-226

Abstract

Although laboratory studies have demonstrated that situational factors which are particularly threatening to Type A individuals induce both Type A behaviors and cardiovascular reactivity, field studies have failed to demonstrate consistent differences between Types A and B in response to stress. Rhodewalt, Hays, Chemers, and Wysocki (1984) argued that this inconsistency is caused by the failure to take into account the individual's perception of the situation. They demonstrated that Type A individuals who perceived high levels of job stress reported more psychological and physical health problems than Type As under low stress or Type Bs under high or low stress. This study attempted to replicate this earlier finding, as well as identify factors in the situation which lead Type A individuals to perceive their job as stressful. Three hundred thirty-six male school principals (categorized as Type A or Type B by the Jenkins Activity Survey [JAS]) completed questionnaires assessing their degree of control in their work environment, perceived job stress, and physical and psychological well-being. A path mediation analysis indicated that Type A individuals reported more job stress under lower levels of perceived control, and that higher job-stress levels subsequently lead to greater incidence of physical and psychological symptoms, especially for Type As.

Disciplines

Psychology

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