Type A behaviour and hostility in final-year South African students

Spangenberg J.J. ; Shuda S. ; Robbertze U.C. (1997)


The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of the Type A Behaviour Pattern (TABP) and hostility in black, Indian and white final-year students in professional study courses, against the background of the established intergroup differences in the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in South Africa. The student form of the Jenkins Activity Survey, the Bortner Type A Scale and the Cook-Medley Hostility scale were administered to 50 black, 42 Indian and 266 white final-year students in medical, paramedical, legal and engineering courses at three universities with a majority of, respectively, black, Indian and white students. No significant differences were found among the three groups regarding hostility, but significantly more white subjects displayed TABP than black and Indian subjects did. This corresponds with the phenomenon that white South Africans display the highest incidence of CVD. It is possible that the findings may reflect the groups' respective traditional value systems, namely the western emphasis on individual achievement in as little time as possible in whites, as opposed to the emphasis on the interest of the extended family as a whole, in contrast to individual achievement, in the Indian and black communities.

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