Type A Toddlers


Some Type A researchers believe that the problem begins at an early age.  Type A heart attack patients consistently reveal feelings that one or both parents never loved them when carefully interviewed.  Typical aggression and low anger thresholds can be detected even in preschoolers.  In one study, Type A behavior was evaluated in some 150 boys and girls between the ages of 3 ½ and 6 ½ who were enrolled in three preschools.  Type A behavior was evaluated in terms of the tendency to interrupt others or to be very competitive in play activities.  The children were then taught a relaxation as well as memory game during which blood pressures were measured repeatedly with an automatic device.  After the relaxation game, the children were “stressed” with the memory test.  Those children scoring high as Type A’s displayed no significant difference in blood pressure from others when they were in a relaxed state.  However, there was a significant rise in systolic blood pressure in type A’s during the memory game.  The researchers will now continue their study to determine whether or not this behavior persists or intensifies as Type A children get older and if it is predictive of a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease later in life.  More importantly, this prospective study will measure whether attempts to reduce Type A behavior can successfully prevent adverse cardiovascular consequences.