Term of Award

Winter 1990

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Gary McClure

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Rogers

Committee Member 2

Philip W. Hurst


Past research with Type A individuals in the general population has suggested the importance of other psychological correlates of behavior in the explanation of the Type A behavior. In particular, aggression, hostility, and non-verbal affective communication skills have emerged as important variables. If this is so in the general population, such factors logically would be even more relevant in a maximum security prison population which by design is comprised of people who are incarcerated for aggressive, violent crimes against persons and who are generally judged clinically to exhibit high levels of hostility and to be lacking in appropriate affective communication skills. The present study examined these factors in a prison population of 299 inmates in relation to aggressive behavior, defined operationally in this study as the number of disciplinary reports of a violent, aggressive nature received by each inmate during the preceding 36-month period. Specifically, it was predicted that the number of disciplinary reports received by inmates would correlate positively with measures of 1) Type A/B behavior as indicated by scores on the Jenkins Activity Scale (JAS), 2) hostility as indicated by scores on the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (HO), and 3) affective communication as indicated by scores on the Affective Communications Test (ACT). Lastly, it was hypothesized that the mean score on the JAS for the prison population would be significantly higher in comparison to the mean normative score on the JAS. The results of the correlational analysis indicated a significant positive relationship between 1) number of disciplinary reports and scores on the JAS (p < .001) and 2) number of disciplinary reports and scores on the HO (p < .001). No significant relationship obtained between the number of disciplinary reports and the ACT. Of importance to the Type A literature in general, however, is the additional finding that not only did JAS scores correlate positively with the behavior, these scores also correlated positively with the other two personality variables. Namely, the JAS was significantly positively correlated with scores on the HO (p < .001) and with scores on the ACT (p < .001). No significant difference obtained between the mean JAS score for the prison population and that of the general population. The implications of these findings for Type A behavior pattern research in general, and for prison populations in specific, were examined.