Don Crowe: What Is Type A Behavior?

Clinical psychologist Dr. Don Crowe has been providing psychotherapy and psychology services to individuals, couples, and families for more than 35 years. A firm advocate of the power of positive thinking to create change, Dr. Don Crowe works with clients in a wide range of areas, including managing the effects of Type A behavior.

Now a household term, Type A behavior is generically used to describe individuals who are competitive, self-critical, and obsessed with work. More specifically, according to specialized research studies, the major characteristics of a Type A personality are impatience and a strongly developed sense of time urgency, along with generalized hostility and aggressiveness, which may or may not be overtly expressed. Type A individuals are also highly oriented to achievement and success, both professionally and in their leisure activities.

In addition to the social consequences of unmanaged Type A behavior, such as alienation of friends or colleagues, due to impatience and rudeness, or social isolation, due to an overly narrow focus on work, there can be significant physical and health consequences for Type A individuals. Empirical studies have linked Type A behavior with an increased rate of heart disease and hypertension, particularly in men. Other physical symptoms that may become problematic in the long term are facial tension, especially in the jaw, teeth grinding, and difficulties resulting from lack of sleep or relaxation.

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