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Int J Behav Med. 2012 Mar;19(1):48-55. doi: 10.1007/s12529-010-9134-5.

Leadership component of type A behavior predicts physical activity in early midlife.

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  • 1LIKES Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, Viitaniementie 15, 40720, Jyväskylä, Finland.



Research on the long-term effects of Type A behavior and its components in the prediction of physical activity in adulthood is scarce and there is a lack of prospective data that are able to show such an association.


We examined the relations between components of Type A behavior and physical activity from youth to early midlife.


The sample included 2,031 participants (43.8% of males) aged 9 to 24 years in 1986 from the Young Finns Study. Type A behavior was measured by the Hunter-Wolf A-B Rating Scale at three phases in 1986, 1989, and 2001. Physical activity was assessed using a short self-report questionnaire at five phases between 1986 and 2007.


High Type A leadership was associated with high physical activity in 1986 (r = 0.37, P < 0.01), 1989 (r = 0.36, P < 0.01) and 2001 (r = 0.31, P < 0.01), and youth leadership also predicted high adult physical activity (P < 0.001). After adjustment for age, education, occupation, smoking, body mass index, and baseline physical activity, the association remained significant. There was also a bidirectional association between Type A leadership and physical activity. Persistent physical activity during the adult years was associated with a higher Type A leadership than persistent physical inactivity (Cohen's d = 0.34, P < 0.001), even after controlling for potential confounders. The associations of other components of Type A behavior, i.e., hard-driving, eagerness-energy, and aggression with physical activity were marginal.


There is a direct relation between Type A leadership and physical activity at different development phases that maybe bidirectional.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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