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Traffic congestion, Type A behavior, and stress

  • Author(s): Stokols, D
  • Novaco, RW
  • Stokols, J
  • Campbell, J
  • et al.
Abstract

Conducted a quasiexperimental study to assess the effects of routine exposure to traffic congestion on the mood, physiology, and task performance of automobile commuters. Traffic congestion was conceptualized as an environmental stressor that impedes one's movement between 2 or more points. 61 male and 39 female industrial employees were assigned to low-, medium-, or high-impedance groups on the basis of the distance and duration of their commute and were classified as either Type A or Type B on the Jenkins Activity Survey, a measure of coronary-prone behavior. As expected, subjective reports of traffic congestion and annoyance were greater among high- and medium-impedance commuters than among low-impedance individuals. Also, commuting distance, commuting time, travel speed, and number of months enroute were significantly correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Contrary to prediction, medium-impedance A's and high-impedance B's exhibited the highest levels of systolic blood pressure and the lowest levels of frustration tolerance among all experimental groups. Results are discussed in terms of the degree of congruity between commuters' expectancies and experiences of travel constraints. (48 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1978 American Psychological Association.

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