One of the most highly developed fields in the Health Psychology area is that of the aspects involved in causing cardiac disease. Within the more thoroughly studied psychological constructs is the hostility one, component of the type A behavior pattern. Different ways of referring to this construct and of measuring it have been developed. This article analyzes some of the most pervasive notions about hostility and other related manifestations, the models explaining its relationship with cardiac disorders, especially the cardiovascular hypereactivity disorder, and the instruments designed for its assessment. Finally, current implications and fields of potential research are discussed, in order to further delineate this factor which has been referred to in a diverse fashion, thus showing different and not always consistent results in previous studies.
Cardiac disease; Type A behavior pattern; Hostility; Anger; Cardiovascular hypereactivity model