KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tina Harralson, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville doctoral student in psychology, recently received three awards for her research work.
Harralson won a $200 award from the Knoxville Area Psychological Association, a Science Alliance stipend upgrade award for $950 and a $2,400 National Alumni Association Scholarship.
Harralson’s research for her master’s thesis looked at whether parenting styles affect development of Type A behavior, or aggressiveness and impatience, during childhood. She worked with Dr. Kathleen Lawler, a psychology professor who has done several studies on Type A behavior in women and minorities.
Harralson said her hypothesis was that heart disease, shown to be more prevalent in men and women with Type A behavior, develops over time and is both psychological and physiological.
The results of her study showed that children who are more aggressive (usually boys) and impatient (girls) had parents who were more authoritarian and ”pushy,” she said.
For her dissertation, Harralson will continue the study by looking at children’s electrocardiograms and blood pressures to see if there is a correlation with the behaviors they demonstrate and evidence of the physical problems adult Type A personalities have.
Harralson also worked with Dr. Michael Nash, associate professor of psychology, on a study of sexually abused women. She examined the subjects’ health scores and did hypnosis.
She said the study showed that women who have been sexually abused express more physical complaints, some of which are ”psycho-somatic.”