The relationship of coping and defense to Type A behavior pattern (TABP), as measured by the Structured Interview and the Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS), was investigated to understand the dynamics of TABP and psychological factors associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. It was hypothesized that global TABP and its component "speed and impatience " would be related to the use of defense mechanisms, while the TABP attribute "job involvement " would be related to high coping. The interview measure of global TABP was not related to coping and defense. For the JAS, "job involvement " was related to high coping scores and low defense scores, "speed and impatience " was related to high defensiveness, and "hard driving " was related to low coping scores. One implication is that TABP may be associated with increased CHD risk only when combined with low coping skills and high defenses. The JAS findings imply that increased coronary risk may be associated with poor coping skills. Future studies should examine multifactorial interaction of personality variables that may contribute to CHD risk.