Date of Award

6-1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Croteau

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Third Advisor

Dr. Ariel Anderson

Abstract

This dissertation assessed the relationship of attitudes toward aggression, dating relationship seriousness, and aspects of men's conflicted beliefs and expectations about the male role to involvement in physically violent dating relationships. Grounded in conflict theory, which states that conflict is an integral part of all close relationships, this research hypothesized that more accepting attitudes toward aggressian, more serious dating relationships, higher levels of concerns with success, power, and competition, and greater tendencies toward restrictive emotionality would be related to, and would combine to represent significant predictors of, men's receipt and use of physically violent conflict tactics while dating.

The sample consisted of 175 undergraduate men from a midwestern university who self-identified as either currently involved in a heterosexual dating relationship or as having been involved in a heterosexual dating relationship sometime during the previous year. Participants responded to a questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics, gender role conflict, the seriousness of their current or most recent dating relationship, attitudes toward aggression, and their receipt and use of physically violent conflict tactics while dating.

With significance levels set at p <.OS, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients indicated that more accepting attitudes toward aggression, concerns with success, power, and competition, tendencies toward restrictive emotionality, and men's use of violent conflict tactics were significantly correlated with men's receipt of violent conflict tactics, and that more accepting attitudes toward aggression, concerns with success, power, and competition, and men's receipt of violent conflict tactics were significantly related to men's use of violent conflict tactics. Using Tobit multiple regression, results showed that models consisting of variables hypothesized to relate to dating violence receipt and use were inadequate to predict dating violence.

Results of this study suggest that men's accepting attitudes toward aggression and their conflicts with aspects of traditional gender roles may relate to their receipt and use of violence in their dating relationships. The research implications of these findings are discussed, and clinical intervention and prevention strategies for working with this population are explored.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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