Date of Defense





Inequity in intimate, heterosexual relationships is predicted to lead to anger for the underbenefitted member and guilt for the overbenefitted member. This study examined the role of a perception of unfairness as an intervening variable between a calculated equity score and emotional reactions of guilt and anger in a path analysis. A social conformity scale was employed as a contextual variable to explore the level of gender role conformity as it contributes to higher anger for underbenefitted males and higher guilt for underbenefitted females. Underbenefitted males following social roles were more likely to be angry than underbenefitted males with lesser conformity scores. Overbenfitted females did not experience guilt regardless of their conformity level. The role of anger as an intervening variable producing guilt was explored. Preliminary exploration of the role of conformity suggests further examination of the interrelationship between measures of conformity and gender role identity. Inequity was found to lead to anger and guilt, but not through the intervening variable of a perception of unfairness. These findings are discussed in conjunction with previous research which calls into question the applicability of the present form of the equity theory in intimate relationships.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only