The impact of gender on the reactions to distressed and aggressive behaviors

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dc.contributor.advisor Lovejoy, M. Christine en_US Busch, Lisa M. en_US 2011-06-03T19:35:34Z 2011-06-03T19:35:34Z 1991 en_US 1991
dc.identifier LD2489.Z72 1991 .B8 en_US
dc.description.abstract The present study tests a reinforcement model for sex differences in depression. This study examines Biglan, Rothlind, Hops, and Sherman's (1989) hypothesis that although distressed and aggressive behaviors both induce negative emotions in others, the reactions to these behaviors are different: aggressive behavior prompts hostile reactions, whereas distressed behavior prompts solicitousness and deters aggression. Although the Biglan et al. results (1989) indicated that reactions were not influenced by the sex of the person emitting the behavior, this result may be a consequence of the population used. This study examined the hypothesis that reactions of others are influenced by sex-role stereotypes when interactions among acquaintances are evaluated. Two hundred and eighty eight college students rated videotaped scenarios in terms of their feelings and reactions toward a male or female acquaintance engaging in distressed, aggressive, or neutral behavior. The findings; support the hypothesis proposed by Biglan that distressed and aggressive behaviors both induced negative emotions in others, although they elicited different behavioral reactions. That is, distressed behaviors prompted supportive and comforting reactions, whereas aggressive behaviors elicited more hostile, argumentative, and avoiding reactions. This study provides further support for the negative reinforcement hypothesis that proposes that distressed behavior induces negative feelings in others; however, at the same time it prompts others to be solicitous and caring and to refrain from aggressive behaviors (Biglan et al., 1989). However, contrary to expectations, no sex differences were found in the reactions to distressed and aggressive behavior despite the use of methodology more conducive to examining gender specific responses. At this point, the most parsimonious explanation for the findings is that the effect is real, yet small and not very robust.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Psychological Science
dc.format.extent v, 79 [i.e. 86] leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Aggressiveness -- Sex differences. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Stress (Psychology) -- Sex differences. en_US
dc.title The impact of gender on the reactions to distressed and aggressive behaviors en_US Thesis (M.A.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5293]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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