The Influence of Sex, Gender, Self-Discrepancies, and Self-Awareness on Anger and Verbal Aggressiveness Among U.S. College Students. By: Kinney, Terry A., Smith, Brian A., Donzella, Bonny, Journal of Social Psychology, 00224545, Apr2001, Vol. 141, Issue 2
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THE INFLUENCE OF SEX, GENDER,SELF-DISCREPANCIES, AND SELF-AWARENESS ON ANGER AND VERBAL AGGRESSIVENESS AMONG U.S. COLLEGE STUDENTS
ABSTRACT. Among a sample of 445 U.S. college students, the authors examined the extent to which individual differences (e.g., sex, gender, self-discrepancies, self-awareness) explained anger tendencies and verbal aggressiveness. Regression analyses showed that (a) the tendency to repress anger(anger-in) was explained by masculinity, desire to be masculine, and public self-awareness, R2 = .19, F(11,433) = 8.44, p < .001; (b) the tendency to express anger (anger-out) was explained by sex, masculinity, and public self-awareness, R2 = .17, F(11,433) = 7.38, p < .001; and (c) willingness to be verbally aggressive was explained by sex, femininity, and private self-awareness, R2 = .32,F(11,433) = 16.94, p < .001. In addition, different types of individual difference variables accounted for anger tendencies and verbal aggressiveness across sex and gender categories, suggesting that anger and verbal aggressiveness may be driven by different psychological processes across types of participants.
Key words: anger, gender, self-awareness, self-discrepancies, sex, verbal aggressivenessTHE FACT THAT ANGER AND AGGRESSIVENESS can surface within a multitude of social contexts makes examination of their influences of interest in understanding, preventing, and controlling the behaviors associated with them (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Pastorelli, & Perugini, 1994; Hammock & Richardson, 1992; Hammond & Yung, 1993; Infante, 1987; Johnson & Johnson, 1996). One manifestation of anger andaggressiveness that has both theoretical and practical significance for social scientists but that has not received sufficient attention is verbal aggression.
Verbal aggression and its accompanying emotional activation have personal and social costs associated with each. Teasing, insults, and threats are examples of verbal aggression that contribute to negative interpersonal interactions that have,in turn, been linked to negative health and social outcomes such as harmful physiological-biological conditions (Burman & Margolin, 1992; Ewart, Burnett, & Taylor, 1983; Hadjifotiou, 1983; Kinney, 1994; Levi, 1972). self-concept damage (Ney, 1987; Savin-Williams, 1994; Vissing, Straus, Gelles, & Harrop, 1991), and decreased relational satisfaction (Levenson & Gottman, 1983. 1985). Similarly,evidence suggests that negative affect such as anger may also be linked to negative health outcomes (Cohen, Tyrrell, & Smith, 1993; Dougherty. Bolger, Preston, Jones, & Payne, 1992; Herbert & Cohen, 1993; Malarkey, Kiecolt-Glaser, Pearl, & Glaser, 1994; O'Leary, 1990; Suls & Wan, 1993). Uncovering the influences, in the form of individual differences, for anger and verbal aggressiveness may aid inunderstanding, and perhaps curbing, the personal and social costs associated with each.
Predictor variables for the present study arose from two guiding principles. First, we selected variables that serve as reference points to guide behavior across social contexts. Second, we also included variables involved in the processing of incoming information that exert influence onperceptions and intentions across a variety of social contexts.
One of the most commonly studied individual difference variables is biological sex. Extant research has linked biological sex to aggressiveness, suggesting that males are more physically aggressive than females within both animal (Eaton, Goy, & Phoenix, 1973; Eichelman, Elliot, & Barchas, 1981; Goy, 1970) and human...