CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles

Aggression Levels Following Frustration of Abusing Versus Nonabusing College Males


A classic aggression paradigm was used to assess the relationship between aggressive and nonaggressive college males (n = 74). Subjects were exposed to no-, low-, or high-frustration conditions where a female confederate thwarted their attainment of a goal. Subjects then had the opportunity to electrically shock the confederate. Intensity and duration of shock were the dependent measures. Frustration conditions did not result in a significant main effect, but aggression in subjects' relationship histories produced a significant main effect for both intensity and duration of shock. There was also a significant repeated measures effect for both intensity and duration of shock. Relationship-aggressive males reported higher rates of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse in relationships as well as more physically abusive experiences from parents and more fights with other males. For males with a history of relationship aggression, situational cues may not be as important for eliciting aggression as their propensity for aggression, which may be stimulated by a situation with aggressive components.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, v. 7, no. 1, p. 3-18.

Dr. Diane Follingstad had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the time of publication.

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