Date of Award

Summer 9-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Danielle Berke

Second Advisor

Dr. Tracy Dennis

Academic Program Adviser

Dr. Sandeep Prasada


The existing literature on risk profiles leading to the perpetration of violent acts has suggested personality and gender role socializations to be relevant predictors. Research has consistently found personality factors, particularly trait agreeableness, to predict several types of violence (e.g., sexual violence, violence against intimate partners, aggressive behaviors across relationships). Recent research suggests that although both adherence to masculine social norms and individual differences in experiences of stress while enacting these norms have been shown to be reliably associated with violence, masculine gender discrepancy stress (i.e., stress experienced by men when perceiving themselves to be inadequately masculine) may be uniquely predictive of gender-based violence. This thesis aims to differentiate between risk pathways from discrepancy stress and personality trait-agreeableness to three types of violence: physical aggression, physical intimate partner violence (IPV), and sexual violence. A sample of (N = 454) men completed a series of questionnaires including the Masculine Gender Role Discrepancy Stress Scale (MGRDS), NEO-Five Factor Model scale (NEO-FFI), and Sexual Experiences Survey (SES). Results suggest masculine gender role discrepancy stress (DS) to have significant unique value as a predictor for sexual violence. Other findings suggest personality-trait agreeableness, gender role stress, and discrepancy stress to be important predictors for risk of committing physical aggression either towards partners or non-partners.



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