Date of Award:

2006

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Renee V. Galliher

Abstract

This study investigated the construct of power in adolescent romantic couples using multiple measures. The project examined gender differences in power, created models of powerlessness for each gender, and examined relations between power and aggression and relationship quality. Participants were 90 heterosexual couples, aged 14-18 years old, living in rural areas in Utah and Arizona. Couple members completed surveys assessing attitudes and behaviors in their relationships and a video-recall procedure in which partners rated their own and their partner's behaviors during problem solving discussion.

Few gender differences emerged in reports of perpetration of aggression, but boyfriends reported higher levels of emotional vulnerability and lower levels of resource control for several power-related outcomes. Structural equation modeling yielded models that appeared to capture the construct of powerlessness, with different models emerging for boyfriends and girlfriends. Finally, stepwise regressions revealed strong associations between measures of power and relationship outcomes with interesting gender differences.

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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