Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Eric R. Dahlen

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Michael B. Madson

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Bonnie C. Nicholson

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Research and Administration


Relational aggression is a form of aggression that targets a victim’s relationships or sense of inclusion. Depression, social ostracism, anxiety, and poor psychological adjustment are some of the negative correlates that have been identified in child and adolescent victims of relational aggression. For older adolescents and emerging adults, similar negative correlates have been found. Despite the efforts to identify these correlates, little research has been conducted on relational aggression among minority groups. The present study addressed relational aggression among college-aged gay-identifying men through the lens of Exclusively Masculine Identity Theory (EMIT), which was developed to account for anti-gay attitudes among heterosexual men and women. Although the factor structure of Kelley and Robertson’s measure of relational aggression in gay male relationships could not be confirmed in the present sample, the use of an alternative measure of relational aggression permitted us to test the study hypotheses. The present study found that participants with an exclusively masculine identity reported less perpetration of relational aggression, rather than more as was expected. Additionally, domains of masculine ideology appeared to be more relevant in predicting relational aggression/victimization than EMIT. Further, participants endorsed less anti-effeminacy attitudes than previous research would suggest. Similar to other studies, there was a positive relationship between relational aggression perpetration and victimization.

Masters thesis: