Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eric Dahlen

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Emily Yowell

Committee Member 3 Department



Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious problem with vast medical, psychological, financial, and social costs. Research indicates that IPV is particularly common among college students, however, little is known about relational aggression in this population. This study aimed to improve our understanding of relational aggression in the context of romantic relationships in a college sample by focusing on the potential roles of gender, sex role egalitarianism, acceptance of couple violence, and trait anger. As expected, trait anger was positively correlated with relational aggression. Acceptance of couple violence predicted the perpetration of relational aggression above and beyond the effects of trait anger and sex role egalitarianism. A significant gender effect was found, where men had lower levels of sex role egalitarianism. Lastly, sex role egalitarianism and gender both predicted relational aggression perpetration, however there was no significant interaction between the two, indicating that gender does not moderate the relationship between sex role egalitarianism and relational aggression perpetration.