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Psychol Rep. 1993 Dec;73(3 Pt 2):1203-8.

Psychological reactance and violence within dating relationships.

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Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405-4801.


86 male and 127 female undergraduates were classified into either nonviolent or violent groups based on their self-reported conflict-resolution behaviors within their dating relationships. Using the four subscales of Hong's Psychological Reactance Scale to define the dependent variables, multivariate analyses indicated that individuals in mutually violent relationships had significantly higher scores on all four of the reactance subscales than did those in nonviolent relationships. Men had higher scores than women only on the reactance to conformity subscale. These findings may suggest that both partners in violent dating relationships may be more protective of their personal sense of freedom and more sensitive to perceived threats to these freedoms and that psychological reactance as related to interpersonal control may be an important variable in violent behavior.

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