Gender differences in the intention to react to aggressive action at home and in the workplace

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This study explored gender differences in escalatory tendencies, defined as individuals' intentions to react when faced with the prospect of potential aggression from others. The escalatory tendencies are based on an interaction unit of analysis, which is a proxy representation of behavioral intention from planned behavior theory. This study consists of a convenience sample of 264 male and female participants who were asked to report their escalatory tendencies following verbal and physical forms of aggression committed by various hypothetical offenders, including their intimate partner at home, as well as the men and women at work who are in higher, lower, or equal positions. The main findings support the assumptions that escalatory tendencies toward verbal aggression are higher than those toward physical aggression; that escalatory tendencies at work are higher toward lower status workers than toward those of higher status; that escalatory tendencies within the same gender are higher than between genders; and that women tend to escalate more against their spouses than do men. The findings emphasize the importance of studying aggression and escalatory tendencies in context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Behavioral intentions
  • Escalatory tendencies
  • Family violence
  • Gender differences
  • Interaction unit of analysis
  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Workplace violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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