Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Luis A. Escovar

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William M. Kurtines

Third Advisor's Name

Fernando Gonzalez-Reigosa

Date of Defense



The objectives of this thesis were threefold: (1) to review the concept of attributional style, (2) to demonstrate its applicability to affiliative behavior, and (3) to document the existence of actual and perceived sex differences in attributional style for affiliative behavior. To fulfill the first two objectives the development of attributional theory was traced from the Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale (1978) presentation of the reformulated learned helplessness model through Weiner's (1979) examination of attributional style as a motivational feature of achievement behavior to the application of attribution theory to affiliative behavior. To fulfill the third objective the evidence detailing the sex differences in achievement and affiliative attributional styles was reviewed within the framework of perceptions of sex appropriate behavior. A study was then designed to assess both actual and perceived affiliative attributional sex differences. The Escovar, Brown, and Rodriguez Attributional Style Questionnaire for Affiliative Behavior was administered to 107 male and female University of Miami and Florida International University students. Each subject answered the questionnaire twice, once for themselves and once as if they were a member of the opposite sex. The results indicated that the EBR-ASQ maintained previous levels of internal consistency and reliability. Analyses performed on the covariate of the order of perspective presentation were negative; all further analyses were performed without a covariate. The data were analyzed using a 2(Sex) X 2(Perspective) X 2(Outcome) factorial, multivariate, repeated measures design with the three attributional dimensions serving as the dependent variable repeated measures. As expected all multivariate tests revealed that each of the three factors was a significant influence over all three of the dependent variables. Of the 21 univariate tests 12 of the main effect and two-way interactions were significant and one approached significance. Examination of the means revealed that of the eight significant main effects six were in the expected direction; of the four significant two-way interactions three were in the expected direction. Although the results were not totally supportive of the hypotheses they did support the thesis that affiliation is the female sex-role appropriate analogue to male achievement behavior.




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