Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jon B. Ellis

Committee Members

Peggy J. Cantrell, Roger C. Bailey


The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes toward violence and reasons for living in adolescents with high, moderate, and low self-esteem. An attitudes toward violence scale was devised for the purposes of this study. Self-Esteem was assessed using the shortened version of Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale (SES). The Brief Reasons for Living in Adolescents (BRFL-A) was utilized to assess adaptive characteristics. The independent variables were gender and self-esteem. The dependent variables were total reasons for living score and attitudes toward violence score.

Participants included 138 males and 95 females, ages 11 to 15 years old (M = 13.3) from a Kingsport City Middle School. A packet containing a short demographic questionnaire, Self-Esteem Scale, attitudes Toward Violence Questionnaire, and the Brief Reasons for Living Inventory was administered.

A 2 (gender) X 3 (level of self-esteem) Analysis of Variance with unequal cell sizes was used to test for main and interaction effects. The significance level was set at the .05 level. For the dependent variable attitudes toward violence, main effects were found for both gender and self-esteem. For the dependent variable reasons for living, a main effect was found for self-esteem but not for gender. No interaction effects were found. An inverse relationship was found between violence and reasons for living. Significant relationships between some of the subscales of the RFL and the dependent variables were non-hypothesized findings of interest. Maleness and low self-esteem emerged as predictors of more accepting attitudes toward violence. Low self-esteem was significantly related to fewer reasons for living. Implication of findings, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research were discussed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons