Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Alan King


This dissertation research served as an exploration into the relationships between childhood maltreatment, personality factors (i.e. negative affect and antagonism), cognitive biases (i.e. hostile attribution bias and hypermasculinity), adult aggression, and gun enthusiasm. Previous literature has shown relationships between these variables individually and this research attempted to provide more insight into the complicated interplay between numerous factors often present in the life of an aggressive adult. The participants included 885 men over the age of 18 and residing in the United States who were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk survey service to complete eight assessments online. Results indicated aggressive ideation and tendencies were predicted by antagonism, negative affect, hypermasculinity, sibling hostility, domestic hostility, and gun enthusiasm, while a history of aggressive acts in adulthood was predicted by hypermasculinity, sibling hostility, and peer hostility. Strong interest in gun use and ownership was predicted by hypermasculinity, and individuals who owned guns reported engaging in more historical aggressive acts than those who did not own guns. Antagonism increased the relationship between hypermasculinity and aggression, hostile intent bias and aggression, and gun enthusiasm and aggression. While this study found several interesting relationships relating to adult aggression, more research is needed to isolate specific factors.