Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Alan R. King


The societal and personal costs of aggressive and violent behavior have reached alarming levels within the United States. In the literature, several personality and personal factors have been uncovered as valuable predictors of aggressive and violent behavior. However, it may be the case another variable has been unduly discounted in its link to aggression. Masculine Honor Ideology (MHI) refers to a set of beliefs that dictate men must respond aggressively to threat or insult in order to maintain their ideal masculine reputation. The intent of the current study is to demonstrate the robust relationship that exists between MHI and lifetime aggressive behaviors in a nationwide study of adult men and to examine this relationship within the context of already established predictors of aggressive behavior. The predictors MHI will be compared to include maladaptive masculinity indicators (i.e., Toxic Masculinity, Puritanical Masculinity, and Ambivalence in Sexual Situations), and personality traits (i.e., Antagonism, Disinhibition, Negative Affect, Detachment, and Psychoticism). Participants included 732 adult men (M age = 36.27) residing in the United States. It was hypothesized that MHI would account for unshared variance in lifetime aggression in regression models that control for the impact of personality and masculinity dimensions. Results indicated MHI outperformed maladaptive masculinity indicators in the prediction of lifetime aggression criterion variables. Antagonism appeared to be an overall stronger predictor of aggressive behavior; however, for one of the criterion variables, Antagonism and MHI contributed equally to the model. The study also hypothesized the odds of endorsing past aggressive behavior would be increased by stronger adherence to MHI. This hypothesis was supported and individuals who reported increased MHI adherence also displayed increased odds of endorsing a range of past aggressive behaviors and other indicators of lifetime maladjustment. Overall results suggested MHI offers a unique explanation of aggressive behavior. Additional research is required to gain a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between these variables. These findings also have implications for aggression intervention and prevention efforts.