Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Tollerud, Toni R.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Ethnic conflict--United States; Interpersonal conflict--United States; Conflict--Sex differences


This study was divided into two phases. The first phase investigated whether there were ethnic and gender differences in conflict styles among the four major American ethnic groups, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites, in same-ethnic and same-gender situations. Five hundred and twenty-seven students from a large mid-western state university participated in this phase of the research, in which participants were asked to read and respond to a conflict scenario with disputants from their own ethnic groups. Four hundred and forty-seven participants from the original sample participated in the second phase to read and respond to the second conflict scenario. Of this participant pool, 110 students were again assigned to handle this conflict situation with same ethnic disputants, namely Group S, whereas 337 of them dealt with this conflict scenario with disputants from other ethnic groups, namely, Group D. Using the results of Phase I for comparison, Phase II examined these issues: (a) whether there were differences in conflict styles between the participants of Group S and Group D; (b) how these conflict style differences were related to participants' gender and ethnicity; and (c) whether these differences in conflict styles were related to participants' ethnic identity level. The Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory II (ROCI-II) and The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) were used to assess participants' conflict styles and ethnic identity development, respectively. Major findings for this study can be summarized as follows: (a) there were statistically significant gender and ethnic differences in conflict styles among the four ethnic participant groups in Phase I; (b) there were significant differences in conflict styles from Phase I to Phase II across Group S and Group D. In particular, post hoc tests revealed that Group S participants used integrating and compromising styles significantly less in Phase II than in Phase I; and Group D participants used the avoiding style more than Group S in Phase II; (c) participants' gender and ethnicity were not related to the conflict style differences between the two Phases; and (d) conflict style differences between same- and inter-ethnic situations were not significantly related to participants' ethnic identity level.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [263]-278)


xii, 320 pages




Northern Illinois University

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