Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Santuzzi, Alecia M.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


This study examines the differential experiences of men and women with regard to the possession of power. Power—or the unequal control, influence, and access to resources, people, and things—is a byproduct of the hierarchical order that forms in a multitude of social contexts. As well as being unequally held, power is also unequally exercised. This study aims to understand the differences between men’s and women’s experience of power through the lens of another hierarchical variable: social status. One area with large implications for the impact of unequal power is within the workplace. Past literature has found that women and men not only have unequal access to the attainment of power, but also exercise their power in different ways. This study’s purpose was to explore social status as the underlying mechanism in the relationships among gender, power, and power behaviors, as well as to investigate the internal experiences of men and women in reaction to their own level of power, as it aligns with relative social status. Data from study 1 did not find support for a mediated moderation effect of social status on gender. However, study 2 found a significant moderation effect of social status on the relationship between power and power behavior, accounting for gender. Thus there was partial support for social status’ role as a construct connecting the effects of gender and power on power behaviors.


145 pages




Northern Illinois University

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