Predictors of Nonviolent Behavior in Young Adults

Rida Ashraf (M.Phil 2012)

Supervisor: Dr. Iram Fatima

The present research was conducted to investigate the role of personality, spirituality, moral development and belief in a just world in nonviolent behavior. Cross-sectional research design was used to conduct the present study. The sample was consisted of 210 students (105 male & 105 female) enrolled in universities, between age of 18 and 20. The data was collected through standardized questionnaires along with demographic data sheet. First, Teenage Nonviolence Test (TNT; Mayton et al, 1998) was translated into Urdu and Spiritual Attitude Scale (Amjad, 1996) was adapted. Moral Development Interview Inventory (Khanum, 2008) and Belief in Immanent and Ultimate Justice Scale (Maes, 1998b) were already available in Urdu. The English version of Neo Five Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) was used to measure personality. Series of moderated regression analyses were used to find out the predictors of six aspects of nonviolent behavior in males and females. Overall, the results revealed that physical nonviolent behavior was positively predicted by agreeableness, self-control & contentment and moral development in both male and females. In addition, relationship with God and involvement in prayers also positively predicted physical nonviolent behavior in females but not in males. Psychological nonviolent behavior was positively predicted by agreeableness and spaciousness in both male and females. In addition, relationship with God and moral development positively predicted psychological nonviolent behavior in females but not in males. Helping/empathy behavior was positively predicted by extraversion, relationship with God, spaciousness, desirelessness and immanent belief in justice in both male and females. Satyagraha (search for wisdom) behavior was positively predicted by extraversion, relationship with God, spaciousness and negatively predicted by involvement in prayers in both male and females. Tapasya (self-suffering) was positively predicted by desirelessness, immanent belief in justice and moral development in both male and females. In addition, self-control and contentment was positively related to tapasya (self-suffering) in females but not in males. Active value orientation behavior was positively predicted by extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, relationship with God and negatively predicted by involvement in prayers in both male and females. Further independent sample t-test revealed that females were more neurotic, more agreeable and more physically nonviolent than males. In other study variables there were found no gender differences.

Keywords: violent behavior, belief in a just world, moral development, spiritual attitude, personality.

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