Title: Heterosexual dating inhibition
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 Material Information
Title: Heterosexual dating inhibition a comparison of dating and minimal dating university students
Physical Description: x, 84 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Owen, Dean Wallace, 1947-
Publication Date: 1977
Copyright Date: 1977
 Subjects
Subject: Dating (Social customs) -- Psychological aspects   ( lcsh )
Counselor Education thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 80-83.
Statement of Responsibility: by Dean Wallace Owen, Jr.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098105
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000206745
oclc - 04041153
notis - AAX3539

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HETEROSEXUAL DATING INHIBITION: A COMPARISON
OF DATING AND MINIMAL, DATING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
















By

DEAN WALLACE OWEN, JR.


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS F~OR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY








UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA





To


Nancy J. Owen





ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to express sincere appreciation to the people who gave so

freely of their time and energy in the planning and execution of this

study.

Special thanks go to Dr. Harold C. Riker who served as Doctoral

Committee Chairman. His quiet confidence and faith in my ability did

much to inspire and motivate me throughout the completion of my program

and dissertation.

Appreciation is expressed to Dr. Roderick McDavis and Dr. Donald

L. Avila, members of the Doctoral Committee, for their help and encour-

agement during the preparation of this study. I am also grateful to

D~r. Vynce A\. Hines for his assistance in providing statistical advice

and support.

Although I was fortunate to have enjoyed the frequent and helpful

consultation of my colleagues and friends at the University of Florida

Counseling Center, there are three individuals to whom I am especially

grateful. Special thanks go to Dr. Milan Kolarik, Director of the

Counseling Center, for his support and encouragement in my work with

minimal dating students. He provided me with the freedom that made

this study possible. I am especially grateful to Dr. James Holmes. He

shared with me the knowledge that human behavior can be understandable.

I wish also to express special appreciation to Dr. Carol K. Flesher

who, without official recognition or committee status, was always there

to help and provide a sense of objectivity when I lost mine. She is my

friend.





Finally, this dissertation simply could not have been written

without the hard work and encouragement of my wife, Nancy. This study

was completed largely because of her patience, tolerance, and love.






















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMIENTS .. . .. . ... .. .. .. iii


LIST OF TABLES .. ... .. .. .. .. . .. vii


ABSTRACT . ... ... .. .. .. . .. .. viii


CHAPTER


I INTRODUCTION . ... .. .. .. ... . 1


Statement of the Problem ... ... .. .. 1


Definition of Terms .. .... .. .. . 4


Need for the Study . ... .. ... .. 5


Purpose of the Study .. ... . .. . 7

II REVIEW OF LITERATURE . .. .. . .. .. .. 10


Adolescent Dating Behavior . .. ... .. .. 10


Dating Inhibition .. .. . .. .. ... 13


Recent Investigations of Minimal Dating Behavior 15


Treatment of Hiinimal Dating Behavior ... . .. 19


Summary .... .. ... .. .. .. . 27

TIII METHOD AND PROCEDURE .. .. .. .. ... ... 29


Overview ... ... .. .. . . . . 29


Hypotheses . .. .. .. . . .. ... .. 30


Subjects .. .. .. .. ... . . . . 31

Instruments . ... .. .. . .. 32


Procedure .. .. .. ... .. ... 37


Analysis of Data . .. ... .. .. .. 40





. . . 43

. . . 53

. . . 55

. . . 55

. . . 56


IV RESULTS . . . . . . . . .


Summary of Results ..........

V SUPIMARY AND CONCLUSION ..........

Overview . . . . . .

Discussion .. .. .- - -


61

64

65

67

68




72

73

74

76

78

80


Conceptual Scheme ......... ......

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . .


Implications for Counseling ...........

Implications for Further Research ........

Summary . . . . . . . . . .

APPENDIX


A COLLEGE DATING SURVEY ................

B DATING ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE (DAQ) .........

C SOCIAL AVOIDANCE AND DISTRESS SCALE (SAD) ......

D FEAR OF NEGATIVE EVALUATION SCALE (FNE) .......

E RATHUS ASSERTIVENESS SCHEDULE (RAS) .........

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .... .........


















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Comparison of Minimal Dating Subjects (Group I)
and Dating Subjects (Group II) on DAQ Data .. .. 44

2 Comparison of Minimal Dating Subjects (Group I)
and Dating Subjects (Group II) on Time Competence
and Support Scales of the POI . .. ... .. 45

3 Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on
the Subscales of the POI .. . ... .. .. 46

4 Comparison of Dating and Mlinimal Dating Subjects on
Self-Regard and Self-Acceptance Scales of the POI .. 48

5 Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on
a Measure of Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD) .. 49

6 Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on
the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE) . ... 50

7 Comparison of Dating and Mlinimal Dating Subjects on
the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (RAS) .. .. .. 50

8 Sex Distribution of Dating and Mlinimal Dating Subjects 52

9 Comparison of Grade Point Averages of Dating and
Minimal Dating Subjects .. .. .. .. . .... 52


















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


HETEROSEXUAL DATING INH~IBITION: A COMPARISON
OF DATING AND MINIMAL DATING, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS



By


Dean Wallace Dwen, Jr.


June, 1977


Chairman: Dr. Harold C. Riker
Major Department: Counselor Education

The purpose of this research was to investigate and identify factors

characteristic of minimal dating behavior and heterosexual social anxiety.

Previous research into the problems of dating inhibition has tended to

be treatment oriented and based upon assumed rather than demonstrated

differences between dating and nondating subjects. Much of this treat-

ment oriented research has produced equivocal results. This study was

prompted by the need to more clearly~ understand the ways in which hetero-

sexually anxious and inhibited individuals differ from those who are

able to develop successful heterosexual relationships. With the identi-

fication of specific characteristic differences between dating and minimal

dating individuals, a more concise and effective treatment would then'

be possible.

This investigation took the form of a comparison of two groups of

subjects selected from the undergraduate population at the University


viii











of Florida during the winter quarter of 1977. Group I (minimal dating

subjects) was composed of thirty-one (31) undergraduate student volun-

teers, each of whom presented histories of unsuccessful and unsatis-

factory dating interactions characterized by low dating frequencies

and high levels of personal dissatisfaction. Group`II (dating subjects)

was selected as a comparison group and was composed of thirty-six (36)

undergraduate student volunteers who gave evidence of having successful

and satisfactory dating activities characterized by high dating fre-

quency and the absence of any apparent concern or dissatisfaction over

dating frequency.

The subjects in both groups were given test packets containing

instruments designed to assess five factors which have been assumed

but never demonstrated to be associated with minimal dating behavior.

These factors were: (a) self-actualization, (b) self-concept, (c) social

avoidance and distress, (d) fear of negative evaluation, and (e) social

assertiveness. The test packet contained the Personal Orientation

Inventory, Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale and Social Avoidance and

Distress Scale, the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule, and a dating activity

questionnaire.

The data collected permitted the evaluation of eight null hypotheses,

seven of which were rejected as the result of finding significant differ-

ences between the two sample groups of dating and minimal dating subjects.

Highly significant differences (p <.01) were found to exist between

dating and minimal dating subjects along the dimensions of self-concept,

fear of negative evaluation, social avoidance and distress, and social

assertiveness, Minimal daters in this sample were characterized by low

levels of self-regard, self-acceptance, and social assertiveness, as well



1%











as significantly higher levels of general social avoidance and distress

and fear of negative evaluation. A clear and positive relationship be-

tween the frequency of dating and perceived satisfaction was observed

(r = .85). The minimal dating sample was 81% male while only 36% of the

dating group was male. This difference in male-female porportions be-

tween groups was found to be highly significant (p <.01). No signifi-

cant difference between dating and minimal dating samples could be

found to exist with regard to academic achievement as assessed by

reported grade point average.

This study sought to reassess the topic of heterosexual dating

inhibition. The results obtained in this study suggest the complexity

of a form of social anxiety often thought to be the expression of a

simple behavioral deficit.

These findings permitted the development of a conceptual model in

which minimal dating behavior was seen not as a situationally specific

anxiety response, but as a symptom of general interpersonal disfunction-

ing which appears to arise out of depressed levels of self-esteem and

self-regard. As a result of the development of this conceptual model,

the implications for further counseling research and the development

of effective therapeutic interventions were discussed.




















x I


















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

In recent years the process of interpersonal interaction has become

a subject of study among researchers in the behavioral sciences. One

such area of investigation which has become important to members of the

counseling profession, particularly in educational institutions, is

that of minimal dating behavior. Although largely ignored in the past,

the plight of the minimal or nondater has became the focus of a limited

number of research studies undertaken primarily since 1970.

Statement of the Problem

The fact that heterosexual relationships in dating pose frequent

and serious problems for college students has been suggested as a common

and socially significant problem (Bath, 1961). Martinson and Zerface

(1970) described a survey undertaken at the University of Indiana in

1967 in which an investigation was conducted concerning the perceived

problem areas reported by university and college students. This problem

area survey was completed by students utilizing the counseling center.

This survey revealed that many students experienced difficulties in estab-

lishing and maintaining heterosexual dating relationships and that these

problems were both widespread and personally significant. In fact,

there was a marked tendency for students responding to this survey to be

more concerned with improving the quality and frequency of their dating

interactions than with receiving assistance in selecting a vocation or

in learning about their abilities, interests, intelligence, or personalities.











What is striking about these findings is that the counseling

profession has, particularly in educational institutions, traditionally

sought to provide assistance to students primarily in academic and voca-

tional areas. This focus has generated a situation in which the problems

associated with social interaction have been largely ignored or dealt

with only superficially (Martinson and Zerface, 1970, p. 36). Martinson

and Zerface, in introducing their 1970 study, wrote,

.the counseling profession has traditionally endeav-
ored to serve academic and vocational ends but has not
concerned itself energetically with problems associated
with an individual's inability to relate successfully with
members of the opposite sex.

Prior to 1970, the counseling literature contained few detailed reports

of programs designed to assist young people to cope with the problems

of dating. This neglect is indeed difficult to comprehend in view of

the important significance dating behavior has for the individual's

socialization into adult roles. Generally, dating interactions are seen

as a prelude to courtship, eventual marriage, and the establishment of

home and family, and thus represent a significant component of the

socialization process (Hurlock, 1967, p. 525).

Despite the limited research in the field of minimal dating behavior,

there is evidence to suggest that there are individuals who are either

unable or unwilling to engage in the social practice of heterosexual

interaction known as dating. These individuals, for whom social inter-

action with the opposite sex is difficult or impossible, have received

relatively little attention from the counseling profession despite the

fact that there exists evidence to suggest that their problem is both

widespread and socially debilitating (Bath, 1961, Martinson and Zerface,

1970).











As a social practice, dating is a behavior (or a complex of behaviors)

in which nearly every member of society is expected to engage, usually

at the beginning of the early adolescent period. The social practice

of dating represents a significant step in the process of socialization

for it marks the initiation of heterosexual social interaction.

Dating, as a form of social behavior, has been viewed by cynic,

critic, promoter, and researcher (Gilmer, 1967). However, in a general

way, dating is viewed as a significant step in the socialization process

which culminated in the development of a socially and personally competent

adult (Martinson and Zerface, 1970). The successful establishment of

heterosexual relationships, free from anxiety and inhibition has been

suggested as an indicator of a socially competent adult for it marks

the successful acquisition of a variety of socially prescribed roles

(Jourard, 1963, p. 279).

Jourard (1963) in his discussion of the healthy personality suggested

that an indicator of social competence was the facility with which one

learned and enacted new social roles appropriate to one's age, sex, and

social status. The establishment of heterosexual relationships requires

the learning and enactment of such roles and thus represents not only

movement toward development as a socially competent and fully functioning

adult but also toward a more healthy personality as well.

The term "dating" has been used to refer to a wide range of

heterosexual interactions in which two individuals mutually agree to

participate in a social activity (Hurlock, 1967; Lowrie, 1951; Melnick,

1973; Rehm and Marston, 1968). Dating as a social behavior has been

described as an important educational process which contributes to the

development of interpersonally competent and well adjusted adults (Gilmer,





1967; Hurlock, 1967). These authors have suggested a number of benefits

for those who can successfully engage in dating activity. For example,

Gilmer (1967, p. 160) wrote,

It [dating] is a process in which one learns to control
behavior, evaluate personality types, and build up concepts
of right and wrong. Dating is a means of having a good
time socially, and it helps define the roles of members
of the two sexes.

Additionally, Gilmer suggested that dating provides opportunities in

which individuals learn to adjust to members of the opposite sex and to

gain poise and self-confidence in social situations.

However, unlike many other social behaviors which are easily learned

and then integrated into the process called socialization, there are

those for whom the acquisition of the requisite skills and the initiation

of dating behavior is extremely difficult or impossible. This apparent

difficulty for some to engage in a social practice commonly and routinely

engaged in by the majority of the population as part of the socialization

process is the topic of this study.

Definition of Terms

eating

For the purpose of this study, dating was defined as the social

practice in which two members of the opposite sex mutually agree to

participate in a social activity as a couple for mutual enjoyment. This

term was applied to spontaneous pairing activity which may occur in groups

as well as to prearranged and formal heterosexual meetings. This defi-

nition, however, does not include casual or informal heterosexual contacts.

Dater

This term was used throughout this study to refer to an individual

who engages in dating activity and who does not experience significant

levels of heterosexual anxiety or inhibition.











Minimal Dater

This term was used to refer to an individual who is unable or

unwilling to engage in heterosexual dating activity or, in heterosexual

dating, experiences significant and troublesome anxiety and social inhi-.

bition. In this study, the use of this term was restricted to individuals

who expressed concern and dissatisfaction over their dating inhibition

and resulting low dating frequency. The term nondater was used inter-

changeably with minimal dater and referred to a special case of minimal

dating behavior characterized by a total absence of dating interaction.

Need for the Study

Although heterosexual anxiety and minimal dating pose significant

problems to a portion of the college student population, relatively little

effort has been expended in the empirical investigation of this phenomenon.

Since 1970, for example, fewer than twelve controlled studies have

appeared in the literature in which minimal dating was the primary sub-

ject. These studies have primarily been conducted to evaluate or compare

the relative effectiveness of a variety of insight and behaviorally oriented

intervention techniques designed to treat minimal dating behavior pri-

marily by seeking to increase dating interaction frequency. These studies

have dealt almost exclusively with male populations and the results of

the various treatment programs have been equivocal. One explanation

for the wide variety of reported results is the fact that numerous pos-

sible ways of conceptualizing the problem of minimal dating behavior and

resulting difficulties have been proposed and quite different treatment

strategies developed (MacDonald, et al., 1975).

The general picture one develops after reviewing the literature

in this field is that minimal dating behavior has only recently become of





interest to the counseling profession. At the present time no conceptual

framework exists from which an understanding of the characteristics

of minimal dating behavior can be drawn. Further, minimal dating be-

havior has been assumed, but never empirically demonstrated, to be asso-

ciated with: (a) general social anxiety (Hokanson, 1971), (b) distorted

self-perception and negative self-concept (Melnick, 1973; Rehn and Marston,

1968), (c) specific and general communication and interactional skills

deficits (Hedquist and Weinhold, 1970; Martinson and Zerface, 1970), or

(d) high fear of rejection and/or expectation of sexual gratification

(McGovern, Arkowitz, and Gilmore,1975).

Review of current literature reveals that previous researchers

may have been too quick to rush in and provide intervention techniques

in the treatment of a problem which still remains poorly defined, con-

ceptually confused, and misunderstood. It is not surprising then that,

in view of the previous research, most of which has involved the evalua-

tion of a variety of treatment techniques, there has been mixed and equivo-

cal success. There appears to be a distinct lack of agreement on the nature

and etiology of social anxiety and resulting dating inhibition. These

studies have not provided any clear understanding of the problem faced

by college and university students who, because of as yet undescribed

and undefined factors, either are unable or unwilling to engage in the

social practice called dating. The identification of these specific factors

would then suggest specific therapeutic targets for intervention in

the treatment of minimal dating behavior.

This study was undertaken in recognition of the following:

1. There exists no adequate description of behavioral or personality

variables characteristic of minimal dating.





2. Minimal dating behavior appears to be a widespread and personally

significant problem among college and university students and thus, is

deserving of further investigation.

3. There exists extremely limited empirical data relating to the

characteristics of minimal dating behavior.

4. Previous attempts at treating minimal dating behavior have

produced no consistent results.

It seems obvious that, despite the fact that some attempt has been

made to provide treatment interventions for minimal dating behavior,

there exists no clear understanding of heterosexual dating anxiety or

of the important ditinguishing characteristics of minimal dating behavior.

Purpose of the Study

This study had as its primary goal the investigation of the minimal

or nondater. This individual has been described as typically male (Rehm

and Marston, 1968). Hurlock (1967) suggested that the minimal dater

was emotionally maladjusted and Jourard (1963) indicated that the minimal

or nondater, because of his apparent inability to establish heterosexual

interactions, was socially incompetent and was functioning poorly. These

observations suggested the following research questions:

1. Do systematic differences exist between daters and nondaters on

measures of self-actualization, self-concept, social evaluative anxiety,

and social assertiveness?

2. Is minimal dating the result of a situationally specific anxiety

response or symptomatic of a generally poor level of interpersonal

functioning?

3. Is minimal dating behavior more characteristic of males or

females?











4. What is the relationship between dating frequency and reported

dating satisfaction?

This study represented an attempt to develop a conceptual model for

understanding minimal dating behavior as well as to identify specific

behavioral and personality factors characteristic of nondaters. From

this analysis, an attempt was made to describe systematic differences

between dating and nondating college students with regard to these spe-

cific and characteristic behavioral and personality factors thereby

identifying targets for therapeutic intervention.

This study sought to investigate the specific differences between

dating and nondating subjects with regard to four concepts: (a) self-

actualization, (b) self-concept, (c) social assertiveness, and (d) social

evaluative anxiety. Each of these factors has been suggested by pre-

vious researchers as being closely associated with minimal dating behavior.

However, these associations have been assumed rather than demonstrated

as discriminative characteristics of minimal dating behavior.

While finding predicted differences between daters and nondaters

would be of conceptual and theoretical interest, there would still be

the further and as yet unresolved questions concerning the development

of a practical, identifiable, and effective procedure for dealing with

the socially debilitating effects of dating anxiety. However, until

minimal dating behavior is better understood, attempts at treating it

are likely to continue producing inconclusive results similar to those

obtained by past researchers. With the delineation of the specific

characteristics of minimal dating behavior, specific behavioral and insight

oriented treatments will then be possible. The differential application

of these therapy modes will permit more effective counseling procedures











for those for whom dating anxiety and inhibition are personally

troublesome.

As counseling centers at colleges and universities continue to

develop programs designed to assist the student in areas other than the

traditional ones of academic and vocational concerns, the need for the

identification and conceptualization of students' personal and social

problems will become increasingly important. This study represented

an attempt to provide the identification and description of behavioral

and personality factors associated with minimal dating behavior and

heterosexual dating anxiety. These are problems which are increasingly

being brought to the attention of counseling center psychologists in

colleges and universities as they begin to provide assistance outside

the traditional fields of counseling.


















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

In this chapter, literature which is considered relevant to the

topic of minimal dating behavior and dating inhibitions is reviewed.

This review is organized into the following sections: Adolescent Dating

Behavior, Dating Inhibition, Recent Investigations of Minimal Dating

Behavior, Treatment of Minimal Dating Behavior, and Summary.

Adolescent Dating Behavior

The topic of dating is one which has arisen in psychological

literature only in the past few decades. Hurlock (1967) proposed that

the reasons for the relatively recent emergence of this topic as a

subject for analysis are unclear but may include the fact that dating is

itself a social practice which can no longer be considered a colloquialism

for "courtship." She suggested that in previous generations courtship was

a social practice, complete with clearly defined roles, in which young

people of marriageable age engaged as a prelude to marriage. However,

Lowrie (1951) indicated that in recent generations dating has arisen as

a distinct. and separate practice from courtship in which the main purpose

is to provide the participants a pleasant social experience with no com-

mitment beyond that expectation. A number of authors (Gilmer, 1967;

Hurlock, 1967; Duvall, 1963) have suggested that dating is a pairing

process in which couples jointly agree to engage in some social activity.

More specifically, Gilmer (1967) spoke of dating, unlike courtship, as

a paired association of members of opposite sexes without reference to











the intent to marry. On the other hand, courtship involves obligations

to carry through to marriage and is, therefore, a relationship into

which two individuals enter which has associated with it a great many

more obligations and expectations. Unlike courtship, the serious pur-

pose of marriage is not involved in dating. Thus, dating is an end in

itself. The relationship called dating may be, and often is, a prelude

to courtship; for the purpose of this paper, the distinction drawn be-

tween dating and courtship will be made and maintained.

Since marriage is not an expectation of dating, the age at which

young people begin to date has declined and produced a situation in

which increasingly younger people are called upon to engage in complex

social behaviors at a relatively early age. By the time most boys and

girls are in their sophomore year in high school, the majority have not

only had their first date but many are dating regularly (Cameron and

Kenkel, 1960).

During the 1950's and 1960's the topic of dating became the subject

of increasing interest among researchers. Much of this work (Cameron

and Kenkel, 1960; Christensen, 1952; Crist, 1953) concerned the process

of adolescent pairing and was descriptive in nature. These early studies

of dating behavior tended to view dating from a sociological perspective

and attempted to identify as many of the salient social characteristics

effecting the dating process as possible. Cameron and Kenkel (1960), for

example, described dating as a pairing process initiated primarily as the

result of peer or even family pressure. These same conclusions were

drawn by Crist (1953) and Lowrie (1951).

The socio-economic status of the families of dating couples was

the subject of a study by Bock and Burchinal (1962). Their results





indicated that when the socio-economic status is favorable, both men

and women tend to begin dating earlier and more frequently then when

the family status is less favorable. Children from favorable socio-

economic families tend to have somewhat more erratic dating patterns

perhaps because of the family expectation for college attendance thereby

necessarily delaying marriage.

Another factor considered in these early studies of dating behavior

was investigated by Duvall (1964). He suggested that the religious back-

ground of the family influences not only the age and amount of dating,

but the pattern of dating as well, particularly with girls.

The home environment also was studied by Duvall (1964) and his results

indicated that adolescents from happy homes begin dating earlier and

are more active in their dating relationships than those from unhappy

homes. Duvall's results suggested that unhappy family relationships

result in unsatisfactory relationships with members of the opposite sex.

Landis (1963) came to essentially the same conclusions in investigating

the dating behavior of adolescents from happy and unhappy marriages.

From a review of the literature written in the 1950's and 1960's

during which dating became a topic of psychological and sociological re-

search, a number of observations can be made. Nearly all of these research

studies investigated the dating behaviors of young adolescents. The dating

behavior of college students was generally ignored. The reasons for

this apparent lack of interest in the dating behavior of late adolescent

and post-adolescent individuals may be accounted for by the fact that

in many of the early studies the teenage years were described as years

of social and psychological turmoil. The adolescent was thought to be

seeking identity, and was, in some way, clumsily passing through a period











during which he or she would acquire the normal social skills necessary

to conduct apparently satisfactory heterosexual relationships which, for

the overwhelming majority of the population, would ultimately result in

marriage. In a surprisingly uniform fashion, these early studies suggested

that adolescence was a difficult period during which individuals first

encounter heterosexual social activity. After a period of experimentation

and heterosexual social experiences the skills necessary to carry off

successful heterosexual relationships would be acquired.

The time during which this process occurs was taken to be the high

school years; and the strong implication made in these studies was that,

by the time an individual reaches his junior or senior year of high school,

many of these difficulties have been resolved. If this conceptual formu-

lization of the socialization process were true, then it would indeed

indicate that there would not be any strong reasons to conduct any re-

search into dating behaviors of adolescents past the high school years.

However, Martinson and Zerface (1970) reported the results of a survey

undertaken at the University of Indiana in 1967 which strongly suggested

that heterosexual relationships continue to be of considerable concern

to college students as well. Their investigation provided evidence that

among the college student population there exist individuals for whom

dating is both anxiety producing and personally troublesome.

Dating Inhibition

An observation which could be made about the early research in the

field of dating behavior concerns the fact that the studies tended to

focus on the behaviors of those who do date. There is little mention of

nondating or minimal dating behavior. The few statements concerning the

problems of those who do not date are to be found primarily in the text-

books by Cole and Hall (1964), Davis (1958), Duvall (1963), and Mead (1952).











Hurlock (1967), in presenting one of the more complete explanations

for nondating behavior, suggested that individuals may become highly ab-

sorbed in some activities such as sports or studies to the point that

they would have little or no time for social life. The recognition obtained

through dating may be gained primarily through pursuit of other activities

which are themselves held in high esteem by their peer group. She pre-

sented the idea that for some individuals the social life of their peers

may be trivial or irrelevant to their interests. The possibility that

an individual may view himself as physically immature and may feel dis-

qualified from the dating game may also exist.

Hurlock further reported that there may be a possibility that for

some individuals the lack of proper clothing or money may account for

the fact that they do not date. She described the personality patterns

for individuals who do not date as characterized by shyness, emotional

maladjustment, and social reticence. Her analysis suggested that nondaters

are at a distinct social disadvantage because the social life of adoles-

cents is organized around pairing, and adolescents must pair in order to

participate. Those who do not date in their high school days lack the

experiences that come from dating and thus are deprived of learning how

to behave in social situations with members of the apposite sex.

Hurlock (1967) pointed out that by late adolescence when nondaters

go to college or to work, they feel inadequate to meet the demands of

a near adult social life and, as the result, may turn to more introverted

forms of recreation. She suggested that nondaters often doubt their

normality and often gain the reputation of being "'squares." Hurlock

asserted that this self-doubt and unfavorable recognition can, and often

does, play havoc with the future personal and social adjustment of

those nondaters.





The description of the nondating individual which Hurlock presents

is consistent with the presentation made by Mead (1952), Crist (1953),

and Duvall (1964). However, these are subjective evaluations of nondating

individuals and do not represent the findings of controlled investigations.

In short, what many of the early researchers presented as causes for

nondating behavior have never been empirically demonstrated. For example,

is it true that nondaters tend to view themselves as "square" or doubt

their normality as Hurlock suggests? Is it true that nondaters are

as a group emotionally more maladjusted than are daters? If, as Hlurlock

indicated, nondaters are socially reticent, or to use a more contemporary

phrase socially nonassertive, are they any more so than those individuals

who are capable of what is considered to be normal heterosexual dating

activity?

As the result of early sociologically based descriptive studies, a

stereotypic picture of nondating or minimal dating college and university

students has emerged which results from subjective observations. These

unsubstantiated assumptions about the characteristics of nondaters and

minimal daters have formed the framework for more recent investigations

into the treatment of minimal dating behavior among college and university

students.

Recent Investigations of Minimal Dating Behavior

In the material presented in the previous section of this chapter,

the studies mentioned were of a distinctly sociological nature and highly

descriptive in their methodology. Since interest in dating behavior and

minimal dating in particular is relatively recent, it is quite logical

that the initial research conducted in the field would be more descrip-

tive. However, in recent years a distinct change is apparent in the





literature reported in the field of minimal dating behavior as well

as other forms of social interaction.

During the past 10 years there has been a shift in the focus of

the research conducted in the field of interpersonal interaction. While

prior to the late 1960's much of the research conducted was descriptive

in nature, since that time there has been a rapid increase in the number

of reported studies investigating the relative effectiveness of a variety

of therapy techniques and procedures used to treat minimal or nondaters.

One need only review the explosive increase in so-called growth groups,

sensitivity training, assertiveness training, and a variety of other

programs designed to improve general interpersonal communication and

functioning to gain some understanding of this radical shift in the

focus of research.

During the 1950's and 1960's the emphasis of the literature was on

describing many of the sociological factors effecting interpersonal

interaction, its process and form. However, research conducted during

recent years has tended to investigate specific procedures for facilitating

interpersonal growth or developing specific intervention programs for

dealing with areas of interpersonal concern among individuals. One such

area of interpersonal concern is that of heterosexual dating inhibition

and social anxiety.

Since concern over heterosexual social interaction continues to

trouble a significant percentage of the college and university student

population (Bath, 1961; Martinson and Zerface, 1970), it is, therefore,

not surprising that a number of studies have been conducted during recent

years investigating specific treatment approaches for the problem of

minimal dating.











A review of the literature reveals that although it was recognized

that for a portion of the college population dating was either difficult

or impossible, the problems of dating inhibition were not investigated

until recent years. This awareness that some individuals have difficulty

engaging in heterosexual interaction has resulted in the development of

a variety of conceptualizations of dating inhibition.

Since 1968 fewer than twelve controlled studies have apparently

been conducted with minimal dating behavior as the subject (MlacDonald,

et al., 1975). These studies have sought to evaluate intervention

techniques useful in the treatment of minimal dating behavior. The rea-

sons for the use of minimal dating behavior in these recent studies were

suggested by Curran, Gilbert, and Little (1976), They described hetero-

sexual dating anxiety as an excellent target behavior for counseling re-

search because: (a) it is only minimally susceptible to demand or sugges-

tion effects, (b) it is accompanied by strong physiological arousal which

does not readily habituate, (c) it occurs with sufficient frequency that

an adequate number of subjects can be found, and (d) it is of sufficient

personal concern and consequence to be representative of cases treated

in therapy.

Rehm and Marston (1968) in conducting one of the first investigations

into the problem of dating inhibitions.studied males who, "reported a prob-

lem in meeting and dating girls; that is, the problem involved feeling

uncomfortable in social situations with girls and avoiding such situations."

Martinson and Zerface (1970) described their subjects as college males

who experienced "a fear of dating."

Melnick (1973) introduced the term "minimal dating behavior" as a

means of describing the behavioral expression of dating anxiety. Melnick





also introduced the idea of dating frequency as a means of operationalizing

the term. In his investigation, a minimal dater was defined as an indi-

vidual who: (a) dated less than twice a week and (b) felt uncomfortable

in social situations wtih the opposite sex.

Christensen and Arkowitz (1974) investigated the value of practice

dating as a means for decreasing dating inhibition. Their study described

college dating problems in terms of low frequency, poor social skills

and social discomfort. This study was unusual for it was one in which

female subjects were included.

MacDonald, et al. (1975) described nondaters as socially unskilled

individuals. Subjects for this investigation were male and selected on

the basis of the following criteria: (a) no more than four dates during

the proceeding twelve months, (b) a desire .to change present behavior,

(c) adequate functioning in other areas of their life, and (d) willingness

to participate in a treatment program.

Research into minimal or nondating behavior has produced little

agreement as to its origin. Rhem and Marston (1968) suggested, for

example, that minimal dating behavior was the result of faulty self-

reinforcement. They maintained that dating deficits became evident because

individuals negatively evaluated themselves when they interacted with

members of the opposite sex or because.they simply avoided heterosexual

interactions due to their negative self-evaluation. The suggestion that

minimal dating may be associated with low self-concept, or distorted

self-perception was also proposed in Melnick's dissertation and resulting

journal article (1973).

Hokanson (1971) viewed nondating as the result of anxiety conditioned

to heterosexual social encounters. Morgan (1969) reported that dating





difficulties originate from unrealistic notions about dating and deficient

skills in initiating dating. This same view of the origin of dating

inhibition was proposed by Martinson and Zerface (1970) who characterized

male nondaters as individuals who experienced an obvious lack of exposure

to dating situations, who displayed extreme misconceptions about women,

who became disturbed by a number of unrealistic fears about dating, and

who were either misinformed or uninformed about dating behavior.

In addressing the possibility that minimal dating was the result

of social skill deficits, a number of studies have reported that dating

inhibitions may result from a reactive anxiety response (Curran, Gilbert,

and Little, 1976; Hedquist and Weinhold, 1970; MacDonald, Lindquist,

Kramer, McGrath, and Rhyne, 1975). Curran, et al. (1976), for example, sug-

gested that dating inhibition may be viewed as partly the result of

anticipating negative consequences caused by personal social-skill deficits.

They maintained that an individual may simply be deficient in the skills

necessary for successful dating interactions and, as the result, may

experience reactive anxiety to the anticipation of continual failures in such

situations. MacDonald, et al. (1975) described minimal dating behaviors

as essentially maladaptive behaviors which developed in the absence of

specific skill responses.

McGovern, et al. (1975), in an attempt to account for minimal dating

behavior, proposed that a high fear of rejection and/or expectation of

sexual gratification may generate reactive anxiety and produce inhibited

heterosexual interaction.

Treatment of Minimal Dating Behavior

The treatment programs for minimal dating behavior appear to be as

varied as the conceptualizations from which they were developed. Hokanson











(1971) viewed nondating as an expression of social anxiety. In his

study, one group of subjects visualized items from a heirarchy of dating

situations while relaxed; a second group visualized the items without

relaxation. Compared with individuals in a waiting list control, subjects

in both treatment conditions reported a significant improvement in dating

and a significant reduction in anxiety.

Morgan (1969), who suggested that dating difficulites originate from

unrealistic notions about dating, compared the remedial effectiveness

of four treatment packages: (a) focused counseling, (b) behavior re-

hearsal, (c) model exposure, and (d) model exposure with behavior rehearsal.

M~organ was unable to report significant group differences in the number

of reported conversations with females or reported number of dating

interactions. His results did, however, suggest that rehearsing date

initiation behaviors did reduce the intensity of reported anxiety in

seldom dating males.

Rehm and Marston (1968) assumed that their subjects (all male) had

at least a minimally adequate repertoire of social skills. Dating deficits

were thought to be evident because the subjects evaluated themselves nega-

tively when they did interact with females following a punishment paradigm

or because they avoided heterosexual situations due to their negative

self-evaluation following a conditioned avoidance paradigm. Rehm and

Marston's (1968) intervention strategy was consistent with this concep-

tualization and involved the gradual exposure to heterosexual situations,

objective restructuring of behavioral goals, and encouragement of more

frequent self-reinforcement. Results reported by Rehm and Marston sug-

gested a significant improvement of the experimental subjects over the

control subjects on a series of behavioral and paper and pencil measures.

Melnick (1973), following a comparable paradigm, obtained similar results.





Martinson and Zerface (1970) developed and tested a treatment program

based upon a conceptualization of minimal dating behavior which portrayed

nondaters as heterosexually misinformed or uninformed. They included

three treatment conditions: (a) individual counseling, (b) no systematic

treatment, and (c) a program of arranged interactions with female volun-

teers. The results of this investigation suggested that the arranged

heterosexual social interaction condition was significantly more effective

than the other conditions in helping subjects achieve the goal of dating

and in reducing their specific dating anxiety.

MacDonald, et al. (1975) viewed minimal dating or nondating as the

result of a social skills deficit. Four treatment conditions and two

control conditions were evaluated. Results of this investigation suggested

that skill training using behavioral rehearsal produced significant

improvement on a measure of social skill. Significant improvement among

control subjects was not demonstrated.

Curran, et al. (1976) investigated the relative value of behavioral

replication and sensitivity training approaches in the treatment of

heterosexual dating anxiety. Although no significant differences between

the two programs was demonstrated on measures of general social anxiety,

the behavioral program did produce significant treatment efficiency on

specific measures of heterosexual dating anxiety. Curran, et al. (1976)

suggested that specific "tailoring" of treatment programs to specific

target problems would produce the most efficient means of treating minimal

dating behavior.

In the investigations described previously in this chapter, the

population being sampled for study was composed exclusively of nondaters

or minimal daters. In nearly every case the subjects were self-referred











and admitted to being troubled by dating anxiety or heterosexual social

inhibition. Since the target behavior (minimal dating) was specific,

equally specific behavioral interventions were proposed, developed,

and tested.

There are, however, a number of studies which have been conducted

in recent years and have sought to deal with general social assertiveness

of which minimal dating behavior has been assumed to be a special case.

These studies have typically investigated the value of assertiveness train-

ing groups in facilitating the development of normally assertive behavior

particularly as it is associated with the development of social skills

acquisition.

Hedquist and Weinhold (1970) compared social learning and behavioral

rehearsal treatments in assertiveness training groups to a control group.

Although the study was designed to investigate a wide range of social behaviors,

a number of those considered were relevant to dating (e.g. "I started

a conversation with a girl/boy I have wanted to meet." "I called some-

one I met in class for a date."). In the behavioral rehearsal treatment

group, each subject was called upon to role play a situation which he/she

had previously identified as being anxiety provoking. In the social

learning group, each subject had to agree to four group rules: honesty,

responsibility, helpfulness, and action. Agreement to these rules com-

mitted the subjects to a program of social behavior change since the im-

plications of the group rules contradicted any self-concept of helplessness.

The results of this study yielded same significant behavior change

among members of both treatment groups; however, during follow-up six

weeks following the conclusion of therapy, both treatment groups had

returned to pre-test levels of social assertiveness. Thus, the two





treatments did show evidence of temporarily increasing general social

assertiveness; however, the effects of therapy were not sustained beyond

relatively brief periods.

Sansbury (1974) reported that in assertive training groups students

are most frequently seeking help in improving the frequency and quality

of their interactions with the opposite sex. His procedure trains subjects

in each of three component assertive skills: nonverbal, vocal, and verbal.

Following this treatment package, the author states that almost all sub-

jects reported an increase in the ratio of assertive behaviors to oppor-

tunities presented.

The development of assertiveness training has greatly accelerated

during recent years. If, as Sansbury (1974) suggests, many of those

who seek assertive training are experiencing heterosexual dating anxiety

and social inhibition, then the possibility exists that nondaters may

view their minimal dating behavior first as troublesome enough to seek

assistance and second, that they account for their minimal dating behavior

as a symptom of general social nonassertiveness. The implication is

that minimal daters are socially nonassertive, although differences

between daters and nondaters have not yet been demonstrated along the

dimension of assertiveness.

The intervention techniques developed thus far have been primarily

behavioral and have included: (a) systematic desensitization (Curran,

1975); (b) graded tasks with self-reinforcement Rehm and Marston, 1968);

(c) arranged interactions with members of the opposite sex (Christensen

and Arkowitz, 1974; Christensen, Arkowitz, and Anderson, 1975); and

(d) behavioral rehearsal and other replication techniques (Curran, Gilbert,

and Little, 1976; MacDonald, Lindquist, Kramer, McGrath, and Rhyne, 1975;











Mc~overn, Arkowitz, and Gilmore, 1975; Melnick, 1973; and Schinke and

Rose, 1976).

A review of minimal dating literature reveals that since 1968 the

studies conducted were based upon assumed associations between minimal

dating behavior and a variety of possible antecedent events or personality

characteristics. These studies have essentially sought to develop

methods for treating dating anxiety and heterosexual inhibition and were

based upon assumed rather than demonstrated differences between dating

and minimal or nondating college students. Further, these investigations

have typically attempted to treat only the male population and have,

in a surprisingly uniform fashion, failed to address the problems of

the female nondater.

Twentyman and McFall (1975, p. 385) came to this same conclusion.

Their study, in which the interpersonal skill level of daters and non-

daters was investigated, represents virtually the only previous attempt

to delineate and verify the characteristics of minimal dating behavior.

In introducing their 1975 study, they wrote,

Virtually all of the limited research thus far has
been treatment oriented, focusing narrowly on evaluating
different approaches to increasing the frequency of dating
behavior. There has been no systematic study of the im-
portant distinguishing characteristics of nondaters.

A review of recent research in the field of minimal dating behavior

suggests that much of the work done to date has focused upon the behav-

ioral expression of heterosexual dating anxiety. Previous researchers

have defined minimal dating as a function of frequency (number of dates

in a standard time period) and have suggested a variety of possible

explanations for the existence of minimal dating. The criterion for

defining minimal dating behavior in terms of frequency has been arbitrarily





chosen by the experimenters; and thus, minimal dating behavior has been

treated in terms of response rate. Subjects reporting a dating frequency

less than the criterion rate set by the experimenter were defined as

minimal daters. If minimal dating is defined in terms of frequency

alone, and minimal dating is generally assigned to be of general con-

cern among college and university students, then it becomes increasingly

difficult to account for the behavior of individuals who might:

1. date infrequently or not at all and who remain well adjusted

and unconcerned or

2. date with apparently normal frequency, but who come to counsel-

ing centers expressing concern over their dating frequency and quality.

In providing a description of minimal daters, Martinson and Zerface

(1970, p. 40) stated:

It is generally agreed that retardation in the
development of dating behavior frequently precipitates
severe psychological discomfort in young people and
appears to be associated inextricably with certain kinds
of maladjusted behavior.

This statement is remarkably similar to the position presented by

Hurlock (1967) who portrayed minimal daters as "emotionally maladjusted."

To date, the investigations into minimal dating behavior have resulted

in a variety of conceptual formulations to explain the existence of

low-dating frequency. Daters have been assumed, but never demonstrated,

to differ from minimal daters in terms of (a) general social anxiety

(Hedquist and Neinhold, 1970; Hokanson, 1971), (b) self-perception (M~elnick,

1973; Rehm and Marston, 1968), (c) social skills (Curran, Gilbert and

Little, 1976; Hedquist and Weinhold, 1970; Mlartinson and Zerface, 1970),

and (d) fear of rejection and/or expectation of sexual gratification

(McGovern, Arkowitz, and Gilmore, 1975). Additionally, it has been





suggested that low frequency daters and nondaters may be emotionally

maladjusted (Martinson and Zerface, 1970) or interpersonally incompetent

(Jourard, 1963).

A review of the literature relating to minimal dating behavior has

permitted the identification of four characteristic areas in which dating

and minimal dating college students were assumed to differ.

1. The minimal dater has been described as emotionally maladjusted

(Hurlock, 1967; Melnick, 1973), socially inhibited (Martinson and Zerface,

1970; Twentyman and McFall, 1975), and lacking in social and interpersonal

skills (Hedquist and Weinhold, 1970; McGovern, et al., 1975). These fac-

tors suggest the strong possibility that the minimal dater is functioning

at a relatively low level. Indeed, if the minimal dater does experience

reactive anxiety and, as the result, is socially and interpersonally

inhibited, then it would be reasonable to expect that minimal daters would

be less self-actualized and lower functioning than daters. What has been

presented would tend to support the notion that minimal dating is merely

a symptom of more general interpersonal dysfunction. However, this view

of minimal dating does not effectively account for instances in which

minimal dating appears as a situationally specific response to betero-

sexual interaction. In such instances, individuals who appear fully

functioning in all other facets of their life may become inhibited during

heterosexual interaction and may be unable to date successfully (MacDonald

et al., 1975). This apparent difference between viewing minimal dating

as a situationally specific response or as symptomatic of general

interpersonal dysfunction has yet to be investigated.

2. Rehm and Marston (1968) and Melnick (1973) proposed that a

possible characteristic of minimal dating behavior was related to self-











concept. The suggestion has been made that dating inhibitions result

from distorted self-perception and negative self-concept. However, the

association between self-concept and dating inhibitions has never been

demonstrated.

3. Hokanson (1971) and McGovern, Arkowitz, and Gilmer (1975)

suggested that minimal dating behavior and dating inhibition may be an

expression of social evaluative anxiety. This characteristic has yet

to be experimentally verified. Watson and Friend (1969) identified two

components of social evaluative anxiety as: (a) social avoidance and

distress and (b) fear of negative evaluation. If social evaluative

anxiety is characteristic of minimal dating behavior, then differences

between daters and minimal daters may be expected; however, this dif-

ference remains to be demonstrated.

4. Studies conducted by Serber (1972), Rathus (1973), and Sansbury

(1974) suggested the possibility that low levels of social assertiveness

may contribute to minimal dating behavior. Although the association

between nonassertive social behavior and dating inhibition has been

suggested, it has never been specifically tested.

Differences between daters and nondaters along these dimensions

are of theoretical as well as of practical importance to the counseling

profession. The study presented in the following chapter sought to

confirm these differences in an attempt to identify the important

distinguishing characteristics of the socially anxious and heterosexually

inhibited individual,

so mary

The study presented in the following chapters represented an attempt

to investigate the existence of important distinguishing factors charac-







28



teristic of minimal or nondating college students. The identification

of these characteristics would permit not only a greater understanding

of minimal dating behavior but would suggest opportunities for the devel-

opment of specific counseling interventions which could then be tailored

to meet the needs of the minimal or nondater who seeks assistance through

counseling.

To date, the causes and contributing factors of dating inhibition

have largely been assumed, resulting in a variety of treatment programs.

The equivocal results of previous research suggest a need to reevaluate

the problem of minimal dating behavior and more clearly define its

characteristics. This is the purpose of the study.















































































~


CHAPTER III

METHOD AND PROCEDURE

Overview

This study was undertaken specifically to investigate the distin-

guishing characteristics of nondaters and to verify the existence of

characteristic factors suggested, but largely unconfirmed, by previous

researchers. This investigation sought to provide answers to the fol-

lowing research questions:

1. Do systematic differences exist between daters and nondaters

on measures of self-actualization, self-concept, social evaluative

anxiety, and social assertiveness?

2. Is minimal dating the result of a situationally specific anxiety

response or symtomatic of a generally poor level of interpersonal fune-

tioning?

3. Is minimal dating behavior more characteristic of males or

females?

4. What is the relationship between dating frequency and reported

dating satisfaction?

The general method for this study involved the comparison of two

groups of undergraduate students at the University of Florida. This

comparison was made between an experimental group of subjects (counsel-

ing center clients) who reported unsuccessful and unsatisfactory dating

interactions and a comparison group (nonclients) who reported successful

and satisfactory dating histories. The comparison of groups was made











possible by collecting measures of self-actualization, self-concept, social

evaluative anxiety, and social assertiveness from each group, Data

collected from each group were statistically compared to identify the

existence of systematic differences between groups on each of these

independent factor measures. Results of this comparison were used to

evaluate the null hypotheses presented below.

Hypotheses

From the research question, "Do there exist systematic and predictable

differences between daters and minimal daters?" a number of research

hypotheses were developed.

Hypothesis 1. There is no difference between minimal or nondating

subjects (Group I) and dating subjects (Group II) on a measure of self-

actualization.

H1Y1oth~esys There is no difference between Group I and Group II

subjects on a measure of self-concept.

Hypothesis_3_ There is no difference between Group I and Group IT

subjects on a measure of general social anxiety and avoidance.

Hypoteis4 There is no difference between Group I and Group II

subjects on a measure of evaluative anxiety.

Hypothesis. 5. There is no difference between Group I and Group II

subjects on a measure of social assertiveness.

Hypothesis_6_ There is no correlation between reported dating

frequency and reported dating satisfaction ratings as assessed by ques-

tions four and five of the Dating Activity Questionnaire. (Appendix B)

Hypothesis 7_ There is no relationship between reported dating

frequency satisfaction and sex of subject.

Hypotesis There is no relationship between dating satisfaction

and academic performance among sample groups.










Subjects

Subjects for this investigation were selected from among student

volunteers. All subjects were undergraduate students enrolled at the

University of Florida during the winter quarter of 1977 and were assigned

to one of two comparison groups. The criteria for assignment of sub-

jects were selected in such a fashion so as to identify two groups who

differed along the dimensions of dating frequency and reported level of

satisfaction. These criteria were consistent with previous research

(MacDonald, et al., 1975; Melnick, 1973), and permitted the identification

of extreme samples in order to enhance the probability for detecting

differences between groups.

The criteria for selection and assignment to Group I (minimal dating

subjects) were: (a) a reported dating frequency of two or fewer dates

per month and (b) a dating satisfaction level of three or less as indi-

cated by responses to questions four and five of the DAQ. Additionally,

all Group I subjects were drawn from students who gave evidence of being

dissatisfied enough to seek counseling assistance. Selection and assign-

ment into Group II (dating subjects) were contingent upon a reported

dating frequency of three or more dates per month and a satisfaction level

of six or greater as reported by each volunteer on questions four and

five of the DAQ.

Group I (Minimal Dating Subjects)

This group was composed of 31 undergraduate students at the Univer-

sity of Florida who identified themselves as minimal daters and, as the

result, sought assistance through group or individual counseling services

offered by the university counseling center. Subjects for Group I were

recruited primarily through advertisements which appeared in the student





newspaper. These notices announced the formation of dating interaction

groups, the purpose of which was to assist nondating students overcome

their social anxiety and acquire appropriate social skills. Addition-

ally, subjects were recruited through the direct referral from staff

members of the counseling center.

Of the 31 subjects selected for Group I, six were female (19%) and

25 were male (81%). The mean age of Group I subjects was 20.6 years.

Group II (Dating Subjects)

This group was composed of 36 undergraduate students who reported

high levels of satisfaction with regard to their dating frequency.

Subjects for Group II were selected from student volunteers from intra-

ductory classes in the departments of Behavioral Sciences and Psychology.

Of the 36 subjects who met criteria for inclusion into Group II, 22

(64%) were female and 13 (36%) were male. Mean age of Group II subjects

was 19.4 years.

Instruments

Comparison of Groups I and II was accomplished using the following

instruments:

1. Personal Orientation Inventory (POI), (Shostrum, 1966)

2. Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (RAS), (Rathus, 1973)

3. Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE), (Watson and Friend,

1969)

4. Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (SAD), (Watson and Friend,

1969)

Additionally, a D~ating Activity Questionnaire, was prepared to collect

information pertaining to dating activity and perceived satisfaction.

This questionnaire (Appendix B) permitted the collection of data relating











to sex, race, age, student status and reported academic achievement in

terms of grade point average. The DAQ also provided a relatively non-

threatening means by which to assess past and present dating frequency

as well as perceived satisfaction with dating activity. The use of

this form enabled systematic and consistent assignment of subjects to

appropriate comparison groups.

Personal Orientation Inventory~ (POI). The POI (Shostrum, 1966)

was selected as an instrument for this study to assess self-actualization

and level of functioning of S's in both comparison groups. The POI

consists of 150 two-choice comparative value and behavior judgments.

The items are scored twice, first, for two basic scales of personal

orientation:. inner-directed support (127 items) and time competence

(23 items); and second, for ten subscales, each of which measures a

conceptually important element of self-actualization.

The ten subscales represent five additional constructs available

through the use of the POL. These five constructs represent factors

associated with self-actualization and are described below.

Valuing. This factor is assessed through the subscales of Self-

Actualizing Value (SAV) and Existentiality (Ex). The subscale SAV

assesses the degree to which an individual holds the values of self-

actualizing people and subscale Ex is a measure of the flexibility with

which an individual applies those values.

Igeling. This factor is composed of the subscales Feeling Reactivity

(Fr) and Spontaniety (S). The Fr scale is a measure of one's sensitivity

to needs and feelings while the S scale is a measure of how freely an

individual expresses those needs.

Self-Perception. This factor is considered equivalent to a measure











of self-concept and is assessed through the subscales of Self-Regard

(Sr) and Self-Acceptance (Sa).

Synergistic Awareness. This factor is composed of the Nature of

Man, Constructive subscale (Nc) and the Synergy subscale (Sy). Subjects

scoring highly on subscale Nc tend to see people as essentially good.

High scores on the Sy subscale indicate the ability of a subject to

meaningfully relate opposing ideas or antagonistic beliefs.

Interpersonal Sensitivity, This final factor is composed of the

acceptance of Aggression subscale (A) and the Capacity for Intimate

Contact subscale (C). Subscale A is a measure of one's ability to accept

feelings of aggression, hostility, and anger. Subscale C is a measure

of one's ability to develop warm, interpersonal relationships.

The two ratio scales identify two major areas important in personal

development and interpersonal interaction. The support scale is designed

to measure whether an individual's mode of reaction is characteristically

"self" oriented or "other" oriented. Inner, or self, directed individuals

are guided primarily by internalized principles and motivation, while

other directed individuals are, to a great extent, influenced by their

peer group or other external focus. The time competence scale measures

the degree to which an individual lives in the present as opposed to

the past or future. The time competent individual tends to live pri-

marily in the present with full awareness, contact, and full feeling

reactivity, while the time incompetent individual lives primarily in

the past, with guilt, regret and resentment, and/or in the future with

idealized goals, expectations, predictions, and anxiety. Scores for

these two constructs are reflected as ratio scores indicating the pro-

portion of time incompetence/time conpetence or other directed/inner





directed. The test manual, for example, suggests that self-actualizing

time incompetence:time competence ratios are between 1:6 and 1:22 (Shostrum,

1966, p. 16). This same relationship is suggested for the other/inner

directed dimension resulting in self-actualizaing ratios of 1:2.9 to

1:6.4.

The validity of the POI has been repeatedly demonstrated in terms of

nominated groups. It has consistently discriminated between groups

which had been clinically judged self-actualized and nonself-actualized

(Shostrum, 1964; Fox, 1965). The manual gives high reliability corre-

lations of .91 to .93 for all scales on the test. Reliability coeffi-

cients for the major scales of time competence and inner-directedness are

.71 and .84 respectively based upon a study by Robert Klavetter, reported

by Shostrum (1966).

The POI was selected for use in investigating differences between

daters and minimal daters because it provides a general indicator of not

only functional level but also a number of other constructs which have

been suggested as discriminating variables between the two comparison

groups. These constructs include self-regard (Sr), self-acceptance (Sa),

feeling reactivity (Fr), spontaneity (S), capacity for intimate contact

(C), acceptance of aggression (A), nature of man (Nc), and Synergy (Sy).

The use of this instrument thus permitted a comparison of dating and

minimal dating groups with regard to general level of functioning and

self-actualization (hypothesis 1) and with regard to self-concept

(hypothesis 2) as well.

Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (SAD). This instrument was

selected to measure one of two components of social-evaluative anxiety.

Developed by W~atson and Friend (1969), this 28 item self-report instrument











(Appendix C) purports to assess levels of social anxiety and tendency

to avoid social interaction.

Data reported by the authors of this instrument indicate satisfactory

test-retest reliability (r =- .79). The SAD has been validated in four

experimental studies performed at the University of Toronto (Iatson &

Friend, 1969). In each of the studies the instrument was able to discrim-

inate effectively between high and low anxious students. The SAD has

been correlated with a number of other tests of anxiety and results have

demonstrated satisfactory validity. Scores of the SA4D and the Manifest

Anxiety Scale (Taylor, 1953) produce acceptable correlations (r = .54).

A recent study by Arkowitz, et al. (1975) provided further validation

for this scale as a measure of social inhibition. This study demonstrated

that the scale correlated significantly with other self-report, behavioral,

and peer rating measures of social anxiety and social skill.

Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE). The second component of

social evaluative anxiety was assessed using a second scale developed

and validated by Watson and Friend (1969). This scale (Appendix D) was

designed to assess apprehension in and avoidance of socially evaluative

situations along with expectations of being negatively evaluated by

others.

Validation and reliability for this instrument are reported by

the authors as acceptable. Test-retest reliability is reported to be

quite good (r = .94). Correlation with other measures of anxiety such

as the MIanifest Anxiety Scale (Taylor, 1953) and the S-R Inventory of

Anxiousness (Endler-Hund, 1966) is reported to be between a low of r =

.47 to a high of r = .60 thus demonstrating acceptable validity. Addi-

tional validation support for this scale was provided by Watson and

Friend (1969) and Arkowitz, et al. (1975).





Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (RAS). This 30 item schedule

(Appendix E) was selected to measure social assertiveness among client

and nonclient samples. Rathus (1973) reports moderately high test-

retest reliability (r = .78; p<.01) and split-half reliability (r = .77;

p<.01). Validity appears equally satisfactory (r = .70; p<.01) in terms.

of the impression respondents made on other people. The instrument

generally provides an accurate and stable assessment of socially assertive

behavior levels and social boldness.

Copies of the instruments are presented in the Appendices. Copies

of the instruments used in this study were not identified by title to

participating subjects.

Procedure

This investigation was composed of two phases. The first of these

was the identification of subjects for appropriate assignment to one

of the two comparison groups. The second phase consisted of the collec-

tion of data from each of the comparison groups. This second phase was

accomplished by administering a testing packet containing the DAQ and

other instruments identified previously. This procedure is described

in greater detail below.

Group I (nondating students). This group of subjects was composed

of students who were clients at the University of Florida Counseling

Center during winter quarter 1977. Advertisements which appeared in

the student newspaper, and in residence halls, were used to announce

the formation of dating interaction counseling groups at the university

counseling center. The purpose of these groups was described as pro-

viding assistance to minimal or nondating college students who wished

to increase their dating frequency and to help overcome dating inhibition





and anxiety. Additionally, potential subjects for Group I were recruited

through personal referrals from counseling psychologists on the staff

of the University Counseling Center.

Students responding at the counseling center to these advertisements,

as well as students referred by other counseling psychologists, were

provided a brief description of the present study (Appendix A) and were

told that their participation was entirely voluntary and would be unrelated

to their counseling. A total of 38 possible subjects was identified.

Six of these declined to participate and another failed to meet the

requirements for selection into Group I after testing.

Thirty-two volunteers were given test packages by the writer con-

taining the DAQ and all other instruments. The volunteers were asked to

complete the packet at home and to return the testing materials within

a two day period. Of the thirty-two test packages distributed, all were

returned within the requested time period and all but one met the

criteria for selection into Group I.

Subjects were selected for inclusion in Group I if they:

1. had identified themselves as minimal or nondaters and sought

counseling assistance at the University Counseling Center.

2. reported a dating frequency of two or fewer dates per month

on question four of the DAQ.

3. reported dating frequency dissatisfaction by indicating a

response of three or lower on question five of the DAQ.

Group II subjects (dating students). Group II was composed of

students who reported on the DAQ a generally high level of dating satis-

faction and indicated an absence of concern over their present dating

activity. Subjects for this group were selected in the following fashion.





A brief presentation was made to five introductory behavioral science

and psychology classes at the University of Florida. A presentation by

the writer was made to each class and included a brief description of

the present study as well as a request for volunteers to act as subjects

(see Appendix A). Students indicating a willingness to participate in

the study were given the test packet and were asked to complete and

return all testing materials at the next class meeting. A total of

123 test packets were distributed. Of these only 76 were returned and

only 52 were returned completed. Of the 52 volunteers who returned com-

pleted test packets, 16 did not meet the criteria for selection into

Group II.

Subjects were included into Group II if they:

1. reported a dating frequency of three or more dates per month

on question four of the DAQ.

2. reported a satisfaction level of six or greater on question

five of the DAQ.

The procedure described above permitted the collection of data from

two clearly defined groups of students who were known to differ in terms

of their reported dating frequency and reported satisfaction with that

frequency. Following the completion of the test packets, both groups

were given the opportunity to ask any questions concerning the study

or personal performance and were thanked for their participation.

The data collected using the procedure outlined above were subjected

to the statistical procedures explained in the following section, util-

izing the computer available for the University of Florida, Northeast

Regional Data Center, Gainesville, Florida.











Analysis of Data

The primary purpose of this study was to determine if samples of

daters and nondaters differed significantly on five dependent factor

measures. Tnese factors were: (a) self-actualization, (b) self-concept,

(c) social avoidance and distress, (d) fear of negative evaluation,

(e) social assertiveness. Five null hypotheses were generated and were

tested in the following manner:

HygEothsi 1 There exist no differences between dating and minimal

dating university students on a measure of self-actualization as assessed

by the POL. Sample means and: standard deviaticon were calculated for

both groups on each of the following POT subscales:

a. Time Incompetence/Competence Ratio (Ti c,)

b. Other/Inner Directedness (I:0)

c. Self-Actualizing Value (SAV)

d. Existential~ity (Ex)

e. Feeling Reactivity (Fr)

f. Spontaneity (S)

g. Nature of Man (Nc)

h. Synergy (Sy)

i. Acceptance of Aggression (A)

j Capacity for Intimate Contact(C)

Sample mleanls of both comparison groups for each of these sc~ales;

were tested for significant differences using a t-Test (Roscoe, 1965,

p. 217). Data collected in this study were evaluated through the use

of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). These routines

provided an evaluation of the homogeneity of sample variances and pro-

vided t scores for pooled as well as separate variances. The confidence

level for evaluating this null hypothesis was set at p <.05.





Hypotess -5 There exist no differences between daters and

nondaters on measures of:

a. Self-concept (hypothesis 2)

b. Social Avoidance and Distress (hypothesis 3)

c. Fear of Negative Evaluation (hypothesis 4)

d. Social Assertiveness (hypothesis 5)

These null hypotheses were tested using a procedure similar to

that used to test the first null hypothesis. Sample means for each

dependent measure were calculated for both dating and nondating sample

groups. These means were then compared using a t test to detect signifi-

cant differences.

Hypothesis 6. There exists no correlation between reported dating

frequency and reported dating satisfaction ratings as assessed by ques-

tions four and five of the DAQ. This null hypothesis was tested through

the use of a biserial correlation. Dating satisfaction represented a

dichotomous variable daterr, nondater) with underlying continuity and

dating frequency representing a continuous ordinal variable which per-

mitted the use of the biserial correlation (Roscoe, 1975, p. 113).

Hypothesis 7. There is no relationship between reported dating

frequency satisfaction and sex of subject. This null hypothesis was

tested in the following way: subjects .from both groups were grouped

according to sex and the test for significant differences between propor-

tions was used to detect significant differences in sex distribution

between Groups I and II.

Hypothesis8 There is no relationship between dating satisfaction

and academic performance among sample groups. This hypothesis was tested

by comparing mean grade point averages for daters and nondaters to detect






42



the existence of significant differences. The t test was performed using

reported grade point averages of daters and nondaters.

In all tests for significant differences, a confidence level of

p<.05 was used. Demographic data collected using the DAQ were tabulated

and presented in table form for comparison.


















CHAPTER IV

RESULTS

The principal purpose of this study was to investigate the existence

of differences between dating and minimal dating or nondating university

students at the University of Florida. This investigation was accom-

plished by comparing samples of high frequency and highly satisfied

daters with low frequency, dissatisfied daters. These two groups of

subjects were identified and all data were collected during winter quar-

ter, 1977. What follows are the results of the analyses of these data.

Of the 38 possible subjects considered for inclusion in Group I

(Minimal Dating Subjects), six declined to participate and one was found

to be ineligible because of a dating frequency in excess of the criterion

of two dates per month. Croup I was composed of 31 subjects (25 males,

6 females) each of whom met the criteria for inclusion by reporting a

dating frequency of two or fewer dates per month and a satisfaction rating

of three or less on question five of the DAQ (Appendix B).

Of the 52 students volunteering to participate as Group II subjects

(dating subjects), 16 were not eligible because they did not meet the

requirements for inclusion into Group II. Group II (dating students)

was composed of 36 subjects who reported on question four of the DAQ a

dating frequency of three or more dates per month and a satisfaction

rating of six or more on question five of the DAQ. Of the 36 Group II

subjects, 23 were female and 13 were male.

Through the use of the Dating Activity Questionnaire (DAQ), data










were collected from subjects in Group I and II. This questionnaire

provided self-report data relating to high school dating frequency (ques-

tion one), perceived social and dating skills level (question three),

current dating frequency (question four), and satisfaction with dating

frequency (question five). A comparison of the group means on each of

the four measures listed above is presented in Table I.

Table 1

Comparison of Minimal Dating Subjects (Group I) and Dating Subjects
(Group II) on DAQ Data.


DAQ Question Group I Group II df t

MI SD M SD

1 2.58 2.20 5,30 2.13 65 5.13 ***

3 3.32 1.60 6.69 1.39 65 9.23 ***

4 0.96 0.79 9.41 3.66 65 12.56 "**

5 1.61 1.02 7.58 1.13 65 22.69 "***


p<.05
** p <.01
*** p <.001

The data presented in Table 1 permit the following observations.

Group I subjects reported that they dated very little while in high school

(mean score 2.58) and significantly less than Group II subjects (mean

score 5.30). Group I subjects tended to view themselves as relatively

socially unskilled and less confident of their social skills than were

Group II subjects. Not unexpectedly the minimal dating subjects of

Group I presented a mean dating frequency of 0.96 dates per month as

compared with a mean for Group II subjects of 9.41 dates per month.

Finally, Group I subjects reported a mean dating frequency satisfaction

level of 1.61 as compared with a mnean of 7.58 for Group II subjects.











In each case, the differences noted between the comparison groups were

highly significant (p <.001).

In this study eight hypotheses were tested. Each of these hypotheses

was evaluated in terms of the data collected and the results of these

analyses are presented below.

Hypothesis 1. There exists no difference between dating and minimal

dating subjects on a measure of self-actualization.

This hypothesis was tested through the use of a t-Test for a differ-

ence between independent means. The data presented in Table 2 reflect

the mean scores for the two comparison groups on each of the four pri-

mary scales of the POI: Time Competence (TC), Time Incompetence (TI),

Inner Support (I), and Other Support (0).

Table 2

Comparison of Minimal Dating Subjects (Croup I) and Dating Subjects
(Group II) on Time Competence and Support Scales of the POL.


Scale Group I Group II df t

M1 SD M SD

TI 8.129 3.201 6.06 2.888 65 2.75 **

TC 13.742 3.316 16.722 2.953 65 -3.89 ***

0 50.226 13.928 41.472 11.302 65 2.84 k*

I 72.613 12.038 84.611 12.164 65 -4.04 k***


p<.05
** p <.01
***x p <.001

Review of Table 2 suggests that minimal or nondaters differed in a

systematic and statistically significant fashion from dating subjects in

the sample. The direction of these differences further suggests that

Group I subjects may be somewhat less fully functioning than Group II





subjects in terms of Time Competence/Time Incompetence (TC/TI) and

Other/Inner Support (O/I).

The performance of dating and minimal dating subjects on the

ing POI subscales is presented in Table 3.

Table 3

Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on the Subsc;
of the POL.


remain-


ales


Scale



SAV

Ex

Fr


M

17.097

18.032

14.581

9.354

10.129

10.290

12.323

6.903

13.161

16.032


Group II

M

20.139

10.083

15.778

12.722

12.667

11.722

15.278

6.778

16.389

17.833


df t


SD

2.910

4.170

3.618

2.794

2.788

1.980

3.239

1,174

3.580

3.629


SD

3.581

3.656

2.941

3.332

2.668

2.584

3.198

3.627

3.267

3.638


-3.48

-2.12

1.47

4.50

3.79

2.56

3.75

.18

3.83

2.02


p <05
** p <.01
**k* p <.001

The results presented in Table 3 indicate specific areas in which

the comparison groups differed significantly. Differences between groups

on the POT subscales Self-Actualizing Value (SAV) and Existentiality -(Ex)

suggest that minimal dating subjects are significantly more likely to

reject the values of self-actualizing people than are daters (p <.001).





Additionally in the application of their values, minimal daters indicated

more rigidity than high frequency daters.

The subscales Feeling Reactivity (Fr) and Spontaneity (S) assess

relative sensitivity to one's own needs and willingness to express those

needs and feelings behaviorally. Comparison of both groups indicated

that minimal daters and daters are not significantly different in their

sensitivity to their own needs but that minimal daters are much more

prone to inhibit the behavioral expression of those needs and feelings.

This interpretation is supported by the fact that Groups I and II did

not differ significantly on the Feeling Reactivity (Fr) scale (p = 0.146,

d.f. 65) while the difference between the group means on the spontaneity

scale (S) was highly significant (p = 0.000). One possible explanation

may be that both groups of subjects were about equally sensitive to their

needs and feelings but that minimal dating subjects were much less able

or willing to act on these feelings or otherwise express them behaviorally.

In the area of synergistic awareness, Nature of Man (Nc) and Synergy

(Sy), significant subscale differences were detected only on the scale

Nc (p = .015). This would tend to indicate that minimal dating subjects

were inclined to view mankind in a more negative light than did dating

subjects who tended to see people as essentially good. Mean difference

between groups on the Synergy subscale.was not significant (p = .845).

The absence of a significant difference between groups on this scale

would tend to suggest that both groups do not differ greatly in their

ability to resolve conflicts in their life although the means by which

conflicts and opposing beliefs are resolved may be highly different.

Both groups differed significantly on the measures of interpersonal

sensitivity. This construct was assessed using the Acceptance of Aggression











(A) and Capacity for Intimate Contact (C) subscales. The difference

between group means for the Acceptance of Aggression scale (A) was highly

significant (p = 0.000) while the difference between group means on the

Capacity for Intimate Contact scale (C) was significant to a much smaller

degree (p = .047).

As the result of the detection of significant differences between

the means of Groups I and II on the primary scales of time competence

and support, hypothesis 1 was rejected.

,Hypothesis 2. There exists no difference between dating and minimal

dating subjects on a measure of self-concept.

This hypothesis was tested through the use of a t-Test for differ-

ences between group means on the POT subscales of Self-Regard (Sr) and

Self-Acceptance (Sa) as shown in Table 4.

Table 4

Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on Self-Regard
and Self-Acceptance Scales of the POL.


Scale Group I Group II df t

M SD M SD

Sr 10.129 2.668 12.667 2.788 65 3.79 ***

Sa 12.323 3.198 15.278 3.239 65 3.75 *'**


Sp <.05
** p <.01
*** p <.001

Review of the data presented in Table 4 tends to indicate that

significant differences exist between dating and minimal dating subjects

along the dimension of self-concept. The construct of self-concept was

investigated by comparing group means on the component scales of self-

regard and self-acceptance. In each case, minimal dating subjects demon-










strated significantly lower levels of self-regard and self-acceptance

than did the frequently dating and satisfied subjects of Group II (p =

0.000). Since the differences between the two groups were significant,

hypothesis 2 was rejected.

Hypothesis 3. There exists no difference between dating and minimal

dating subjects on a measure of social anxiety.

This hypothesis was tested through the use of a t-Test for differ-

ences between independent means as shown in Table 5.

Table 5

Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on a Measure of
Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD).


Scale Group I Group II df t

M SD M SD

SAD 16.613 6-.566 22.167 2.990 65 -4.34 ***


p<.05
** p <.01
*** p <.001

The results depicted in Table 5 suggest that Group I subjects reported

significantly greater levels of social anxiety and distress than did the

subjects from Group II (p = 0.000). In view of the highly significant

differences obtained between dating and minimal dating groups, hypothesis

3 was rejected.

Hypothesis 4. There exists no difference between dating and minimal

dating subjects on a measure of social evaluative anxiety. The Fear of

Negat-ive Evaluation Scale (Watson & Friend, 1969) was administered to

each group and the difference between group means was tested using a

t-Test. The results of this comparison are shown in Table 6.











Table 6

Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on the Fear of
Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE).


Scale Group I Group II df t

M SD Mi SD

FNE 10.226 6.597 16.694 7.978 65 -3.52 "***


p<.05
** p <.01
*** p <.001

On the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale the difference between

group means was highly significant (p = .001) and suggests that Group I

subjects were more fearful of being negatively evaluated than were sub-

jects of Group II. As the result of this finding, hypothesis 4 was

rejected.

Hypthel s_ There exists no difference between dating and minimal

dating subjects on a measure of social assertiveness.

This hypothesis was tested by comparing group means obtained through

the administration of the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule. The results

of this comparison are shown in Table 7.

Table 7

Comparison of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects on the Rathus
Assertiveness Schedule (RAS).


Scale Group I Group II df t

M SD M SD

RAS -8.000 27.105 15.056 26.346 65 3.52 "***


Sp <.05
** p <.01
***t p <.001





Comparison of group means revealed that minimal dating subjects

were significantly less socially assertive than were dating subjects.

This difference was not unexpected and was generally consistent with

the differences detected between the two groups on the dimensions of

social anxiety and fear of negative evaluation.

In view of the fact that minimal dating subjects were significantly

less assertive than dating subjects from Group II, Hypothesis 5 was

rejected.

Hypothesis 6. There exists no correlation between reported dating

frequency and reported dating satisfaction ratings as assessed by ques-

tions four and five of the Dating Activity Questionnaire.

This hypothesis was tested by performing a correlational analysis

of the responses to questions four and five of the DAQ for the Groups I

and II combined. The correlational coefficient obtained through this

analysis was r = .8516 (p <.001). This highly significant correlation

between reported dating frequency and reported satisfaction tends to

verify the belief that individuals who date frequently do find gratifi-

cation and satisfaction while those individuals who are unable or unwill-

ing to date with any frequency tend to be dissatisfied. In view of the

finding that dating frequency and dating satisfaction were highly

positively correlated for all subjects combined, Hypothesis 6 was

rejected.

Hypothesis 7. There exists no difference in sex distribution be-

tween Group I and Group II.











Table 8

Sex Distribution of Dating and Minimal Dating Subjects.


Male Female Total

Group I 25 (81%) 6 (19%) 31 (100%)

Group II 13 (36%) 23 (64%) 36 (100%)


Table 8 depicts the distribution, by sex, of subjects in dating and

minimal dating groups. Although inspection of this distribution indicates

a difference in distribution between Groups I and II, the test for sig-

nificant difference in proportion between groups was performed.

The difference in proportions between groups was found to be highly

significant (z = 4.18, N = 67, p < .01), As the result of this finding,

Hypothesis 7 was rejected.

Hypothesis_8_ There exists no significant difference between dating

and minimal dating groups with regard to academic achievement as reflected

in grade point averages.

To test this hypothesis, mean grade point averages for dating and

minimal dating groups were calculated and tested for significant difference

using a t-Test. The results of this comparison are reflected in Table 9.

Table 9

Comparison of Grade Point Averages of Dating and Minimal Dating
Subjects.


Group I Group II df t

MI SD M SD

GPA 2.782 0.552 3.040 0.533 58 1.84
p =.071


p<.05
** p <.01
*** p <.001











Review of the results presented in Table 9 tends to suggest a slightly

lower mean grade point average for minimal dating subjects, although the

difference between groups was not statistically significant. As the result

of this comparison, Hypothesis 8 was not rejected.

Summary of Results

The data permitted the evaluation of eight null hypotheses, seven

of which were rejected as the result of finding significant differences

between the two sample groups of dating and minimal dating subjects.

Minimal dating subjects were found to be less self-actualizing than

dating subjects in terms of time competence and support measures. Sig-

nificant differences were detected between these groups on all but two

of the POI subscales, namely feeling reactivity (Fr) and synergy (Sy).

In all cases where significant differences were detected between groups,

the minimal dating subjects in the sample evidenced depressed scores.

Highly significant differences between groups (p <.001) were detected

on the dimension of self-concept, with minimal dating subjects demonstrat-

ing consistently lower levels of self-regard (p <.001) and self-acceptance

(p <.001). The differences between these groups on the two component

measures of social evaluative anxiety were found to be highly signifi-

cant. Minimal daters reported much higher levels of social avoidance

and distress (p <.001) and were more fearful of negative evaluation

(p <.01) than frequently dating subjects.

On an assessment of social assertiveness, minimal dating subjects

were found to rate themselves as nonassertive in a clear and consistent

fashion. The difference between groups was found to be highly significant

(p <.001).

The relationship between dating frequency and dating satisfaction










was tested by correlating combined data from both groups. This resulted

in a correlation coefficient of 4 = .8516 (p <.001). The clear and

positive relationship between the amount of dating activity and per-

ceived satisfaction was demonstrated and permitted the rejection of a

null hypothesis that no clear relationship existed.

Data collected in this study supported the fact that the sex

distribution of the minimal dating group was quite different from the

dating group and was highly biased toward males. The minimal dating

group was composed of 81% males, while only 36% of the dating group was

male. The difference in male-female proportions between groups was found

to be significant (p <.01). Although a number of very striking differ-

ences were found to exist between these samples of dating and minimal

dating students, no significant difference was found to exist with regard

to academic achievement as assessed by reported grade point average.

Although the mean GPA for the minimal dating sample was somewhat lower

than that of the dating sample, the data did not permit the rejection

of a null hypothesis that no difference would exist in mean grade point

averages between groups.

Although drawn from the same population, the two samples compared

in this study differed quite dramatically on the dimensions of self-

actualization, self-concept, social evaluative anxiety, and social asser-

tiveness. In the following chapter, the results presented in this section

are more fully discussed.

















CHAPTER V

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify factors

characteristic of minimal dating behavior and heterosexual anxiety.

Previous research into the problems of dating inhibition has tended to

be treatment oriented and based upon assumed rather than demonstrated

differences between dating and nondating subjects. Much of this treat-

ment oriented research has produced equivocal results. This study was

prompted by the need to more clearly understand the ways in which hetero-

sexually anxious and inhibited individuals differ from those who are

able to develop successful heterosexual relationships. With the identi-

fication of specific characteristic differences between dating and

minimal dating subjects, more concise and effective treatment may be

possible.

Overview

This study took the form of a comparison between two groups of

undergraduate students at the University of Florida during the winter

quarter of 1977. Group I (minimal dating subjects) was composed of 31

undergraduate student volunteers each of whom dated fewer than two times

a month and was dissatisfied enough to seek individual or group counsel-

ing assistance. Group II (dating subjects) was composed of 36 under-

graduate student volunteers who gave evidence of successful and satisfactory

dating activities. Subjects in Group II were selected from introductory

psychology and behavioral science classes and each reported a dating











frequency of three or more dates per month and a high level of reported

satisfaction with their dating frequency.

Subjects in both groups were given a test packet containing instru-

ments designed to assess five factors which have been assumed but never

demonstrated to be associated with minimal dating behavior. These five

factors were: (a) self-actualization, (b) self-concept, (c) social avoid-

ance and distress, (d) fear of negative evaluation, and (e) social asser-

tiveness. In addition to these dependent measures, a Dating Activity

Questionnaire was used to collect data relating to past dating frequency,

self-perceived dating and social skills, as well as current dating behavior.

The results presented in the previous chapter indicated that dramatic

differences existed between the comparison groups in this study. On

the basis of this data, a composite picture of the heterosexually anxious

and socially inhibited individual was developed. The clear and syste-

matic fashion in which dating and minimal dating subjects differed also

suggested that a pattern may exist in which these differences might be

meaningfully related. In the following section these differences are

discussed in greater detail.

Discussion

Based upon the data collected from the samples of dating and minimal

dating subjects in this study, the following observations can be made.

The minimal dating sample was disproportionately male as compared with

the dating group. Although the potential for heterosexual inhibition

would appear to be equal for males and females alike, this study produced

results which suggested that the minimal dating student is typically

male. These results are generally consistent with previous research in

the area of heterosexual anxiety in which the incidence of reported










dating inhibition is much higher for men than for women (Christensen

and Arkowitz, 1974). To account for the skewed sex distribution of

minimal dating subjects in this study is difficult and no completely

adequate answer exists. However, one possible explanation may be that

although social anxiety may be present for both males and females, it

may be more troublesome for males because of the generally accepted

social role that males initiate dating activities. Minimal dating behav-

ior is a specific result of social anxiety and while men and women may

experience social anxiety equally, it may be manifest differently be-

tween the sexes as the result of differences in social roles and expec-

tations. With the recent movement toward less rigid sex role behavior

which now permits women to more freely initiate dating activities, the

incidence of self-reported dating inhibition among women may increase.

From the data it was possible to conclude that the minimal dating

group was not only characterized by an absence of dating activity and

high levels of dissatisfaction but the group's dating behavior was quite

stable. This conclusion was based upon the data from question one of

the DAQ which indicated that the Group I subjects dated very little during

high school. The correlation between reported high school and current

dating frequency for Groups I and II was moderately high (r = .58, p <.001)

and clearly suggested the possibility that heterosexual anxiety may de-

velop prior to the high school years. The relative stability of reported

dating activities may indicate that an individual's level of social

anxiety and, consequently, his dating pattern may be well developed by

middle adolescence and clearly defined by the time of college admission.

Although drawn from the same undergraduate population, the sample

groups compared in this study differed significantly and quite dramatically










on each of the dependent measures assessed. These differences are

discussed in greater detail below.

Self-Actualization. This dimension was assessed using the Personal

Orientation Inventory (Shostrum, 1966). Results indicated that on this

measure of interpersonal functioning, Group I subjects were less self-

actualized in terms of time-competence and support. Minimal dating

subjects tended to be relatively time-incompetent and, hence, tended

to be excessively concerned with the past or future relative to the pre-

sent. The dating subjects of Group II tended to be oriented primarily

in the present and were consistently more time-competent than were Group

I subjects. As relatively time-competent individuals, Group IT subjects,

as compared with subjects from Group I, were found to be relatively less

burdened by guilt, remorse and resentment, or by anticipation of the future

and idealized goals and expectations.

The second major scale of inner/other support produced results

which also indicated lower levels of self-actualization among subjects

from Group I as compared with subjects from Group II. The minimal dating

sample was characterized as relatively "ocher" directed and, hence, tended

to be greatly concerned with the opinion of others. This concern about

the opinion of others tended to be expressed in terms of an exaggerated

need to seek approval from others.

Essentially all data relating to self-actualization indicated that

the minimal dating sample was less fully functioning and less self-

actualized than the dating sample.

Self-Concept. This dimension was assessed using the Self-Regard

(Sr) and Self-Acceptance (Sa) subscales of the POL. The dramatic dif-

ferences observed between Group I and Group II, although not unexpected,





were certainly striking in their magnitude and consistency. The results

demonstrated that the minimal dating subject clearly holds himself in

low esteem, as indicated by depressed Sr subscale scores, and also finds

self-acceptance difficult.

Social Evaluative Anxiety. This dimension was assessed through the

use of two instruments developed by Watson and Friend (1969) each of which

measures a component of social evaluative anxiety. The data indicated

that minimal dating subjects reported experiencing much higher levels of

social avoidance and distress and fear of negative evaluation than did

dating subjects. These differences were found to be consistent and statis-

tically significant (p <.001). These results further suggested that dating

inhibition may be characteristic of generalized social anxiety rather than

indicative of situationally specific response associated with heterosexual

social contact. This finding was important since it suggests that minimal

dating is probably symptomatic of the larger problem of social anxiety.

Social Assertiveness. The final characteristic difference between

subjects from Groups I and II was along the dimension of social asser-

tiveness. Results indicated that subjects from Group I reported themselves

to be significantly less socially assertive than did subjects from Group II.

This finding is certainly consistent with the fact that subjects from

Group I hold themselves in low esteem and tend to seek approval from others.

The results presented above indicate that there exists a pattern of

characteristic differences between the samples of subjects in Groups I

and II. These differences, although assumed by previous researchers,

were demonstrated in a clear and consistent fashion. The detection of

significant differences along the dimensions of self-actualization, self-

concept, social evaluative anxiety, and social assertiveness does seem





to suggest that minimal dating behavior is not an expression of hetero-

sexual anxiety alone, but is indicative of a much more global problem.

Since the minimal dating subject was found to be characterized by gen-

eralized social anxiety, lack of assertiveness, poor self-concept, and

low levels of self-actualization, the problem of dating inhibition may

not be simply situationally specific for one to one heterosexual contact.

These differences suggest that the problem may be more complex and wider

ranging than previously thought and may be indicative of a low level of

interpersonal functioning in all facets of the minimal dater's life.

Simply stated, dating inhibition may be symptomatic of a more complex

process characterized by high levels of social avoidance and anxiety,

high fear of negative evaluation, poor self-regard and acceptance, non-

assertiveness and low levels of self-actualization.

One possible explanation of the differences between dating and minimal

dating groups may lie in the fact that the minimal dating group exhibited

significantly higher levels of social anxiety and a heightened fear of

negative evaluation. The presence of relatively high levels of social

anxiety would tend to limit the potential for interpersonal growth and

change and would result in depressed levels of self-actualization.

The argument presented above does seem to beg for an answer to

the origin of social anxiety. This study did not pretend to address this

question. However, the distinctive pattern of differences observed be-

tween dating and minimal dating subjects does raise the possibility

that a cyclical process may exist which results in minimal dating behavior

and heterosexual inhibition. If such a process does exist, then its

identification could provide a scheme for understanding and relating

the characteristic differences between groups. What follows is an attempt











to organize the results obtained in this study into a meaningful concep-

tual scheme from which to view minimal dating behavior and out of which

may be drawn new directions for the treatment of heterosexual inhibition.

Conceptual Scheme

One of the most significant differences observed between the

comparison groups was along the dimension of self-concept. In this study,

self-concept was assessed using the constructs of self-regard (Sr) and

self-acceptance (Sa). Now, consider person (P) who holds himself in low

esteem and is then acutely aware of his own shortcomings. One would

not expect P to find comfort in situations in which he would be open

to evaluation by others. Clearly, it would be reasonable to expect P

to respond with anxiety and distress when faced with the possibility

for social interaction. It would not be unlikely to expect that P would

even actively avoid such distress provoking social encounters which he

would perceive as potentially threatening. Consider how, in this example,

P might limit his behavior as the result of a particular attitude or be-

lief (whether true or false) which he holds about himself. To speculate

as to why or how P has acquired these beliefs about himself would be

difficult, but what seems to be important is what follows from his holding

himself in low esteem.

If P holds himself in low regard,.it is indeed reasonable that he

would expect others to see in him what he sees in himself. This belief

about himself would translate quite easily into a fear of negative evalua-

tion and a high expectation that, when evaluated, such evaluation would

be negative. This finding was confirmed by significantly depressed scores

on the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale.











If it can be established that P may, as the result of a poor self-

concept, experience a high fear of being negatively evaluated, then P

may also have reason for behaving in a nonassertive fashion in order to

reduce the possibility of negative evaluation and to enhance the probabil-

ity of gaining approval from others. Additionally, a high fear of nega-

tive evaluation would give P a substantial reason for avoiding social

interactions, or becoming anxious if he were unable to do so. One might

then predict that P would not achieve high scores on the Social Avoid-

ance and Distress Scale and the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule. Scores

on these instruments for dating and minimal dating groups confirm this

pattern.

The relative stability of minimal dating patterns must also be ex-

plained. Little can change for P if he holds himself in low esteem,

has a high fear of negative evaluation and consequently inhibits his

social activity, experiences social anxiety, and adopts a nonassertive

behavioral style. For P to avoid social contact, he must pay the price

of losing opportunities to acquire social skills and experience. For

P to be nonassertive is to insure that he will be used or even abused.

Now the situation exists for P to see himself as socially unskilled,

unexperienced, and an easy target for those whom he sees as more asser-

tive. Having this information about himself, all of which is perfectly

consistent with his already low self-concept, P now is in a position

in which change and growth are extremely unlikely, at least without a

great deal of risk taking, support, and motivation. If growth and change

are unlikely, then one may expect lower levels of self-actualization

for P and others like P.

This description suggests that P would have cause to worry about











his past and his failures as well as to worry about his future. For

someone like P, being time-competent would be a difficult task indeed.

Similarly, given what is known about P, one would expect him to be other

directed rather than inner directed. In fact, substantial differences

between the groups in this study were confirmed on these two primary mea-

sures of self-actualization.

On the basis of information about self-concept levels, a logical

and systematic line of reasoning can be formed which not only suggests

a predictable pattern of differences between dating and minimal dating

groups, but also which accounts for the fact that social anxiety, as a

cyclical process, is resistant to change or treatment.

Although perhaps much over simplified, this process still expresses

possible relationships between the factors which were investigated in

this study. Poor self-concept may contribute to social evaluative anxiety

and social nonassertiveness, all of which then contribute to limited po-

tential for successful interpersonal functioning which in turn contributes

to poor self-concept.

This study investigated the differences between samples of dating

and minimal dating college students. The results obtained confirmed that

these two groups differed dramatically along the dimensions of inter-

personal functioning (self-actualization), social evaluative anxiety,

social assertiveness, and self-concept. The scheme presented by the writer

in this section suggests that these factors may be related in a meaningful

way. Further, the systematic fashion in which dating and minimal dating

subjects differed raises questions concerning the value or effectiveness

of several of the treatment programs proposed by previous researchers.

In the following sections conclusions drawn from the study and their

implications for counseling and treatment are discussed.











Conclusions

The conclusions of this study, in which samples of dating and minimal

or nondating university students were compared, are:

1. The minimal or nondating student is likely to be male. Although

the potential for heterosexual inhibition is equal between males and

females, the minimal dating group was found to contain a disproportionately

large percentage of male subjects.

2. Minimal dating and heterosexually anxious individuals are char-

acterized by: (a) relatively low levels of interpersonal functioning

and self-actualization, (b) high levels of social evaluative anxiety,

(c) low levels of self-regard and self-acceptance, (d) low levels of

social assertiveness.

3. There appears to be a high correlation between dating frequency

and dating satisfaction although it is possible to identify individuals

who date infrequently but report high levels of satisfaction. The re-

verse of this situation does not appear to hold. Among all data collected,

no case could be found in which a high frequency dater reported a low

level of satisfaction.

4. The minimal dater does not appear to differ from his frequently

dating classmates in terms of his academic achievement. The stereotypic

college scholar who is shy and has little time for social activities was

not found. The picture of the minimal dater as the lonely, troubled,

and isolated individual who is unable to cope academically was not

confirmed either.

5. Perhaps the most important conclusion drawn from this study was

that dating inhibition appears to be symptomatic of generalized social

anxiety and not situationally specific to heterosexual interaction.










The minimal dating subject was found to differ greatly from the dating

subject not only with regard to his dating activities but along several

other dimensions as well. The fact that the minimal dating subjects were

characterized by low levels of self-actualization, poor self-concept,

high levels of social evaluative anxiety and social nonassertiveness

suggests that not only are they likely to be unable to develop successful

and personally satisfying heterosexual relationships, but they are likely

to experience dissatisfaction and difficulty in other facets of their

lives as well.

Implications for Counseling

These conclusions permit the development of a composite picture of

the minimal dating student. Hie is typically male and presents a history

in which there has been very little heterosexual social activity, He

tends to view himself as socially unskilled and unsophisticated and

dates infrequently. He often becomes anxious in new or unfamiliar social

situations and actively avoids such potentially threatening situations.

He has a high fear of being negatively evaluated and usually avoids social

confrontations by adopting a passive or "shy" behavioral style. Perhaps

central to this description is the fact that the heterosexually inhibited

individual holds himself in low regard and has difficulty accepting him-

self as he is.

Review of the results suggests the efficacy of a multifaceted inter-

vention program for heterosexually anxious and inhibited clients. Not

only do minimal daters apparently see themselves as possessing insuffi-

cient social and dating skills, but they appear to value themselves and

others quite differently from the way daters do. Their view of the

world is quite different from that of a dater. This conclusion indicates





the need to focus not only on the acquisition or improvement of appro-

priate social skills, but upon the affective components of social anxiety

which conspire to inhibit behavior. There is a need to clearly examine

in the counseling relationship the individual's self-worth, exaggerated

beliefs or misconceptions about himself and others, and unrealistic

expectations about dating and heterosexual interactions. With the reso-

lution of these issues, the minimal dating client may gain the insight

necessary to permit the acquisition and spontaneous expression of behavior

appropriate to dating and other social interactions.

These observations indicate the need to treat minimal dating behavior

as a complex syndrome with many and varied origins and multiple modes of

expression. Although minimal daters tend to exhibit a series of charac-

teristics in a surprisingly uniform fashion, as this study has described,

it would be unreasonable to expect that the modification of one factor

or characteristic through the use of a behavioral training program would

produce significant or lasting changes. Indeed, the past treatment of

minimal dating behavior as a manifestation of a simple behavioral defi-

ciency may be a gross over simplification of the problem. Heterosexual

dating anxiety, although manifesting similar characteristics among indi-

viduals, is likely to arise from a variety of antecedent events and

conditions, and is likely to be manifest in a variety of ways unique to

the individual for whom social anxiety is a problem.

The need for a nonthreatening and supportive initial approach in

working with minimal dating clients would appear to be not only desir-

able but essential. Until the client is able to perceive the world and

those around him as less threatening and potentially less harmful, it

is unlikely any behavioral approach will prove successful. Simply stated,










the client must not only know how to behave differently, he must also

have sufficient need to so behave. Such a need is not likely to occur

until the minimal dater is able to identify an alternate behavioral style

more safe, comfortable, and rewarding than his present style. The minimal

dater is not a risk taker and, in fact, builds a world around himself

where very little risk taking is required or even possible. To be shiy

and passive is to be in control of one's environment in such a way as

to regulate and limit interpersonal contact with only a chosen few.

Clearly, the need to encourage minimal dating clients to take risks in

a controlled, structured, and supportive environment is indicated.

Perhaps if counselors were to consider heterosexual dating inhibition

as a complex phobic response rather than the expression of a simple behav-

ioral deficiency, much more efficient treatment strategies could be

developed to deal with this widespread form of social anxiety.

Implications for Further Research

This study addressed a special form of social anxiety found to

exist among late adolescents and young adults. Minimal dating subjects

were compared to subjects who gave evidence of having established suc-

cessful dating patterns. Among the factors found to be characteristic

of minimal dating subjects, low self-concept is the one which would seem

to be of the greatest value in discriminating between dating and minimal

dating subjects. However, further validation of the relationship between

social anxiety and low self-concept would require replication of this

study, perhaps using a more sensitive instrument for the assessment

of self-concept as well as a much larger sample of subjects so that com-

plete factor analysis would be possible.










The question of why minimal dating behavior is troublesome primarily

for males and not frequently reported as troublesome for females still

remains unanswered. As social customs change to permit females to take

a more active role in dating activities, it is possible that the inci-

dence of reported minimal dating behavior among females will increase.

This study did not address the issue of the origin of social anxiety

nor its influence in affecting self-concept differentially. Clearly,

if systematic and consistent antecedent events were found to exist then

perhaps more specific treatment would be possible.

Other questions arose during the course of this study the answers

to which could be not only interesting but important to counseling. For

example, what motivates certain minimal daters to seek help while others

refuse assistance? [Jhat factors constitute satisfactions in a dating

relationship and how would they best be assessed?

summary

This study, through the comparison of dating and minimal dating

sample groups, sought to identify specific factors characteristic of

minimal dating behavior and heterosexual dating inhibition. The identi-

fication of such factors suggested targets for counseling intervention.

What arose from an analysis of the data collected in this study was the

fact that there is no single behavioral or personality trait which is

characteristic of the minimally dating student. Heterosexual dating in-

hibition may be characterized by a constellation of factors rather than

any one in particular. Indeed, in each of the following dimensions highly

significant differences were detected between dating and minimal dating

groups: (a) self-actualization, (b) self-concept, (c) social avoidance

and distress, (d) fear of negative evaluation, and (e) social assertiveness.










To build a treatment program upon any one factor exclusively is to

ignore what appears to be an interaction of multiple factors producing

dating inhibition. To assume, for example, that dating inhibitions re-

sult from a social skills deficiency only implies that the acquisition

of social skills would result in increased dating frequency and decreased

anxiety. However, this assumption ignores the fact that a minimal dater

may not have sufficient reason to use his new found social skills. Quite

simply, it may be said that a person behaves as he does either because

he knows no other way to behave or because he has sufficient reason for

continuing to behave as he does despite the fact that he may know of

alternatives. It appears that the minimal dater is behaving in a way

that is least threatening and poses the least risk. Although perhaps

knowing the appropriate and expected behaviors, the minimal dater inhibits

these behaviors to avoid any possibility of further threat to or assault

on an already poor self-concept. This inhibitory quality was confirmed

in this study by the depressed spontaneity scores (S) on the POT by

minimal dating subjects.

The depressed scores of the minimal dating sample for each of the

main factors assessed in this study may all be interrelated and suggest

a behavioral style characterized by passivity, need for approval, and

an unwillingness to enter into a relationship in which the possibility

exists for rejection and therefore further harm to the self-concept.

The minimal dater is then withdrawn, shy, passive, unassertive, and

consequently well defended and safe. Unfortunately, he is often lonely

as well and may not realize how his actions contribute to his feeling

of loneliness.

Review of the differences between the two sample groups suggests











the possibility of a common underlying pattern which is cyclical in nature

and which accounts for the detected differences. The minimal dater in

this sample was typically male and was characterized by a history of un-

successful dating activities. He tended to be poorly functioning inter-

personally and possessed low levels of self-regard and self-acceptance.

He was socially anxious and unassertive and highly fearful of negative

evaluation. The minimal dater in this sample clearly portrayed himself

as an ineffective, unskilled, and undesirable person and as such,

behaved accordingly.

This study sought to reassess the topic of heterosexual dating

inhibition. The results point to the complexity of a form of social

anxiety often thought to be the expression of a simple behavioral deficit.

The pattern of differences detected between those who date and those who

either cannot or will not, point to the existence of a highly complex

phobic response with many possible antecedent events and behavioral and

affective expressions. The minimal dater looks at himself and his place

in the world in a way very different indeed from his frequently dating

counterpart. It is hoped that this study will generate continued inter-

est and further research into treatment of social anxiety and in doing

so, open a new world to those for whom it is now closed.





APPENDICES


















APPENDIX A

COLLEGE DATING SURVEY

This packet contains material which is being used to collect infor-

mation about the dating activities of college and university students.

Since you indicated an interest in participating in the investigation,

you will need some additional information. This introduction will help

you decide if you want to be part of this study.

Since this study is concerned about dating, perhaps a definition

of "dating" would be helpful. In this study a "date" is defined as:

a prearranged meeting between a man and a woman for mutual, social enjoy-

ment. This definition does not include casual and informal contact

between men and women which occurs in groups. It does include just

about any activity in which two people agree to participate as a couple.

The important point is that a date is a pairing activity, even if it

is only for brief periods such as going to a movie, dinner, or a sporting

event.

Your participation in this study will require about an hour of your

time. During that time you will be asked to respond in an open and honest

fashion to a series of questions about your dating and social activities.

All of this information will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and will be

used for statistical purposes only. At the completion of this testing,

if you have any questions or comments concerning this study, I will be

happy to discuss them with you. All I ask is that you respond as hon-

estly as you can so that this study will be meaningful. Thanks for

volunteering.

72

















APPENDIX B

DATING ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE

Name Sex

Age Date of Birth Race

Current student classification Mlajor

Estimated overall grade point average to date


Directions: Below are some questions relating to your past and
present dating activity. This information will be
useful in an investigation into the dating activities
of university students. Your answers to these ques-
tions will be kept strictly confidential and used
for statistical purposes only. Your honest and frank
responses will help make this research meaningful.


1. How much did you date in high school? (Circle one)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
not at all very little average often very often

2. Do you now date about as often as you would like? Yes No_

3. How would you rate your dating and social skills? (Circle one)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
quite poor about average quite good

4. On the average, how many dates do you have in a month? (Circle one)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

5. Generally, how satisfied are you with your dating frequency: (Circle
one)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
not at all quite pleased





APPENDIX C

SOCIAL AVOIDANCE AND DISTRESS SCALE (SAD)

(Title was Omitted on Subjects' Copies)

Below are listed a variety of statements concerning how
you relate to people. Read each statement carefully and
then indicate whether the statement is true (T) or false
(F) by circling the appropriate letter at the right.

It should be emphasized that this is not a test in the
usual sense of the word since there are no right or wrong
answers. Simply read each sentence and answer as honestly
as you can.


INSTRUCTIONS:


1. I feel relaxed even in unfamiliar social situations.

2. I try to avoid situations which force me to be very
sociable.

3. It is easy for me to relax when I am with strangers.

4. I have no particular desire to avoid people.

5. I often find social occasions upsetting.

6. I usually feel calm and comfortable at social occasions.

7. I am usually at ease when talking to someone of the
opposite sex.

8. I try to avoid talking to people unless I know them well.

9. If the chance comes to meet new people, I often take it.

10. I often feel nervous or tense in casual get-togethers
in which both sexes are present.

11. I am usually nervous with people unless I know them well.

12. I usually feel uncomfortable when I am with a group of
people

13. I often want to get away from people.


T F


T F

T F

T F


T F

T F


T F

T F





14. I usually feel uncomfortable when I am in a group of
people I don't know. T F

15. I usually feel relaxed when I meet someone for the first
time. T F

16. Being introduced to people makes me tense and nervous. T1 F

17. Even though a room is full of strangers, I may enter
it anyway. T F

18. I would avoid walking up and joining a large group of
people. T F

19. When my superiors want to talk with me, I talk willingly. T F

20. I often feel on edge when I am with a group of people. T F

21. I don't mind talking to people at parties or social
gatherings. T F

22. I tend to withdraw from people. T F

23. I am seldom at ease in a large group of people. T F

24. I often think up excuses to avoid social engagements. T F

25. I sometimes take the responsibility for introducing
people to each other. T1 F

26. I try to avoid formal occasions. T F

27. I usually go to whatever social engagements I have. T F

28. I find it easy to relax with other people. T F





APPENDIX D

FEAR OF NEGATIVE EVALUATION (FNE)

(Title was Omitted on Subjects' Copies)

INSTRUCTIONS: Below are listed a series of statements concerning how
you relate to people. Read each statement carefully and
then indicate whether the statement is true (T) or false
(F) by circling the appropriate letter at the right.

It should be emphasized that this scale is not a test
in the usual sense of the word since there are no right
or wrong answers. Simply read each sentence and then
answer as honestly as you can,



1. I rarely worry about seeming foolish to others. T F

2. I worry about what people will think of me even
when I know it doesn't make any difference. T F

3. I become tense and jittery if I know someone is
sizing me up. T F

4. I am unconcerned even if I know people are forming
an unfavorable impression of me. T F

5. I feel very upset when I commit some social error. T F

6. The opinions that important people have of me
cause me little concern. T F

7, I am often afraid that I may look ridiculous or
make a fool of myself. T F

8. I react very little when other people disapprove
of me. T F

9. I am often afraid of other people noticing my
shortcomings. T F

10. The disapproval of others would have little
effect on me. T F

11. If someone is evaluating me I tend to expect the
worse. T F





12. I rarely worry about the kind of impression I
am making on someone. T F

13. I am afraid that others will not approve of me. T F

14. I am afraid that other people will find fault
with me. T F

15. Other's opinions of me do not bother me. T F

16. I am not necessarily upset if I do not please
someone. T F

17. When I am talking to someone, I worry about
what they may be thinking about me, T F

18. I feel that you can't help making social errors
sometime, so whiy worry about it. T F

19. I am usually worried about what kind of impression
I make. T F

20. I worry a lot about what my superiors think of me. T F

21. If I know that someone is judging me, it has
little effect on me. T F

22. I worry that others will think I am not worth-
while. T F

23. I worry very little about what others may thiink
of me. T F

24. Sometimes I think T am too concerned with what
other people think of me. T F

25. I often worry that I will say or do the wrong
things. T F

26. I am often indifferent to the opinions others
have of me. T F

27. I am usually confident that others will have a
favorable impression of me, T F

28. I often worry that people who are important to me
won't think very much of me. T F

29. I brood about the opinions my friends have about me. T F

30. I become tense and jittery if I know I am being judged
by my superiors. T F





APPENDIX E

RATHIUS ASSERTIVENESS SCHEDULE (RAS)

(Title was Omitted on Subjects' Copies)

DIRECTIONS: Indicate how characteristic or descriptive each of the
following statements is of you by using the code below.

+3 very descriptive of me, extremely characteristic
+2 rather descriptive of me, quite characteristic
+1 somewhat descriptive of me, slightly characteristic
-1 somewhat nondescriptive of me, slightly uncharacteristic
-2 rather nondescriptive of me, quite uncharacteristic
-3 very nondescriptive of me, extremely uncharacteristic



1. Most people seem to be more aggressive and assertive than I am.

2. I have hesitated to make or accept ,dates because of shyness.

3. When the food served at a restaurant is not done to my satis-
faction, I complain about it to the waiter or waitress.

4. I am careful to avoid hurting other people's feelings, even
if I feel that I have been injured.

5. If a salesman has gone to considerable trouble to show me
merchandise which is not quite suitable, I have a difficult
time saying "No".

6. When I am asked to do something, I insist upon knowing why.

7. There are times when I look foy a good, vigorous argument.

8. I strive to get ahead as well as most people in my position.

9. To be honest, people often take advantage of me,

10. I enjoy starting conversations with new acquaintances and
strangers.

11. I often don't know what to say to attractive persons of the
opposite sex.

12. I will hesitate to make phone calls to business establishments
and institutions.





13. I would rather apply for a job or for admission to college by
writing letters than by going through with personal interviews.

14. I find it embarrassing to return merchandise.

15. If a close and respected relative were annoying me, I would
smother my feelings rather than express my annoyance.

16. I have avoided asking questions for fear of sounding stupid.

17. During an argument I am sometimes afraid that I will get so
upset that I will shake all over.

18. If a famed and respected lecturer makes a statement which I
think is incorrect, I will have the audience hear my point of
view.

19. I avoid arguing over prices with clerks and salesmen.

20. W~hen I have done something important or worthwhile, I manage
to let others know about it.

21. I am open and frank about my feelings.

22. If someone has been spreading false and bad stories about me,
I see him/her as soon as possible to "have a talk" about it.

23. I often have a hard time saying "No".

24. I tend to bottle up my emotions rather than make a scene.

25. I complain about poor service in a restaurant and elsewhere.

26. When I am given a compliment, I sometimes just don't know what
to say.

27. If a couple near me in a theatre or at a lecture were conversing
rather loudly, I would ask them to be quiet or to take their
conversation elsewhere.

28. Anyone attempting to push ahead of me in a line is in for a
good battle.

29. I am quick to express an opinion.

30. There are times when I just can't say anything.





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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Dean Wallace Owen, Jr. was born April 29, 1947, in Tampa, Florida.

As the son of a career military officer he attended numerous elementary

and secondary schools and graduated from Minot Senior High School,

Minot, North Dakota, in May, 1965. He attended the University of South

Florida in Tampa, Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree

in Psychology in August, 1970 and a Master of Arts degree in June, 1973.

During his undergraduate and graduate study, Mr. Owen held various

research assistantships and was actively engaged in experimental study

in the fields of animal learning and human physiological conditioning.

Mr. Owen was married in 1973 to the former Nancy J. Brabant and is

the father of three children. Between 1968 and 1974 he served with the

United States Air Force and was later employed by the Hillsborough

County School Board as a personnel manager. Since 1974 he has been

working toward a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education

at the University of Florida. From 1975 until the present time Mr. Owen

has worked as a Vocational Counselor at the Psychological and Vocational

Counseling Center at the University of Florida.





I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.




Harold C. Riker, Chairman
Professor of Education


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.



Roderick J.Jchcavis
Assistant Professor of Education


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.



Donald L,. Avila
Professor of Education


This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Paculty of the College
of Education and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

June, 1977


DeagJ College of Education


Dean, Graduate School




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