GENDER DIFFERENCES IN AGGRESSIVITY AND PERCEIVED STRESS AT ROMANIAN AMATEUR DRIVERS

Popescu Alina

University of Bucharest, Department of Psychology

 

Abstract

The objective of this paper is studying aggressive behaviour and stress while driving in traffic. It is important for the purpose for identifying the factors which contribute to their development and also for decreasing road accidents. As the literature shows, there is a strong correlation between the risk of accidents and aggressiveness, stress, and ineffective driver coping strategies. It was also found that the men have a more aggressive behaviour than women on the road; however, women report higher levels of stress than men regarding driving stress and are more likely to suffer of posttraumatic stress disorder after a car crash or car accident. The objective of this study is to identify gender differences in aggressiveness level and self-perceived stress and in coping strategies used in traffic. The research focused on highlighting the differences between men and women regarding driving behaviour, however, the target population was represented only by non-professional/amateur drivers, which means that those working in this field were excluded. The sample was composed from 61 participants (22 male and 39 female), aged between 19 and 51 years, with an average age of 28.13 years. The instruments which were used to measure the constructs are: Aggressive Vienna Test System, to evaluate the aggressiveness manifested by the driver which measures three dimensions (instrumental aggression, affective aggression and fury) and a questionnaire that evaluates stress and coping strategies on the road. The results show that there are statistically significant differences between males and females concerning instrumental aggression, males reporting higher levels than females. The conclusion is that men exhibit some soft aggressive behaviour, meant to achieve their personal goals but not to harm other road users. Regarding the other constructs measured, no significant differences were found between males and females.

Keywords:activity of driving, aggressiveness, stress, and coping.


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