Paul S. Otto

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


A review of the assertiveness literature from a biblical perspective produced six issues needing further examination: 1) definition of assertiveness, 2) concept of rights, 3) value issues, 4) relationship of self-denial to assertiveness, 5) goals of Christian assertiveness, 6) effects of assertiveness on others. In the present study, 114 subjects were randomly assigned to one of six conditions in a 2x3 analysis of variance design. Stimulus models were identified as "Christian" or "non-Christian" and modeled one of three types of interaction: 1) passive, 2) assertive, 3) considerate assertive. After reading one script, each person completed a 32 item adjective checklist to evaluate the personality of the model to which they were exposed. The 32 items produced four factors (considerate, pleasant, competent, desirable) which were used as the dependent variables. Results indicated that passive models were rated as the most pleasant and considerate. Models demonstrating assertiveness with extra concern for others were rated as the most competent and desirable. Conventional assertive models were rated as more competent than passive with no difference in their level of desirability. Only one difference was found in the rating of the Christian and non-Christian. In the considerate assertive condition, the Christian was rated as more competent than the non-Christian. The discussion listed six concepts to be included in assertiveness training for Christians. It was suggested that acting assertively will probably produce respect from others but not necessarily likeability.

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