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If I Can't Have You, No One Can: Development of a Relational Entitlement and Proprietariness Scale (REPS)

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 21 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2006 Pages: 539-560
Annegret F. Hannawa M.A.; Brian H. Spitzberg Ph.D.; Liesbeth Wiering M.A.; Christy Teranishi Ph.D.
Date Published
October 2006
22 pages
This study proposed to create and validate a measure of proprietariness or entitlement beliefs and dispositions, suggesting the potential power of proprietariness and entitlement to intimate partner violence.
The results of this study provide a direct measure of relational entitlement and proprietariness linking them to intimate aggression and violence. It is the threat of loss or violation of these proprietary entitlements that seems to arouse violent inclinations directed at countering the threat. The study indicated that 22 percent of the variance in instrumental aggressiveness was explained by proprietariness. It was found that individuals with low self-esteem were more likely to engage in behaviorally and socially controlling behavior than individuals with high self-esteem. The Relational Entitlement and Proprietary Scale developed and partially validated in this study offers a new avenue for studying and understanding factors that might predict intimate partner violence. Research shows that approximately one-third of female murder victims in the United States are killed by their intimate partner. Research has also attempted to explain such violent acts in intimate relationships through various factors: self esteem, attachment styles, sex role ideology, and possessiveness. Few studies directly link intimate violence to the concept of relational proprietariness. However, the measure developed in this study directly calculates a person’s level of relational entitlement and proprietariness and provides a potentially important new tool to predict a person’s potential tendency to commit violent acts against his/her intimate partner. The social control factor of relational proprietariness accounted for 15 percent of the variance in expressive aggression. Instrumental aggressiveness represents a type of aggression that is expressed strategically. Study participants consisted of 279 undergraduate students from a university who completed an online questionnaire. Tables, references


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