Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Turesky, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel M. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Keywords

Fear of negative evaluation, social anxiety, conflict competence, conflict resolution styles, LGBTQ+ populations, generation Z, LOS

Abstract

According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace conflict costs employers up to $359 billion annually (as cited by CPP Global, 2008). Considering this cost, teaching the current generation of college students to effectively manage conflict is a charge for colleges and universities who aim to prepare students to successfully enter the workforce after graduation. Current methods of conflict resolution training, however, lack consistency and show varying levels of success. Developing effective tools depends on a clear understanding of barriers students face in learning to effectively resolve conflicts. In looking to examine these barriers, this study explored whether Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE) correlates with avoidance among undergraduate students across the United States. While the correlation between FNE and conflict avoidance was only found to be moderate, correlations to other styles of conflict resolution demonstrate that FNE may play some moderating role in the conflict resolution styles that students most use. The difference in findings between LGBTQ+ participants and other participants with similarly high BFNE-S scores demonstrates that other factors besides FNE must also influence conflict resolution style. These findings strengthen the call for a better understanding of the multiple factors that impact conflict competence.

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