Psychological androgyny and stressful life events : a replication

A replication of a study by Shaw (1982) was undertaken to determine the possible mediating effects of psychological androgyny upon common stressful life events. Three hundred and six college students (204 female and 102 male) completed the Bern Sex-Role Inventory and answered four questions concerning psychological adjustment. Subjects were further required to complete a modified version of the Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Scale, a stressful life events questionnaire (Mehrabian & Ross, 1977), indicating the stressful life events they had experienced in the previous 12 months, as rated across the dimensions of anticipation, control, desirability, meaningfulness, and amount of change. Consistent with the original study, it was hypothesized that androgynous subjects, as compared to other sex typed subjects, would rate their stressful life events as (1) less undesirable, (2) requiring a smaller amount of life change, (3) more anticipated, and (4) being more under their personal control. Further, androgynous subjects were hypothesized to rate themselves highest on psychological adjustment, while undifferentiated subjects were expected to report their stressful life events as less meaningful than would other subjects. Finally, it was hypothesized that female subjects would report a significantly greater number of stressful life events than would males. Only one of these hypotheses were supported in the present replication; androgynous subjects were significantly happier than other sex types. Results reflected a weak association between sex type and the combined dependent variables measuring psychological adjustment (n2=.092), and between sex type and the combined stressful life event dimensions (n2=.132). Significant, but weak, associations were found between sex type and: the extent of subject’s worries (n2=.083). Masculine subjects reported less worry and more control over their stressful life events than did other sex types.