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Relationships between courage, self-construals and other associated variables

Yalçındağ, Bilge
As an age old virtue, courage has been linked to several characteristics; however, the number of empirical studies discussing these linkages is few. Also, the literature lacks a proper self report measure of courage. With these voids in mind, the aims of the present research are threefold: a) to develop a new scale to measure courage which has been mostly understood in terms of being able to present oneself in a genuine way, perseverance under difficult circumstances, and pursuit of morally right behavior; b) to investigate self related differences in courage within the context of Balanced Integration and Differentiation (BID) Model of self (İmamoğlu, 2003) and c) to explore the relationship between courage and other proposed related constructs. A set of questionnaires including the Courage Scale, BID Scale (İmamoğlu, 1998), Battery of Interpersonal Capabilities (Paulhus, & Martin 1988), Moral Courage Scale (Bronstein et al, 2007), Short Form of Authenticity Scale (İmamoğlu et al, 2009), Hope Scale (Snyder et al, 1991), and Voice Scale (Van Dyne, & LePine, 1998) have been administered to 313 university students (182 female, 127 males and 4 not specified). Results suggested that the newly developed Courage Scale had acceptable levels of internal consistency. Also, it showed converging patterns with Moral Courage Scale which is a more specific measure of the concept throughout different analyses. In congruence with the literature, courage was positively correlated with voice behavior and certain personality characteristics such as self-confidence, assertiveness or honesty. Based on the results, it was concluded that people who have balanced and separated-individuated selves (i.e. who had satisfied both individuational and relational needs and who had satisfied only individuational need, respectively) had higher scores of courage than other self types indicating the importance of intrapersonal developmental orientation for courage. However, both individuation and relatedness were powerful predictors of courage in regression analyses. Results involving a proposed model of courage as a latent variable (predicted by the Courage and Moral Courage Scales) indicated that relatedness, individuation and hope predicted courage indirectly through the mediation of authenticity while the latter two variables also predicted it directly. The study contributed to the literature by exploring the role of self on courage for the first time, by specifying various empirical relationships among concepts that are regarded close to courage and by suggesting a model of courage. The results were discussed in terms of limitations and suggestions as well.