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Conflict behaviors toward same-sex and opposite-sex peers among male and female late adolescents

Differences between males and females in regard to conflict behaviors toward same-sex and opposite-sex peers were examined in a sample of 501 undergraduate university students (326 males, 175 females). They completed a one-page questionnaire containing the theoretical definitions of five conflict behaviors identified by Thomas (1976): competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating. Students were asked to rate the extent to which they exhibit each of these conflict behaviors, on a 5-point Likert-type scale, separately for same-sex and opposite-sex peers. Results revealed that males reported more competing behavior toward same-sex peers than toward opposite-sex peers, and more avoiding behavior toward opposite-sex peers than toward same-sex peers. Males, compared to females, reported more accommodating behavior toward both same-sex and opposite-sex peers. These findings support the view that preferences regarding conflict behaviors are different for males and females, particularly as exhibited toward same-sex and opposite-sex peers.