A comparison of frustration-aggression patterns among members of eighteen families in Houston, Texas



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The present study, a part of a larger project that has been initiated at the University of Houston, was concerned with similarities or differences in the patterns of aggressive reaction to frustration displayed within family units as groups and between specific family members as pairs. The Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study, both the Form for Adults and the Form for Children, was administered to the members of 18 families. With four members in each family (father, mother, son, and daughter), the total sample included 72 subjects. In order to control certain socio-cultural, economic, and religious variables that have a demonstrated influence on frustration-aggression reaction, appropriate restrictions were placed on the selection of subjects. To determine the degree of association among the responses of family members as units and between the reactions of family members as pairs, Spearman's Rank-Order Correlation Coefficients (rho) were computed. Such coefficients were also used for determining the degree of comparability between the two forms of the Picture-Frustration Study. Two conclusions are warranted by the data: (1) Although certain family members apparently react to frustration in a manner significantly similar to the reactions of other family members with regard to the degree to which a certain type or direction of response is utilized, no specific family members serve as models for the aggressive behavior of others. Instead, there seem to be broad individual differences in frustration-aggression reaction patterns both between paired family members and within family units. (2) Despite the fact that the two test forms appear to be comparable in the degree to which they tend to elicit certain types or directions of aggressive responses, overall they do not appear to be fully equivalent and should not be used interchangeably. Females respond to the two forms in a significantly more similar fashion than do the males, perhaps reflecting a greater consistency in the manner in which they behave in the face of differing frustrating situations.