|dc.description.abstract||This study examines gender differences in interpersonal conflicts from a narrative perspective.
The literature on interpersonal conflict, with a special focus on gender differences, is considered,
with a focus on the theories of five authors- Bakan (1966), Gilligan (1982/1993), McAdams
(1988), Tannen (1990), and Baron-Cohen (2003). These authors' theories coalesce around the
ideas that power and intimacy can be conceived of as a dualism, and that men and women focus
on different aspects of this dualism. In accordance with these theories, it was hypothesized that
men will tend to describe interpersonal conflicts in terms of power and women in terms of
intimacy. Twenty-five college students (13 men and 12 women) at a small, Midwestern, liberal arts
college were interviewed about their attitudes towards conflict and specific conflicts with
their parents, friends, and romantic partners. Their stories about conflicts were coded for power
and intimacy themes, and supported the hypothesis that women focus on intimacy. Limited
evidence was found to support the hypothesis that men focus on power. Questions and possible
explanations raised by these results are considered. Narrative analysis of these stories identified
a cultural model of conflict that links implicit ideas about anger, space, time, and living together.
Keywords: gender differences, interpersonal conflict, cultural models||en_US