Date of Award

1985

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Henry Biller

Abstract

Given the advent of genetically engineered human growth hormone, there is a pressing need to better understand the personality correlates and impact of short stature in males. One hundred-twenty college age Caucasian males of short, average and tall stature were administered measures of self-concept, body-cathexis, psychological security, and a semantic-differential measure. In addition, a questionnaire regarding the importance of height in daily life was also included.

The broadly-based literature review strongly suggests that short stature in males is a distinct developmental and social liability.

The results of the present study supported the first prediction that short subjects would feel significantly less positive about their bodies than their taller peers. The average-height and tall subjects did not differ significantly from each other regarding their overall feelings about their bodies.

The second prediction that short males would demonstrate a less favorable self-concept was substantially supported. The third prediction that short males would demonstrate

The third prediction that short males would demonstrate greater psychological insecurity was not supported.

The fourth prediction that short subjects would report more pronounced feelings regarding the impact of height in their daily lives was substantially supported.

The fifth prediction that the sample as a whole would attribute negatively valenced and less socially valued personality traits to men of short height was strongly supported. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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