This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Willingness to Ostracize for Norm Violations: Examining Ostracism as a Function of Attachment Using Sex-Norm Violations




Lee, Meghan

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


The current study set out to examine the effect of attachment style on willingness to ostracize through ignoring and excluding behaviors. Place-attachment was also a construct of interest in how it affects willingness to ostracize. Participants were a nonrandom sample of individuals recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) and were offered $1 compensation for completion of the survey consisting of a demographics questionnaire, as well as measures of: attachment style, place-attachment, attitudes toward the sex offender population, and willingness to ostracize via ignoring and excluding behaviors. Psychometric soundness was not established for the measures developed (Willingness to Ostracize for Sex Offenses Questionnaire) or adapted (Ostracism Experiences Scale–Revised) for this study. Therefore, two dimensions of the Community Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders Scale, Factors 1 and 2, were utilized during statistical analyses in lieu of the OES–R and WOSO, respectively. One significant finding specific to the hypotheses was produced; having young children increases a person’s belief that sex offenders have the capacity to change. Other exploratory findings were revealed when examining demographic data in relation to the CATSO, such as significant correlations between attitudes toward the sex offender population and the variables of gender, marital status, and sexual identity. Implications for the original research questions pertaining to ostracism cannot be made, as psychometric soundness for the instruments intended to measure ignoring and excluding behaviors was not obtained. Therefore, it is recommended that future research focus solely on qualitative studies to develop adequate tools of measurement before attempting to examine effects of ostracism across other domains of interest.