The Relationship between Assertiveness and Decision Making Styles among Emerging Adults


The Relationship between Assertiveness and Decision Making Styles among Emerging Adults


Emerging adulthood, the prolonged years from late teens through twenties marked by change and exploration before arriving at enduring life choices is becoming a normative period for young people worldwide. Past researches have described the emerging adults to be optimistic, assertive, self confident and making independent and effective decisions at the same time as miserable and indecisive. Lack of coherence in the conception about this new and distinct period in human development, the likelihood that it is pervading Indian culture and significance of this stage make it an important area to be explored. Hence, the current study investigates the relationship between assertiveness and decision making styles of emerging adults and attempts to identify the gender differences in their assertiveness and decision making styles.The Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire that measures self-reported decision making coping patterns and Rathus Assertiveness schedule that assesses self reported assertiveness level were administered to 1209 (Male, N = 581; Female, N= 628) undergraduate and post graduate students who were in the age range of 18-25 from five colleges in the city of Bangalore. The results of one way analysis of variance shows that decision making styles do have an influence on assertiveness such that assertiveness is significantly different for vigilance and buck-passing; vigilance and procrastination; vigilance and hyper-vigilance; buck-passing and procrastination and buck-passing and hyper-vigilance. Assertiveness was not significantly different for procrastination and hyper-vigilance. The emerging adults with vigilant style found to be more assertive than those with other decision making styles. 69% of the total sample had vigilant decision making style which is considered to be the effective coping style while only 31% had maladaptive coping styles like buck-passing (10%), procrastination (10%) and Hyper-vigilance (11%). A multiple regression results indicates that decision making style and assertiveness are moderately correlated (R=0.661); decision making style can predict assertiveness with a 0.661 accuracy level and that this value is significant at the 0.01 level of significance and that decision making style explains 43.7% of the variance in assertiveness (R2=0.437). No statistically significant gender differences were found in assertiveness and decision making styles. The study reveals that emerging adults choice and the frequency of usage of decision making style indicate the individual differences like assertiveness. It is recommended that existing literature on the decision making style and assertiveness can be enhanced with additional research that further examines the relationships among these constructs with a sample of emerging adults from different social, economic, cultural and academic background, adopting both qualitative and quantitative methods to reduce the sampling error and weaknesses of self report measures. In line with the findings obtained from the research, a training programme for improving decision making styles like assertiveness skill training could be developed even in educational settings. The results have implications for professionals working with university-aged individuals, particularly in the area of career and guidance and making stressful personal decisions with regard to life. Key Words: Emerging adults, Decision-Making Styles, vigilance, buck-passing, procrastination, hyper-vigilance, Assertiveness


Joseph Flomy






Joseph Flomy , “The Relationship between Assertiveness and Decision Making Styles among Emerging Adults,” CHRIST (Deemed To Be University) Institutional Repository, accessed February 29, 2024,

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