Adaptive and aggressive assertiveness scales (AAA-S)

Renee J. Thompson, Howard Berenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diminished assertiveness has been associated with neuroticism, depression, and anxiety. Although many assertiveness instruments have been developed for research and clinical purposes, one common shortcoming is a lack of discriminant validity with regard to aggression. Further, the wording of many instruments is outdated and discriminatory. The goal of the present research was to develop a more sensitive instrument measuring two distinguishable forms of assertiveness: adaptive assertiveness and aggressive assertiveness. We present data validating such a measure, the Adaptive and Aggressive Assertiveness Scales (AAA-S). Participants included two samples of college students and a clinical sample of adults with anxiety disorders. The AAA-S demonstrated good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The aggressive assertiveness scale was associated with various forms of aggression and peer reports of aggressive assertiveness. The adaptive assertiveness scale was associated with competence and peer reports of adaptive assertiveness. Importantly, there were no gender differences in adaptive assertiveness. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Assertiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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