Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Kim MacLin


This study investigated the relationship between defensive communication and student outcomes in college classrooms. The researcher hypothesized that students would perceive a greater defensive climate in classes taught by their least favorite professors, and that the defensive climate would encourage the use of coping mechanisms. Defensive communication was also hypothesized to negatively affect student grades, attendance, and course satisfaction and to increase student burnout. Surveys were administered to college students, and results supported all hypotheses. Findings showed that students linked defensive attributes to their least favorite professors more frequently than they did to their favorite professors, and they reported using more coping mechanisms in defensive classrooms. Student grades were lower in defensive classrooms, and the students skipped those classes more frequently. They reported lower satisfaction with courses in which defensive communication took place and also reported greater feelings of burnout.

Year of Submission



Department of Psychology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 46 pages)