Adam Clarke

Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Pearl Berman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Maureen McHugh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William Meil, Ph.D.


Though various Big Five personality traits have been shown to be predictive of Emergent Leadership emergence within in person groups, the link between these had remained largely unstudied in online situations. Additionally researchers have found that situational factors can influence the expression of personality factors to a large extent. This study investigated the effects of the Big Five personality traits and Adverse Childhood Experiences on Leadership Emergence in an online violence prevention discussion group. Researchers administered the Big Five Inventory (BFI) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Scale. A two-step hierarchical equation model, controlling for age and gender, was then utilized in order to examine correlations between these variables and the average amount or responses to original posts, which in this case was utilized as a measure of emergent leadership, made by 49 group participants. Results were insignificant in all cases. Possible reasons for the lack of significant findings and recommendations for future researchers, such as a more refine personality measure and partial site moderation, are discussed.