Examining the roles of victim-perpetrator relationship and emotional closeness in judgments toward a depicted child sexual abuse case

Davies, M and Patel, Fehmida and Rogers, Paul (2013) Examining the roles of victim-perpetrator relationship and emotional closeness in judgments toward a depicted child sexual abuse case. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28 (5). pp. 887-909. ISSN 0886-2605

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Official URL: http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/28/5/887.short

Abstract

The current study investigated the impact that respondent gender, victim– perpetrator relationship, and the level of emotional closeness had on attributions in a hypothetical child sexual abuse case. A total of 160 university students read a hypothetical scenario depicting a female child sexually abused by an adult male. The perpetrator was either the victim’s biological father or her stepfather, with this relationship described as being either emotionally close or emotionally distant. Respondents read one of four (2 victim–perpetrator relationship × 2 emotional closeness) scenarios before completing 26 attribution items pertaining to credibility, blame, and severity. Principle components analysis yielded five factors, namely victim credibility, mother culpability, perpetrator culpability, assault severity, and victim culpability. Multivariate analysis of covariance—controlling for respondent (Caucasian vs. non-Caucasian) ethnicity—revealed, as predicted, significant main effects for respondent gender, victim–perpetrator relationship, and emotional closeness. In general, females assigned more provictim/ antiperpetrator/antimother attributions than males. Results were also suggested that both victim–perpetrator relationship and emotional closeness influence attributions made toward the victim, perpetrator, and nonoffending mother. Methodological issues and suggestions for future work are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr M Lowe
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 15:06
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2015 16:19
Identification Number: 10.1177/0886260512459376
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/706

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