ERIC Number: ED252787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-28
Reference Count: 0
Understanding Violence between Intimate Partners: The Effects of Personal Experience and Victim Reactions on Labelling it "Battering" and Allocating Blame.
Sedlak, Andrea J.
To investigate reactions to violence between intimate partners, 125 undergraduates (68 males, 57 females) completed a three-part questionnaire. The instrument assessed general attitudes about violence between intimates, respondents' personal history as victim or abuser, and their willingness to use the label "battering". In addition, 24 evaluation, perception, and attribution questions for a hypothetical scenario involving intimate-partner violence were included. Results showed that respondents who had been both victim and abuser (8%) had longer violent relationships, were more likely to still be in those relationships, and reported more occurrences of violent episodes than persons who had been only victims (10%) or abusers (6%). Abusers were found to be as empathetic toward a hypothetical victim as were those who had been victims; however, those in the roles of victim and abuser emerged as significantly lower in victim empathy. Respondents who had had violent experiences (either as victim, abuser, or both) declined to use the term "battering" in reference to themselves. However, those who had suffered the most serious consequences in a violent relationship were the most willing to label an experience battering. Whether the victim responded passively or was violent in return affected respondents' evaluations of the scenario, with the specific form of the effect in each case dependent upon the nature of the respondents' own experiences with intimate violence. Two tables and 13 figures are appended. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blame; Intimacy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).