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ERIC Number: EJ992466
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0886-2605
Distress Resulting from Perceivers' Own Intimate Partner Violence Experiences Predicts Culpability Attributions toward a Battered Woman on Trial for Killing Her Abuser: A Path Model
Stein, Michelle L.; Miller, Audrey K.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, v27 n13 p2527-2544 Sep 2012
Intimate partner violence (IPV) constitutes the majority of assaults against women in the United States, and greater than one third of female homicide victims are murdered by an intimate partner. In a small percentage of cases, battered women kill their abusers, and evidence of battering and its effects may be used to support a plea of self-defense in these cases. Prior research has shown that culpability attributions toward battered women who have killed their abusers are influenced by perceiver variables, including gender. The present study expands on this research by examining the influence of psychological distress resulting from perceivers' own IPV experiences--and the mechanisms of this influence--on their culpability attributions toward a battered woman defendant. Female undergraduates in the present sample (N = 154) read a vignette, adapted from an actual criminal case about a battered woman who had killed her abuser. Data supported a hypothesized path model, wherein participants reporting greater psychological distress resulting from IPV perpetrated against them perceived themselves more similar to the defendant, in turn empathized with her to a greater extent, and, in turn, attributed less legal culpability to her. Implications for future research are discussed. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health