Date of Award

10-19-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Fritz, Patti

Keywords

attitudes, attributions, gender, helping, social cognition

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The current study investigated how young adults (i.e., helpers) who are approached by a dating aggression (DA) victim respond to the victim. It was hypothesized that most helpers would give helpful responses, that women would give more helpful responses than men, that female victims would receive more helpful responses than male victims, and that helpers’ attributions and attitudes would predict type of responses given. Students (N = 162) completed online measures of demographics, hostile attribution bias, attitudes about gender roles, attitudes about DA, and questions assessing help-giving experiences. Helpers gave more helpful than unhelpful responses, men gave more unhelpful responses than women, and there was no difference between responses given to male and female victims. Condemning attitudes about DA and traditional gender role attitudes predicted more unhelpful responses and increased hostile attribution was associated with encouraging the victim to seek help. These findings have implications for helping victims of DA.

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