The effects of 157 university students’gender, attitudes toward women (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973), and just‐world beliefs (Lerner, 1980) on their perceptions and attributions regarding the perpetrator and victim of an instance of wife abuse were examined. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed two patterns of results, each differentially associated with participants’gender. Consistent with Heider's (1958) balance theory, males blamed and derogated the wife/victim more as their attitudes toward women became less favorable. Among females, in contrast, those with positive attitudes toward women blamed, but did not derogate, the wife/victim more as their just‐world beliefs became stronger. The latter finding is interpreted in view of research which suggests that women may blame a victim of violence toward women in an effort to gain perceived control over the possibility of their own potential victimization. The implications of these findings for understanding and changing people's perceptions of the victims of wife abuse are discussed. Copyright

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Journal Psychology of Women Quarterly
Kristiansen, C.M, & Giulietti, R. (Rita). (1990). PERCEPTIONS OF WIFE ABUSE: Effects of Gender, Attitudes toward Women, and Just‐World Beliefs among College Students. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 14(2), 177–189. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1990.tb00013.x