The Effect of Race, Provocation, and Sex Role Ideology on Attributions of Female Perpetrated IPV

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Belyea, Lauren




Few studies have jointly examined the effects of perpetrator/victim race and provocation on observer perceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV), especially in the context of female perpetration. In the current study, 511 undergraduate students from a Canadian university were randomly assigned to one of eight vignette conditions wherein the race of the perpetrator (Black, White), victim (Black, White), and verbal victim provocation (present, absent) were varied in a scenario of female perpetrated IPV. A mixed-methods design was used to assess observer perceptions of incident seriousness and attributions of blame. Victim provocation was the most significant predictor across all perception models, accounting for 31% of the explained variance in the model of victim blame. Moreover, some observer effects were reduced to non-significance once a measure of racial bias was introduced as a control variable. Overall findings highlight the need for resources concerning IPV identification and other outreach services on university campuses.


Intimate partner violence




Carleton University

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