Perceptions of Victims and Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Abuse

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Parker, Sarah Belle
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Middle Tennessee State University
This study explored how type of abuse (physical versus psychological), sex dyad, and respondent sex affected how perpetrators and victims of intimate partner abuse were perceived. Respondents (137 undergraduates) read a scenario depicting intimate partner abuse. Results were analyzed with a series of 2x2x2 ANOVAs. For type of abuse, respondents were more likely to indicate that they would respond by taking action when the intimate partner abuse was physical rather than psychological. In addition, respondents perceived psychological abuse as more normative than physical abuse. Regarding the sex dyad, respondents indicated they would be more likely to take action when the perpetrator was male and the victim was female. When compared to male respondents, female respondents viewed intimate partner abuse as more harmful. Finally, a male perpetrator committing physical abuse was viewed as more responsible for the abuse than a female perpetrator. There was no difference found for psychological abuse.
Gender differences, Intimate partner abuse, Physical abuse, Psychological abuse, Clinical psychology