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Attitudes and Attributions Associated With Female and Male Partner Violence1


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    This project was supported by a University of Otago research grant to the second author. The authors thank Natasha Pomeroy, Ben McEachen, Kirsty Pinder, and Vincent Waide for their invaluable assistance. They also thank two anonymous reviewers and Andrew Baum for their constructive comments.

Tamar Murachver, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. E-mail:


In an interview study, we examined attitudes toward intimate partner violence (IPV). We examined whether attitudes toward IPV varied as a function of sample (student, general, and incarcerated), participant gender, and abuse history, or as a function of perpetrator gender. Additionally, participants' conflict-resolution strategies were examined. Findings revealed that perpetrator gender and participant abuse history were the most influential factors in shaping attitudes. Males and females evaluated violence similarly. Overall, there was greater acceptance for abuse perpetrated by females than by males, and participants who had either perpetrated or received abuse were the most condoning of IPV. A lack of conflict skills was associated with IPV. For males, this lack of skills generalized to situations outside of the relationship.

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