Attribution Processes in Victims of Marital Violence: Who Do Women Blame and Why?
There is a growing body of literature concerning the attributions of those involved in interpersonal conflict and marital distress (e.g., Fincham & Bradbury, 1988; Holtzworth-Munroe & Jacobson, 1985; Orvis, Kelley, & Butler, 1976; Sillars, 1981). The focus in this literature has often been on an actor’s perceptions of his or her partner, and the studies reveal that those involved in such conflict are likely to attribute blame to the stable characteristics of their partners or adversaries. Furthermore, distressed married couples have been distinguished from the nondistressed by their propensity to make such attributions (Fincham, Beach, & Baucom, 1987). Most of these studies treat actor and partner as equals in their relationship struggles, so that neither is perceived as being a victim of the other. Research has concentrated on the consequences of attributions for subsequent marital satisfaction, and there has therefore been no apparent need to consider in any depth the origins of attributions and whether they are in fact justified.
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