Child sexual abuse attributions among undergraduate psychology students in Singapore

Hawkins, Russell, and Teng Sze Wei, Stephanie (2017) Child sexual abuse attributions among undergraduate psychology students in Singapore. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26 (7). pp. 839-852.

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Abstract

Experimental vignettes were used to investigate attributions relating to child sexual abuse with a focus on the degree of blame allocated to the family and to society, factors thought to be particularly relevant in a collectivist society. One hundred and sixty-two undergraduates in Singapore evaluated media reports describing a case of child sexual abuse. A 2 x 2 x 2 between-subjects design manipulated victim sex, perpetrator sex, and victim–perpetrator relationship. Participants rated the vignettes on degree of blame and prevention potential and rated the abusiveness of the case. Individualism and collectivism attitudes of the participants were also measured. While the highest blame ratings were attributed to perpetrators, significantly more blame was attributed to the family and to society than to the victim. The demonstration of the present attributions of blame to family and to society is a timely finding given recent recommendations to broaden approaches to child abuse prevention by moving away from a reliance on school based child protection programs, which leave the onus on the child to prevent and report abuse, toward a public health approach, which is particularly inclusive of parent and community education approaches . Allocation of some blame to victims, in spite of their status as children, while not a unique finding in victimology research, emphasizes the challenges still to be faced in encouraging the reporting of child sexual abuse.

Item ID: 50004
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1547-0679
Keywords: attribution, child sex abuse, collectivism, parents, Singapore, society, vignette
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2017 01:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
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