Effects of race and victim drinking on domestic violence attributions

Lisa A. Harrison, Cynthia Willis Esqueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This research examines the mutual influence of race and victim drinking on college students' domestic violence attributions. Participants were 200, predominately White, middle-class college students. They read a vignette depicting a domestic violence incident. Manipulated within the vignette were batterer race, victim race, and victim drinking. After reading the vignette, participants completed a questionnaire concerning their perceptions of the domestic assault. Results indicate batterers in interracial relationships are attributed more guilt than batterers in same-race relationships. In addition, when domestic violence victims drink alcoholic beverages before a domestic assault, more responsibility for the assault is attributed to Black victims than to their White counterparts. Furthermore, domestic violence victims who drink alcohol are ascribed more blame and derogation in comparison to abstinent domestic violence victims. We examine these findings in relation to stereotypes and gender-role violations. Implications for actors involved in domestic violence are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1057
Number of pages15
JournalSex Roles
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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