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Author Gustafson, Amy L
Title Seminarians' response to domestic violence: Sex-role attitudes, just world beliefs, and formal training
book jacket
Descript 127 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-01, Section: B, page: 0615
Chair: Judith Holloway
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Alliant International University, Los Angeles, 2005
Domestic violence continues to be a serious problem in the United States, and women are more likely to be attacked, raped, injured or killed by current or former partners than by any other type of assailant. Past research has found that victims are more likely to approach clergy than any other helping group regarding domestic violence concerns, but often are met with well intentioned but uninformed responses which are sometimes dangerous. Other researchers have proposed that this problem may be perpetuated by patriarchal socialization and values within organized religion
The current investigation sought to broaden the scope of related research by examining the effects of sex-role attitudes, the belief in a just world, and formal seminary training regarding domestic violence issues on seminarians' projected interventions when approached by a domestic violence victim. The Sex-Role Traditionalism Scale was used as a measure of sex-role attitudes, the Just World Scale was used as a measure of the belief in a just world, and a vignette and follow up questionnaire developed by the researcher was used to measure the likelihood of use of various victim supportive and non-supportive interventions. A demographic questionnaire provided further useful information
The total sample of 51 respondents consisted of 34 male and 17 female last-year seminary students of Roman Catholic, Assemblies of God, American Baptist, Lutheran, Reform Judaism, Pentecostal and Christian faith identifications. Subjects were recruited by mail from six seminaries located in the Midwestern states, with the permission of their seminary administrators
Statistical analyses indicated a significant relationship between a stronger endorsement of a belief in a just world and more traditional attitudes about sex-roles. Sex-role traditionalism was positively correlated with higher levels of victim blame with 11 of 15 proposed domestic violence interventions, as well as was associated with decreased likelihood to endorse the ordination of women, and increased self-identification of holding conservative political and religious beliefs
Exposure to domestic violence education in seminary did not have a significant relationship to victim blame, although most subjects reported very limited or no exposure to domestic violence education in their seminaries. An additional related finding indicated that 33% of subjects reported no training regarding child abuse issues, and 41% reported only one to four hours
It was recommended that seminary programs and the governing bodies of organized religions make increased efforts to ensure clergy members are educated regarding domestic violence issues, resources and appropriate interventions, and work to increase awareness of domestic violence issues within their communities. It was further recommended that clergy assess how their own patriarchal attitudes and beliefs about the roles of men and women may affect related interventions. Clergy and mental health practitioners were encouraged to develop improved relationships to assist and educate each other, ultimately to better assist families affected by domestic violence
School code: 1436
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 66-01B
Subject Psychology, Social
Religion, Clergy
Education, Religious
Alt Author Alliant International University, Los Angeles
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