Gender differences in attributions and emotions in helping contexts

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Abstract

Gender differences in the provision and receipt of emotional support may result from differences in the formation of responsibility and effort attributions in support-seeking interactions. Participants (N = 1,211, primarily middle-class, European American college students) read support-seeking scenarios that varied in support-seeker gender, responsibility for the problem, and effort to resolve the problem, as well as the problem itself, and completed measures of responsibility, effort attributions, and emotions (anger, sympathy). Results indicated qualified and subtle gender differences in attributions, emotions, and attribution-emotion associations, which are broadly consistent with the application of gendered moral orientations and instrumentality norms. These findings are discussed with respect to theorizing about gender differences in attribution processes and emotional support behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalSex Roles
Volume48
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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