Responsibility attributions and social support provision to divorcees
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This thesis examined the relationship between attributions of responsibility and intended helping behavior toward a hypothetical divorcing ftiend. Respondents were recruited via the Internet. It was found that, the higher the degree of responsibility attributed to a divorcing firiend, the lower the (a) respondents' perceived legitimacy of that firiend asking for help, (b) time respondents would spend helping the friend, and (c) respondents' willingness to help the friend. Attitudes toward divorce were found to affect this relationship. When locus of responsibility was with the spouse (e.g., the hypothetical friend was divorcing because the spouse was drinking), the relationship between attributions of responsibility and helping behavior was sttonger among those with more accepting attitudes toward divorce. Furthermore, intended helping behavior was found to be affected by gender of friend and gender of respondent. Respondents reported higher levels of intended helping for female friends, and female respondents reported they would spend more time helping than male respondents. Results are discussed in terms of previous research findings and attribution theory. Directions for future research are also discussed.