A Social Identity Approach to Understanding Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Allegations

Minto, Kiara (2014). A Social Identity Approach to Understanding Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Minto, Kiara
Thesis Title A Social Identity Approach to Understanding Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Allegations
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-06
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Matthew Hornsey
Total pages 82
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The current study sought to examine social identity factors that may contribute to the widespread failure of institutions to respond appropriately to allegations of child sexual abuse. Six hundred and one participants completed a survey responding to items before and after exposure to a news article detailing an allegation of child sexual abuse against a Catholic Priest. An intergroup bias effect emerged such that Catholics indicated less willingness to judge the allegation as valid than non-Catholic Christians who in turn indicated less willingness to judge the allegation as valid than non-Christians. This bias was reflected in participants’ attitudes to the alleged victim and the Priest as well as punitiveness should the Priest be convicted. Intergroup biases were particularly evident amongst those Catholic respondents who identified highly with their religious group. In comparison to low identifying Catholics, high identifying Catholics responded with more suspicion towards the accused, responded more positively to the Priest and less positively to the alleged victim, and recommended more lenient punishment of the Priest. There was no similar effect of identification for non-Catholics. This research has the potential to provide greater insight into social identity factors that may result in tolerance or concealment of child sexual abuse allegations where guilt of the accused is uncertain.
Keyword Social identity
Child sexual abuse
Catholic priests

 
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Created: Thu, 30 Apr 2015, 11:37:21 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology