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Title:The assessment and structure of rape myths
Author(s):Payne, Diana Lisa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Psychology, Clinical
Psychology, Psychometrics
Abstract:Although there exists a considerable amount of research on the topic of rape myths, this research has been limited by several factors, including the lack of effort devoted to understanding the structure and composition of rape myths, and the poor quality of existing measures of rape myth acceptance. This project addressed these and other shortcomings in the rape myth literature. Three sets of studies were conducted. One large dataset containing 780 participants served as the basis for much of the work within these studies. These 780 participants were all university students, 53% were women, and their mean age was 18.8 years (SD = 2.0). Participants rated their level of agreement to 104 items concerning rape and completed several other measures of psychological constructs. In addition, several other smaller datasets were obtained for specific purposes throughout the three sets of studies. The first set of studies examined the composition and structure of rape myths. Multivariate techniques identified seven distinct and interpretable rape myth components. Based on these findings, structural equations models were used to determine the best representation of the relationships among the rape myths. This best-fitting model represents rape myth acceptance as consisting of both a general component and the seven specific sub-components. The adjusted-goodness-of-fit index for this model was.87, indicating a very good fit to the data. In the second set of studies, a measure of rape myth acceptance designed to conform to the structural model described above was developed. This measure consists of 40 items, and possesses very good psychometric properties. Three additional studies supported the validity of this measure. Finally, the third set of studies examined the functioning of the seven rape myth components in subgroups of individuals. Although the patterns were the same, the overall levels of rape myth acceptance differed among fraternity men, non-fraternity men, and women. Subgroups of individuals with distinct patterns of acceptance were identified using K-means cluster analysis, and then characterized by external variables. The findings of this project are discussed with regard to their implications for theory, research, and social policy.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Payne, Diana Lisa
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9411749
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9411749

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