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Journal Article


Radkiewicz P, Korzeniowski K. J. Interpers. Violence 2017; 32(24): 3797-3821.


Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Psychology, Warsaw, Poland.


(Copyright © 2017, SAGE Publishing)






The violence against the elderly and disabled is widespread. This means that many people who witness acts of violence against elders and the disabled do not react. Instead, they are rather inclined to develop permissive attitudes. The presented article distinguishes two permissive attitudes toward witnessed violence against the elderly and disabled: justification and indifference. The rationale for such differentiation is justified with reference to differences concerning (a) the strength of their relationship, (b) their frequency distribution in the population, and (c) the disparate influence of the underlying predictors. A survey study carried out on a nationwide representative sample of 1,000 adult Poles was the empirical basis for answering research questions. The study showed that domestic violence against elders and the disabled is a noticeable phenomenon in the population of Poland. Around 50% of respondents claimed that they came in touch with physical, economic, or psychological violence against the elderly. More than 30% reported the same in the case of disabled persons. Based on this study, it was found that justification of and indifference to violence were actually unrelated phenomena. Moreover, justification was much less widespread in the population than indifference. It seems easier to accept excuses for passivity in the face of violence than to find justifications for violence. Both permissive attitudes turned out to have a disparate pattern of predictors: Justification turned out to be mainly a function of environmental exposure to violence, whereas indifference was mainly a matter of worldview based on materialism and the imperative of self-interest.

Language: en


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