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Cabeldue MK, Cramer RJ, Kehn A, Crosby JW, Anastasi JS. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(23): 3656-3685.


Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA.


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






Employing the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) of 2009 and other such legislation as a backdrop, the present study evaluated the nature of beliefs about hate-crime legislation, offenders, and victims. In addition, it investigated construct validity (i.e., political beliefs and prejudice) and predictive validity (i.e., blame attribution and sentencing recommendations). A total of 403 U.S. adults completed measures of prejudice and an initial pool of 50 items forming the proposed Hate Crime Beliefs Scale (HCBS). Participants were randomly assigned to read one of four hate-crime vignettes, which varied in regard to type of prejudice (racial-, sexual orientation-, transgender-, and religion-based prejudices) and then responded to blame and sentencing questions. Factor analyses of the HCBS resulted in four sub-scales: Negative Views (i.e., higher scores reflect negative views of legislation and minority group protection), Offender Punishment (i.e., higher scores suggest endorsement of greater punishment), Deterrence (i.e., greater scores denote support for hate-crime legislation as a deterrent of more violence), and Victim Harm (i.e., higher scores reflect pro-victim attitudes). Greater pro-legislation and pro-victim beliefs were related to liberal political beliefs and less prejudicial attitudes, with some exceptions. Controlling for a number of demographic, situational, and attitudinal covariates, the Negative Views sub-scale displayed predictive utility, such that more negative views of legislation/minority group protection were associated with elevated victim blame, as well as lower perpetrator blame and sentencing recommendations.

RESULTS are discussed in the context of hate-crime research and policy, with additional implications considered for trial strategy, modern prejudice, and blame attribution theory.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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