An Attributional Analysis of Gender and Cancer-Related Stigma

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Abstract

This experiment examined the impact of gender on cancer-related stigma from Weiner's (An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. Springer, New York, 1986) attributional perspective. Undergraduates (n = 204; 59% female; 71% White) and community members (n = 85; 62% female; 64% White) in the northeastern U.S. were assigned randomly to listen to an audiotaped interview of a target person with lung cancer in which gender and smoking status (nonsmoker, smoker, or unspecified) were manipulated. Participant and target gender predicted participants' perceptions of disease controllability and anger toward the target person. The target person's smoking status also predicted participants' perceptions of disease controllability and emotional responses to the target person. Findings partially support Weiner's (An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. Springer, New York, 1986) theory and suggest that the relationship between gender and cancer-related stigma deserves further investigation.

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