Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 29 Issue 6 (June 1999), Pages 1111-1331

Attributional and Symbolic Predictors of Abortion Attitudes (pages 1218-1245)

Attributional and symbolic politics approaches were used to develop a model relating symbolic predispositions, perceptions of responsibility for unwanted pregnancy, affects, and attitudes toward abortion. In Study 1, a taxonomy of 12 distinct causes of unwanted pregnancy was identified. College‐student subjects in Study 2 rated these causes on importance, controllability, blame, pity, anger, and judgments in favor of abortion. A regression analysis revealed that abortion approval in this student sample is negatively related to conservatism, religiosity, and blame. In Study 3, a more extensive path mode) is offered indicating that abortion approval in a nonstudent sample is linked negatively to religiosity and moral traditionalism, and positively to sympathy. Results of the study demonstrate the utility of applying social psychological theory to abortion attitudes.

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