An attributional analysis of Saudi male students' reactions toward a friend with AIDS

Badahdah, Abdallah
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The reactions of people toward persons living with AIDS have been studied from different theoretical perspectives. Most of these studies have been conducted in the United States and Western Europe. A small number of studies, however, have been conducted in developing countries. Review of the literature reveals the absence of studies on people's reactions toward AIDS patients in Saudi Arabia. The goal of the present study was to examine Saudi students' emotional reactions and willingness to help a friend with AIDS using Weiner's theory of attribution. Structural equation modeling was used to test several hypotheses. Paths from assignment of responsibility to positive and negative affects were found to be in the predicted directions. Respondents who assigned more responsibility to the AIDS patient for his illness, reported more negative than positive affect. Also, the more positive affect expressed by the respondents the more willing they were to help the AIDS patient. Contrary to Weiner's prediction, no path was found from negative affect to willingness to help. No path was found from assignment of responsibility to willingness to help. Degree of religiosity and belief in a just-world had no influence on assignment of responsibility. Religious respondents reported less positive affect toward a friend with AIDS than less religious respondents. Students with more knowledge about AIDS reported more willingness to help than respondents with less knowledge. No paths were found from fear of AIDS to willingness to help and expression of negative affect.