Traumatic Events and Generational Differences in Assumptions About a Just World

January 1, 1998
The Journal of Social Psychology

This study examines the degree to which reported age differences affect beliefs about benevolence and justice when control is exercised on the influence of variations in cultural contexts and on the personal experience of stressful life events. Individuals were placed into one of 3 generational groups on the basis of age: those under 25, those between 25 and 55, and those 59 and older. The following measures were used: the World Assumptions Scale, the Just World Scale, and the Traumatic Stress Schedule. To assess the possible influence of critical life events on assumptions about the world, the gender ±×± generation analysis was repeated using total stress score as a covariate, thus removing its effect. The lack of significant statistical impact of the stressfulness of critical life events on generational differences in assumptive worlds suggests that such foundational assumptions as the perception of benevolence and justice of the world are not always influenced by traumatic events.

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