Attitudes toward and justification for wife abuse among Syrian medical and nursing students.
ABSTRACT To explore the perceptions of and attitudes toward violence and beliefs of contextual justification of wife abuse among Syrian medical and nursing students.
A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used. The Perceptions of and Attitudes toward Wife Abuse Questionnaire was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 621 medical and nursing students from three public universities in Syria.
Only 18.4% of the students had positive attitudes toward interpersonal violence reflecting low tolerance to wife beating and use of physical force for problem solving and child discipline, and 16.1% did not justify wife beating. Medical, older, female students, from urban areas, with more educated parents, and those who did not experience violence or witness violence between their parents had significantly more positive attitudes toward wife abuse and significantly less justification of wife beating (p < .05).
Education about violence against women of future medical and nursing students is the responsibility of medical and nursing educators and health policy makers, who have to acknowledge the influence of the sociocultural factors in shaping student's attitudes toward wife abuse and develop strategies to enhance these attitudes at the early stages of professional preparation.