Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
MORENO MARTIN, Florentino. Authoritarian attitudes and violence in Madrid. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.4-5, pp.286-294. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999000400012.
One of the objectives of the Multicentric Study on Cultural Norms and Attitudes Toward Violence (Estudio Multicéntrico sobre Actitudes y Normas Culturales frente a la Violencia, the ACTIVA project) is to analyze the relationship between those attitudes that foster violence and the violent behaviors themselves. This article examines the relationship between attitudes and two components of violence: its justification and its actual occurrence. Data were collected in Madrid between October and December 1996 from a representative sample of 1219 people, who were interviewed at home with the common questionnaire used for the ACTIVA project, with some additional questions. Overall, the sample respondents scored low on the authoritarianism scale. Persons who most strongly justified the use of violence scored higher on authoritarianism, along with those who customarily displayed a higher level of aggression. Attitudes that were more strongly authoritarian were found in low-income neighborhoods, in people who were not part of the workforce, in people with less education, and in those persons who described themselves as having a right-wing ideology. If people who are more authoritarian justify and practice violence more than others, it becomes necessary to encourage criticism of those who abuse their power and tolerance toward differences, in order to prevent such behaviors without disregarding the influence of the social variables previously mentioned.