Journal Article

Blaming others for threatening events.

Tennen H; Affleck G.

This detailed review summarizes existing evidence on how people adapt to threatening events by blaming others. Discussion includes a synthesis of past work and explanations for findings from both the psychoanalytic perspective and the social psychology literature. Based on their assessment that these explanations fall short, the authors present a different model that focuses on factors influencing the incidence of blaming others and the consequences of doing so. Their model argues for a relationship between situational factors and personal characteristics, with interpersonal and intrapersonal mediators playing a role, which ultimately leads to adaptation and blame of others. They include a discussion of limitations in their proposed model as well as recommendations for future study.