Comparing normative influence from multiple groups: Beyond family, religious ingroup norms predict children's prejudice towards refugees

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Abstract

In the wake of the global refugee crisis, children are exposed to negative attitudes from public and private spheres. Previous research has identified family, peer, and school norms as significant predictors of children's inter-ethnic attitudes. We extend this literature by examining normative influence from wider society, which has received substantially less attention. Among 266 children (Mage = 11.24), this study investigates the relative contributions of norms from five ingroups (family, class-peers, Irish, religious and all-humanity) to predict children's anti-refugee bias. Perceptions of positive family and religious norms were the strongest unique predictors of contact intentions and warmth towards refugees. Intergroup anxiety and perceived threat mediated these relationships. Social dominance orientation mediated family normative influence only. These findings highlight the importance of broader groups (beyond that of proximal ingroups) for understanding children's intergroup attitudes.

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Smith, E. M., & Minescu, A. (2021). Comparing normative influence from multiple groups: Beyond family, religious ingroup norms predict children’s prejudice towards refugees. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 81, 54–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2020.12.010

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