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Effects of peer group rejection and a new group's norms on children's intergroup attitudes

Nesdale, D. and Maass, A. and Kiesner, J. and Durkin, K. and Griffiths, J.A. and James, B. (2009) Effects of peer group rejection and a new group's norms on children's intergroup attitudes. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27 (4). pp. 799-814. ISSN 0261-510X

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Abstract

This study examined the effects of peer group rejection and a new group's norms on 7- and 9-year old children's intergroup attitudes. Children (N=82) were rejected or accepted by an initial group, then accepted by a new group that had a norm of inclusion versus exclusion towards others. Results showed that rejected compared with accepted children had a more negative attitude towards the initial group, that they were equally positive towards their new group, but that the rejected children were more negative towards an outgroup. Results also revealed an age × target group × group norm effect that indicated that the younger children's attitudes towards the three groups were more negative in the exclusion versus acceptance norm condition. The older children were also more negative towards the initial and new groups in the exclusion condition, but their more positive attitudes towards the outgroup were unaffected by the group norms. The bases of the effects of peer group rejection and group norms are discussed.