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Group norms, threat, and children's racial prejudice

Nesdale, Drew and Maass, Anne and Durkin, Kevin and Griffiths, Judith (2005) Group norms, threat, and children's racial prejudice. Child Development, 76 (3). pp. 652-663. ISSN 0009-3920

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Abstract

To assess predictions from social identity development theory (SIDT; Nesdale, 2004) concerning children's ethnic/racial prejudice, 197 Anglo-Australian children ages 7 or 9 years participated in a minimal group study as a member of a team that had a norm of inclusion or exclusion. The team was threatened or not threatened by an out-group that was of the same or different race. Consistent with SIDT, prejudice was greater when the in-group had a norm of exclusion and there was threat from the out-group. Norms and threat also interacted with participant age to influence ethnic attitudes, although prejudice was greatest when the in-group had an exclusion norm and there was out-group threat. The implications of the findings for SIDT are discussed.