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Adolescent Racial Prejudice Development
 

Adolescent Racial Prejudice Development

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    Adolescent Racial Prejudice Development Adolescent Racial Prejudice Development Presentation Transcript

    • Adolescent racial prejudice development: the role of friendship quality and inter-racial contact Fiona White, PhD School of Psychology
    • Introduction and rationale for this study
      • Prejudice toward racial minority groups remains a prevalent social problem in Australia (Dunn, 2003; Fraser & Islam, 2000). Despite this, there has been limited research investigating prejudice development, particularly amongst adolescents.
    • Forms of racial prejudice
      • Blatant/ traditional prejudice involves the open expression of negative attitudes/emotions towards minority groups (Meertens & Pettigrew, 1997).
      • Subtle/modern prejudice is indirect and involves the denial of expressions of positive emotions towards a minority group (Meertens & Pettigrew, 1997)
    • Forms of racial prejudice in Australia
      • Pedersen and Walker (1997) found in an Australian sample that subtle racial prejudice was more prevalent than blatant prejudice, and that blatant prejudice was declining in Australia (Walker, 1994).
      • It is predicted that
      • H1: Adolescents will report higher levels of subtle prejudice towards Asian and Middle Eastern Australians than blatant prejudice.
    • Social-cognitive factors and adolescent prejudice development
      • By adolescence, peers play an increasingly important role, including a greater influence on racial attitudes (Ritchey & Fishbein, 2001; Verkuyten, 2002).
      • More mature cognitions have developed which enable the differentiation of people from the same racial group in more accurate and realistic ways (Black-Gutman, & Hickson, 1996).
    • Social-cognitive factors and adolescent prejudice development
      • Late adolescents possess more experience and exposure to people of a variety of cultures, thus increasing one’s social contact with other racial groups.
    • Social-cognitive factors and adolescent prejudice development
      • Late adolescents attend more to individual differences rather than to racial group stereotypes compared to middle adolescents (Aboud, 1988).
      • Given the assumption that prejudice stems in part from simplistic social thinking, one would expect prejudice to decline as adolescents progress to more abstract levels of thinking (Hoover & Fishbein, 1999).
    • Social-cognitive factors and adolescent prejudice development
      • It is predicted that
      • H2: University (late) adolescents will show less prejudice towards Asian and Middle Eastern Australians than high-school (middle) adolescents.
    • Friendship quality and racial prejudice development
      • Ritchey and Fishbein’s (2001) found no association between adolescents’ and their friend’s prejudiced attitudes, concluding that friends do not influence adolescent prejudice development.
      • Importantly however, they did not measure a) friendship quality as a moderator of this correlation, or b) analyse this association within close reciprocal friendship dyads.
    • Friendship quality and racial prejudice development
      • Similarity in friends’ attitudes can come about via
      • i) initial friendship selection - friends are selected on the basis of their similar attitudes including racial attitudes; or
      • ii) mutual socialisation - close friend’s attitudes assimilate with, and accommodate for, one another as the friendship grows in closeness.
    • Friendship quality and racial prejudice development
      • According to initial friendship selection and mutual socialisation approaches one would expect close friends (i.e., high friendship quality) to share more similar prejudiced attitudes compared with acquaintances (moderate to low friendship quality). Therefore, it is predicted that
      • H3: The higher the friendship quality within the reciprocal dyad, the greater the similarity in subtle and blatant prejudice scores between friends.
    • Inter-racial friendship contact and prejudice
      • Allport’s (1954) Contact Hypothesis asserts that increased contact with racial out-groups will significantly decrease prejudice towards these groups.
      • The Decategorisation Model predicts that interracial contact brings about personalised interactions with individuals from former out-groups and as a result category-based stereotypes of in-group and out-group are abandoned (Gaertner, et al., 1994).
    • Inter-racial friendship contact and prejudice
      • The Common In-Group Identity Model predicts that through interracial contact cognitive representation of in-group and out-group occur where those formally referred to as ‘them’ now become part of ‘us’. Therefore it is predicted that
      • H4: Increased contact with racial minority (out-) groups will be associated with lower levels of prejudice towards Asian and Middle Eastern Australians.
    • Method:Participants School Age d Adolescents ( n = 186) University Aged Adolescents ( n = 176) Mean Age (S D ) 15.04 years ( .47) 18.28 years ( .52) Females 155 133 Male s 31 43 Anglo/Australian 47% 58% Asian 39% 16% European 8% 13% Middle Eastern 3% 6% Friendship Dy a ds 89 80
    • Method: Measures
      • Demographic/Peer Contact Questionnaire;
      • Meertens & Pettigrew’s (1997) 40-item Prejudice Questionnaire (range of  = 0.70 to 0.85);
      • Parker & Asher’s (1993) Friendship Quality Questionnaire (  = 0.92);
      • Paulhus’ (1991) Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (  = .68).
    • Method: Procedure
      • Questionnaires were administered in a counterbalanced fashion to avoid order effects. Schools students and their friend completed the questionnaires separately but simultaneously in their classroom room. University students completed their questionnaire in a tutorial room and upon completion were given their friend’s set of questionnaires in a sealed envelope to return in the following week.
    • Results: Hypotheses 1 & 2
    • Results: Hypotheses 1 & 2
      • For the combined sample of adolescents subtle prejudice was found to be significantly higher than blatant prejudice, t( 393) = 28.99, p <.01, thus supporting H1.
      • Separate one-way ANOVAs revealed that school-aged (middle) adolescents reported significantly higher levels of subtle prejudice, blatant prejudice, total prejudice towards Asians and total prejudice towards Middle Easterners than late (university) adolescents strongly supporting H2.
    • Results: Friendship dyads’ perceptions of prejudice & friendship quality
    • Results: Hypotheses 3
      • A bi-variate correlation between friendship quality and the absolute difference (prejudice) score was calculated for each age group. The analyses revealed that no significant relationship exists between dyads prejudice attitudes and the degree of friendship quality.
      • H3 was not supported.
    • Results: Hypotheses 4
      • School adolescents who had contact with Asian friends reported significantly less subtle F (1,120) = 6.01, p =.016 and blatant F (1,124) = 3.87, p <.05 Asian prejudice.
      • University adolescents who had contact with Asian friends reported significantly less blatant F (1,157) = 5.23, p =.023 Asian prejudice.
      • Overall H4 was supported.
    • Discussion: Hypotheses 1 & 2
      • Overall, there was a significantly higher reporting of subtle prejudice. This may be due to the fact that it is a more socially acceptable way of expressing prejudice today (Meertens & Pettigrew, 1997).
      • The finding that school adolescents reported higher prejudice may be explained in terms of educational/cognitive maturity factors rather than age alone (Dunn, 2003). What happens to this trend once adolescents leave university needs to be studied via further longitudinal analyses.
      • Significant correlations between prejudice attitudes within dyads, contrary to Ritchey and Fishbein’s (2001) findings. Despite this friendship quality was not found to moderate the similarity of prejudice attitudes within close friendship dyads.
      • It may be the case that adolescents can experience high friendship quality without ever broaching the topics of race or prejudice.
      • Alternatively, friends can have similar/different prejudice attitudes without focusing on attitudes of race or prejudice to choose their friends.
      Discussion: Hypothesis 3
      • Contact with Asian friends (or racial out groups) resulted in significantly lower levels of Asian prejudice for both age cohorts.
      • This positive finding suggests that the future implementation of cooperative contact strategies within the classroom - establishing superordinate goals between interracial friendship groups - may be a worthwhile pursuit for developmental psychologists interested in curbing the growth of adolescent prejudice.
      Discussion: Hypothesis 4
    • Thank you for listening!! Special Acknowledgments: Bethany Wootton, Joyce Man Hernan Diaz Jana Rasiah Emily Swift Amanda Wilkinson