Effects of information about group members on young children's attitudes towards the in-group and out-group

Drew Nesdale, Michael J. Lawson, Kevin Durkin, Amanda Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Research shows that being a member of a group is sufficient to instigate more positive attitudes towards the in-group than an out-group in young children. The present study assessed whether children's intergroup attitudes during the middle childhood years are moderated by additional information about in-group and out-group members, as proposed by Aboud's (1988) socio-cognitive theory (ST). To a minimal group 6-, 8-, and 10-year-old children (N=159) were assigned, and received information, or no information, about the interests and activities of the in-group and out-group members. Results indicated that the in-group was always rated more positively than the out-group, and that the in-group's ratings were unaffected by either the in-group or out-group information. In contrast, out-group ratings were affected by out-group information, but only when there was no information available about the in-group. The implications of the findings for ST, and for social identity development theory, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-482
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • young children
  • childhood
  • social identity
  • development theory

Cite this