Young children's responses to media representations of intergroup threat and ethnicity

Kevin Durkin, Drew Nesdale, Gemma Dempsey, Amanda McLean

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two studies are reported in which ethnic majority children's reactions to media representations of ethnic minorities are examined. In Study 1, 20 white Scottish 6-year-olds viewed short television stories in which white or ethnic minority children were depicted as hostile to the participants’ in-group (threat present) or not (threat absent). A strong effect of threat on liking was obtained but no effect of ethnicity of target and no interaction. In Study 2, 4- and 6-year-old white Scottish children viewed PowerPoint displays in which Scottish people were shown only as white (traditional version) or as ethnically diverse (multicultural version). Intergroup threat was manipulated. Again, a strong effect of threat was obtained. However, when threat was absent, participants exposed to the traditional condition liked the white out-group more than the multi-ethnic out-group, while participants exposed to the multicultural condition liked the multi-ethnic out-group more than the white out-group. The results are interpreted as consistent with the predictions of Social Identity Development Theory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Early online date19 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • developmental psychology
  • media
  • intergroup attitudes
  • ethnicity

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