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Title: Affective mediators of intergroup contact : cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in South Africa
Author: Swart, Hermann
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thcsis sought to cxtcnd thc contcmporary dcvclopmcnts in thc contact litcraturc to thc South African context, ,vhilc also advancing the current body of longitudinal contact literature. Thc first part of my thcsis compared thc rclationship bctwcen outgroup friendships, affcctivc mcdiators, and multiple measures of prejudice between high-status Whitc and low-status Colourcd adolescents. Two cross-sectional studies confinned the importance of intergroup anxicty and cmpathy as mediators of contact effects for both samplcs. Outgroup fricndships were simultancously associatcd with decrcased intergroup anxiety and increased affective empathy (suggcsted by Pettigrew, 1998). Considered simultaneously with intergroup anxiety, only affective empathy mediated outgroup friendship effccts amongst the Coloured participants, whilc both affectivc mediators operated simultancously amongst thc Whitc participants. Thc significant differences in the structural models across the two samples in both cross-sectional studies support previous findings that contact effccts are stronger for majority-status groups than for minority-status groups (Tropp & Pettigrew, 2005). A third cross-sectional study explored the gcneralization ofoutgroup attitudes from onc outgroup to anothcr outgroup. Amongst Whitc participants, having Black outgroup friends improvcd thcir attitudes towards thc Black outgroup as a whole that was, in tum, associatcd with morc positiyc attitudcs towards the Colourcd outgroup (after controlling for contact with the Coloured outgroup). Having Coloured outgroup friends had a similar effect on attitudes towards the Black outgroup for the Whitc participants. These cffccts were not obsen'cd amongst thc Colourcd participants. Having Black outgroup friends was not significantly associated with attitudes towards the White outgroup, and vice versa. The sccond part of my thesis cxplored thc causal rclationship between outgroup friendships and prcjudice amongst Coloured junior high school students. In the first causal analysis, four altcmative causal modcls wcre compared using non-rccursivc modelling on crosssectional data. All four models fit thc data equally well, resulting in inconclusivc rcsults. Thc sccond causal analysis ,vas bascd on a three-wavc longitudinal study ovcr a 12-month period. In total, 319 participants were matched across all threc time points. A causal model specifying bidirectional causal pathways fit thc data best, although the full mediation of outgroup friendship cffccts on pcrccived outgroup variability and ncgatiyc action tcndencics was only observcd in the 'fonvard' causal direction from timc I to timc 3. Outgroup friendships at timc I was simultancously associated with significantly lcss intergroup anxiety and significantly morc affective empathy at timc 2, which were associated both with incrcased perceivcd outgroup variability and dccrcascd ncgativc action tcndcncics at timc 3. A causal sequcncc bctween thc affective mcdiators was obsen'ed ovcr timc: lower intergroup anxiety at time I predicted morc outgroup friendships at timc 2, which predicted morc affcctivc empathy at timc 3. Thcsc findings makc a significant contribution to thc contact literature. Their importancc is discussed, along with dircctions for futurc rcscarch.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: University of Oxford, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.491961  DOI: Not available
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