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Title: The Role of emotions in children's responses to intergroup contexts
Author: De Amicis, Leyla
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 9940
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2009
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Researchc oncerningc hildren's intergroupr elationsh as mainly focusedo n prejudicial attitudesa nd stereotypesR. arely have children's emotionsb eene xaminedi n intergroup contexts,a lthougha few studiesh ave suggestedth e importanceo f this topic. In contrast, literature on intergroup relations in adults has recently highlighted how emotions can be important for predicting specific intergroup actions. The main purpose of this project was to explore the role of children's emotions in predicting expected intergroup behaviours. This issue was investigated in nine empirical studies. First, children's emotions were investigated in relation to general liking toward ingroup (White) and outgroup (Black) peers. Children were found to like same- and differentethnicity peers to the same extent, but some differences emerged in the emotions they experienced toward these targets. Moreover, positive and negative emotions contributed significantly to predictions of White children's intentional contact with specific White and Black members, above and beyond stereotypical beliefs and general liking. The effects of stereotypical beliefs were weaker, and were sometimes mediated by emotional factors. In addition, specific emotions (e. g., anger) were found to predict precise behaviours in a perpetrator-victim paradigm, in which targets' ethnicity was manipulated. In line with expectations, differentiated emotions predicted precise behaviours, but these effects were independent of the impact of social categorization on intervention/avoidance behaviours. A final study presented children with intergroup discriminatory scenarios, and considered whether asking children to focus on their emotions or cognitions would encourage more contact with outgroup members. Results indicated the need to consider gender and age when planning interventions designed to facilitate positive intergroup behaviours. In conclusion, this programme of empirical work has demonstrated that emotions contribute significantly to explaining intergroup behaviours in children. Future attention to the emotional component in intergroup relations in children is thus suggested as a major direction for future work in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available