East Asian children’s intergroup contact experiences: an investigation of outgroup attitudes, sharing behaviour and anxiety as a mediator

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(Thesis) M.A.
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Although there have been numerous theoretical advances in intergroup contact literature theory over the past decade, many of these have yet to be fully tested among minority group members and children. Early school years may be particularly important, as for many children this can be this is their first meaningful contact with members of other groups outside the home environment. This study examined whether intergroup contact impacts East Asian children’s outgroup evaluations and sharing behaviour, as well as the mediating role of anxiety in this relationship. Contact was measured using teachers’ descriptions of classroom ethnic composition and participants’ cross-group friendships. A photo sorting task provided measures of outgroup evaluations and intergroup anxiety, and a sharing task assessed sharing behaviour with relevant outgroups. Overall, results demonstrated that both exposure and friendship had positive effects on East Asian children’s outgroup attitudes. Intergroup anxiety was also shown to partially mediate this relationship.
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