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Changes of children's discrimination tendencies and parental intergroup attitudes and behaviors


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Čorkalo Biruški, Dinka and Ajduković, Dean. (2008). Changes of children's discrimination tendencies and parental intergroup attitudes and behaviors. Ljetopis socijalnog rada, 15(3). pp. 377-400. ISSN 1846-5412, 1848-7971

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Social context is one of key factors in attitudes formation and change. This is particularly true for inter-ethnic attitudes. They are a consequence of an overt social influence but also of a subtle social tuning to specific social cues that determines desirability of expression of a particular attitude. When a community is fundamentally ethnically divided, other social cues may be of less importance. As a result of the recent war, the city of Vukovar (Croatia) turned into the divided community in which ethnic membership powerfully determines social interactions, including separated schooling. The present study assessed at two points in time six years apart a set of attitudes relevant for the context of current inter-ethnic relations: (1) attitudes towards school integration; (2) attitudes toward social integration of children outside the schools; (3) tolerance of multiculturalism; (4) attitudes toward assimilation of ethnic minorities. Two measures of behavioral intentions were also assessed: majority/minority contacts and tendency to discriminate against the outgroup. Besides the attitudinal change, we assessed congruence between children’s and parental attitudes and analyzed if children’s discrimination tendencies could be predicted by parental attitudes and discrimination tendencies. Two independent samples of school children of Croatian (majority) and Serbian (minority) ethnic background (N= 719 and N= 815) aged 12-16 and their parents participated in the study in 2001 and 2007. The results revealed small, but significantly more positive inter-ethnic attitudes, with changes in the majority being more prominent. The congruence of children and parental attitudes was higher in the majority in the first assessment, which decreased over time, probably reflecting the increased diversity of social and political influences affecting the majority. Children’s discrimination tendencies were predicted from the parental attitudes and behavioral tendencies, and more successfully in the majority, particularly in the first assessment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: interethnic attitudes; majority – minority relations; discrimination; attitudes of children and parents
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 08:41
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 08:41

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