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Individual differences in children's group perceptions and peer preferences as a function of prejudice level

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Individual differences in children's group perceptions and peer preferences as a function of prejudice level

Zargarpour, Sepideh (2001) Individual differences in children's group perceptions and peer preferences as a function of prejudice level. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study examined relationships between level of racial prejudice, as measured by the Multiple-Response Racial Attitude Measure (MTRA: Doyle & Aboud, 1995), and "White" children's (a) judgments of individual group members (i.e., stereotyping), (b) perceptions of trait variance and of trait prevalence for same- versus cross-race peers, (c) readiness to make evaluative judgments about individual, same-versus cross-race peers (measured via a response-latency paradigm), and (d) expressed preferences for same- and cross-race peers. It further examined interrelationships between different measures of group perception, as well as between various measures of peer preference. The relative strengths of measures of group perception in predicting children's preferences for same versus cross-race peers were also examined. The subjects were 103, third-grade, English-speaking boys and girls living in suburban Montreal. Overall, the results provided support for the predictive value of individual differences in children's racial prejudice. Low- and High-Prejudice children had expectations that were largely consistent with their prejudice level on a number of measures of group perception. They differed, for example, in their behavioural expectations from Black and White hypothetical peers, in their expectations of the prevalence of positive traits for Whites versus Blacks, in their perceptions of the variance of traits within each group, in the speed with which they made decisions about Black versus White targets, and in the readiness with which they responded to evaluatively positive versus negative questions, regardless of race. Sex, however, appeared to have a stronger influence on children's preferences for same- and cross-race peers than prejudice level, with girls generally showing more ingroup preferences than boys. Children's expressed liking for unknown Black peers was not significantly related to their liking for actual Non-White peers. The MRA was the only one of the measures of group perception which contributed significantly to the prediction of preference for unknown Black peers. Relatively, weak relationships were found between the various cognitive and affective components of prejudice. Results are discussed in terms of implications for the predictive value of individual differences in prejudice, the clarification of cognitive processes and knowledge structures underlying children's racial attitudes, the clarification of relationships between the cognitive and affective components of racial attitudes in children, and children's behaviours and affect toward, as well as expectations from actual cross-race peers.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Zargarpour, Sepideh
Pagination:xvi, 183 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Psychology
Date:2001
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bukowski, William M
ID Code:1543
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:21
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