Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Interracial contact and racial constancy: A multi-site study of racial intergroup bias in 3-5 year old Anglo-British children

By Adam Rutland, Lindsey Cameron, Laura Bennett and Jennifer M. Ferrell


This paper examined the influence of interracial contact and racial constancy on the racial intergroup bias of young Anglo-British children. This multi-site study was conducted in areas of Great Britain that varied in terms of racial diversity. The study also investigated whether preschool children express bias on positive, but not negative, valence attributions. Anglo-British children (N = 136) between 3 and 5 years of age with different levels of interracial contact undertook a racial stereotype attribution measure and three tasks to assess racial constancy. Significantly more racial bias was shown towards the African Caribbean-British compared to the Asian-British or Oriental-British racial out-groups. As predicted, only children in racially mixed areas failed to show discrimination in favor of the white in-group on both the positive and negative trait attributions. In addition, higher racial constancy was related significantly to greater racial intergroup bias. These findings suggest that racial intergroup bias amongst 3-5 year old children may be reduced through the promotion of interracial contact, because at this age children are already beginning to develop racial constancy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract

Topics: BF
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). 15th January). Parallel lives. The Guardian.
  2. (1966). A cognitive-developmental analysis of children’s sex-role concepts and attitudes.
  3. (1995). A longitudinal study of white children’s racial prejudice as a social-cognitive development.
  4. (2005). An integrative theory of intergroup contact. doi
  5. (1984). Attitudes towards the mentally and physically disabled. doi
  6. (1972). Bilingual education of children: The St. Lambert experiment. Rowley, doi
  7. (1999). Bilingual education programs: A cross-national perspective. doi
  8. (1998). Brown v. Board of Education: A brief history with documents. NY: doi
  9. (2001). Building cohesive communities: A report of the ministerial group on public order and community cohesion. London7 Home Office.
  10. (1992). Categorization is not enough: Intergroup discrimination in negative outcome allocation. doi
  11. (2004). Changing children’s intergroup attitudes towards minority groups. doi
  12. (1988). Children and prejudice.
  13. (2001). Children’s social reasoning about inclusion and exclusion in gender and race peer groups contexts. doi
  14. (1998). Children’s subjective identification with the group and in-group favoritism. doi
  15. (1990). Children’s understanding of self-presentational strategies of ingratiation and self-promotion. doi
  16. (2001). Community cohesion: A report of the Independent Review Team. London7 Home Office.
  17. (1997). Development of gender and racial constancy. Poster session presented at the biannual meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development.
  18. (1987). Development of gender role knowledge and gender constancy. In doi
  19. (2001). Development of prejudice in children. In doi
  20. (2001). Developmental and socialization influences on intergroup bias. In doi
  21. (2003). Developmental trends in children’s national in-group and out-group attitudes. Poster presented at the XIth
  22. (2000). Does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Recent meta-analytic findings. In Stuart Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination. The Claremont symposium on applied social psychology (pp. 93–114). Mahwah, NJ7 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  23. (2003). Education and Skills doi
  24. (2004). Effect of direct and indirect cross-group friendships on judgments of Catholics and Protestants in northern Ireland: The mediating role of an anxiety-reduction mechanism. doi
  25. (1996). Effects of contact on children’s attitudes towards disability: A longitudinal study. doi
  26. (2000). Effects of different forms of school contact on children’s attitudes toward disabled and nonA. doi
  27. (2000). Effects of different forms of school contact on children’s attitudes toward disabled and nondisabled peers. doi
  28. (1999). Exploring and evaluating school-based interventions to reduce prejudice. doi
  29. (2004). Family life and school experience: Factors in the racial identity development of black youth in white communities. doi
  30. (2004). Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education: The promise and challenge of multicultural education. doi
  31. (1993). Gender, race and ethnicity: The sequencing of social constancies. In
  32. (2002). How children and adolescents evaluate gender and racial exclusion. Monographs for the Society for Research in Child Development, doi
  33. (1999). Improving intergroup relations in the schools. doi
  34. (1997). Inter-ethnic contact as a predictor of blatant and subtle prejudice: Tests of a model in four West European nations. doi
  35. (1996). Intergroup discrimination in positive and negative outcome-allocations: The impact of stimulus-valence, relative group status and relative group size. doi
  36. (1996). Intergroup relations. doi
  37. (2000). Interventions to reduce prejudice and discrimination in children and adolescents. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 269–293). NJ7 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  38. (1999). Introduction: Are we ready to translate research into programs? doi
  39. (2005). Positive–negative asymmetry in social discrimination.
  40. (1995). Prejudice: Its social psychology. doi
  41. (1999). Reducing ethnic prejudice by public campaigns: An evaluation of a present and new campaign. doi
  42. (2000). Reducing intergroup bias: The common in-group identity model. doi
  43. (1997). Social categorization and the formation of intergroup attitudes in children. doi
  44. (2005). Social norms and self-presentation: Children’s implicit and explicit intergroup attitudes. doi
  45. (1989). Social-psychological processes that perpetuate racial segregation: The relationships between school and employment desegregation. doi
  46. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization.
  47. (2002). Statistical methods for psychology. (5th edition)Pacific Grove,
  48. (1999). The Amigos program. Unpublished manuscript, Cambridge School District,
  49. (2004). The development of a sense of bweQ: The emergence and implications of children’s collective identity. In doi
  50. (1990). The development of ethnic identity in Mexican-American children. doi
  51. (1981). The development of person perception in childhood adolescence: From behavioral comparisons to psychological constructs to psychological comparisons. doi
  52. (1980). The development of racial evaluation and preference: A cognitive approach. doi
  53. (1993). The development of self-presentation: Self-promotion in 6 to 10 year old children. doi
  54. (2003). The development of subjective group dynamics: Children’s judgments of normative and deviant in-group and out-group individuals. doi
  55. (2003). The development of subjective group dynamics: When in-group bias gets specific. doi
  56. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. doi
  57. (1954). The nature of prejudice. doi
  58. (1996). The relation between racial attitudes and social-cognitive development in children: An Australian study. doi
  59. (1985). The role of ignorance in intergroup relations. In doi
  60. (1999). The use of multicultural curricula and materials to counter racism in children. doi
  61. (2001). Toward reduction of prejudice: Intergroup contact and social categorization. In doi
  62. (2001). Two forms of intergroup discrimination with positive and negative outcomes: Explaining the positive–negative asymmetry effect. doi
  63. (1996). Using multivariate statistics. doi
  64. (2001). When and how school desegregation improves intergroup relations. In doi
  65. (2005). When groups are not created equal: Effects of group status on the formation of intergroup attitudes in children. doi
  66. (2004). Work together, live apart? Geographies of racial and ethnic segregation at home and at work. doi
  67. (2004). Young children’s evaluations of the in-group and of out-groups: A multi-national study. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.