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Dev Psychol. 2003 Jan;39(1):48-60.

The formation of in-group favoritism and out-group prejudice in young children: are they distinct attitudes?

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Department of Psychology, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada.


Although standardized measures of prejudice reveal high levels of ethnocentric bias in the preschool years, it may reflect in-group favoritism or out-group prejudice. A measure that partially decouples the two attitudes was given to White children between 4 and 7 years of age to examine the reciprocal relation between and the acquisition and correlates of in-group and out-group attitudes. The two attitudes were reciprocally correlated in 1 sample from a racially homogeneous school but not in a 2nd sample from a mixed-race school. In-group favoritism did not appear until 5 years of age but then reached significant levels; it was strongly related to developing social cognitions. Out-group prejudice was weaker, but its targets suffer from comparison with the high favoritism accorded in-group members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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