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Child Dev. 2007 Nov-Dec;78(6):1689-705.

Consequences of learning about historical racism among European American and African American children.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, TX 78712, USA. julie.m.hughes@gmail.com

Abstract

Knowledge about racism is a critical component of educational curricula and contemporary race relations. To examine children's responses to learning about racism, European American (Study 1; N= 48) and African American (Study 2; N= 69) elementary-aged children (ages 6-11) received history lessons that included information about racism experienced by African Americans (racism condition), or otherwise identical lessons that omitted this information (control condition). Children's racial attitudes and cognitive and affective responses to the lessons were assessed. Among European American children, racism condition participants showed less biased attitudes toward African Americans than control condition participants. Among African American children, attitudes did not vary by condition. Children in the two conditions showed several different cognitive and affective responses to the lessons.

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