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PLoS One. 2018 Sep 12;13(9):e0201696. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201696. eCollection 2018.

Stereotyping across intersections of race and age: Racial stereotyping among White adults working with children.

Author information

Centre for Social Research and Methods, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, Acton, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America.
Department of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.
Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, Germany.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.
Yale School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Science, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of African and African American Studies and of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


This study examined the prevalence of racial/ethnic stereotypes among White adults who work or volunteer with children, and whether stereotyping of racial/ethnic groups varied towards different age groups. Participants were 1022 White adults who volunteer and/or work with children in the United States who completed a cross-sectional, online survey. Results indicate high proportions of adults who work or volunteer with children endorsed negative stereotypes towards Blacks and other ethnic minorities. Respondents were most likely to endorse negative stereotypes towards Blacks, and least likely towards Asians (relative to Whites). Moreover, endorsement of negative stereotypes by race was moderated by target age. Stereotypes were often lower towards young children but higher towards teens.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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