Children’s understanding of ethnic group symbols: Piloting an instrument in the Republic of North Macedonia

Ana Tomovska Misoska, Laura Taylor, Jocelyn Dautel, Risa Rylander

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Abstract

Assessing children’s awareness of ethnic identity and group boundaries is important in conflict-affected societies. For example, in the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM), tense interethnic relations remain and can be seen in the largely separate living patterns, particularly in schools. This brief report analyses data from 194 children (57.7% female, 42.3% male; 45.9% Macedonian, 54.1% Albanian) in primary school. A series of one sample t-tests, with Bonferroni correction, demonstrate the viability of a new quantitative tool for measuring children’s awareness of symbols relevant to interethnic relations in RNM. The findings indicate that primary school aged children are able to sort both ingroup and outgroup symbols with the hypothesized ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic awareness is present among the earliest school grades and increases with age. This approach may be used in future research and adapted in other conflict-affected settings to better understand the foundations of children’s interethnic attitudes and behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Publication statusAccepted - 30 Aug 2019

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ethnic relations
Macedonia
primary school
republic
symbol
ethnic group
outgroup
ethnic identity
school grade
society
school

Cite this

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title = "Children’s understanding of ethnic group symbols: Piloting an instrument in the Republic of North Macedonia",
abstract = "Assessing children’s awareness of ethnic identity and group boundaries is important in conflict-affected societies. For example, in the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM), tense interethnic relations remain and can be seen in the largely separate living patterns, particularly in schools. This brief report analyses data from 194 children (57.7{\%} female, 42.3{\%} male; 45.9{\%} Macedonian, 54.1{\%} Albanian) in primary school. A series of one sample t-tests, with Bonferroni correction, demonstrate the viability of a new quantitative tool for measuring children’s awareness of symbols relevant to interethnic relations in RNM. The findings indicate that primary school aged children are able to sort both ingroup and outgroup symbols with the hypothesized ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic awareness is present among the earliest school grades and increases with age. This approach may be used in future research and adapted in other conflict-affected settings to better understand the foundations of children’s interethnic attitudes and behaviors.",
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AU - Tomovska Misoska, Ana

AU - Taylor, Laura

AU - Dautel, Jocelyn

AU - Rylander, Risa

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N2 - Assessing children’s awareness of ethnic identity and group boundaries is important in conflict-affected societies. For example, in the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM), tense interethnic relations remain and can be seen in the largely separate living patterns, particularly in schools. This brief report analyses data from 194 children (57.7% female, 42.3% male; 45.9% Macedonian, 54.1% Albanian) in primary school. A series of one sample t-tests, with Bonferroni correction, demonstrate the viability of a new quantitative tool for measuring children’s awareness of symbols relevant to interethnic relations in RNM. The findings indicate that primary school aged children are able to sort both ingroup and outgroup symbols with the hypothesized ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic awareness is present among the earliest school grades and increases with age. This approach may be used in future research and adapted in other conflict-affected settings to better understand the foundations of children’s interethnic attitudes and behaviors.

AB - Assessing children’s awareness of ethnic identity and group boundaries is important in conflict-affected societies. For example, in the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM), tense interethnic relations remain and can be seen in the largely separate living patterns, particularly in schools. This brief report analyses data from 194 children (57.7% female, 42.3% male; 45.9% Macedonian, 54.1% Albanian) in primary school. A series of one sample t-tests, with Bonferroni correction, demonstrate the viability of a new quantitative tool for measuring children’s awareness of symbols relevant to interethnic relations in RNM. The findings indicate that primary school aged children are able to sort both ingroup and outgroup symbols with the hypothesized ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic awareness is present among the earliest school grades and increases with age. This approach may be used in future research and adapted in other conflict-affected settings to better understand the foundations of children’s interethnic attitudes and behaviors.

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