Parental competitive victimhood and interethnic discrimination among their children: The mediating role of ethnic socialization and symbolic threat to the in-group

Marina Štambuk*, Laura K. Taylor, Ajana Löw, Dinka Čorkalo Biruški, Christine E. Merrilees, Dean Ajduković, E. Mark Cummings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Links between competitive victimhood and discrimination are well documented. However, the mechanisms how victimhood beliefs remain relevant for decades and how conflict survivors can shape attitudes and behaviours of the post-conflict generations are little understood. Following the Transgenerational Transmission Hypothesis and the Integrated Threat Theory, we propose that the link between parental competitive victimhood and discrimination among their children is mediated through family ethnic socialization and symbolic threat to the in-group. Participants were families that included youth (N = 227) and their parents (172 mothers, 150 fathers) in Vukovar, Croatia. A multiple group, chain mediation model was conducted with parental competitive victimhood as the predictor; youth ethnic socialization and symbolic threat as sequential mediators; and youth tendency to discriminate against the outgroup and perceived ethnic in-group discrimination as outcomes. The findings revealed significant indirect effects of the competitive victimhood on both outcomes, via the proposed mediators. The only difference in the model between majority Croats and minority Serbs was the path from symbolic threat to tendency to discriminate, which was positive and significant for both groups, but stronger among Croats. The findings imply that interventions in post-conflict settings need to address family ethnic socialization processes in addition to directly working with youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-110
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume59
Issue number1
Early online date18 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • competitive victimhood
  • ethnic socialization
  • symbolic threat
  • out-group discrimination
  • perceived ethnic in-group discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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