Predictors of out-group empathy among majority and minority children in a conflict-affected society

Laura K. Taylor*, Jasmina Tomašić Humer, Jocelyn B Dautel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


We examined the predictors of out-group empathy in children growing up in a city devastated during the fall of the Former Yugoslavia. Children (N = 155; 76 male, 79 female) from both majority (64.5% Croatian) and minority (35.5% Serbian) ethnic groups, ranging from 6 to 11 years old (M = 8.77, SD = 1.15) participated. A multiple-group path analysis in Mplus found that age, general empathy, quality contact and perceived intergroup conflict related to higher out-group empathy. There were no significant links from gender, quantity contact or out-group friends to out-group empathy. The findings were consistent across majority and minority ethnic groups. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-967
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number5
Early online date10 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data collection in Croatia was supported by the Society for Research on Child Development Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars to Taylor. The analysis and write‐up of this paper were supported by the British Tackling the UK’s International Challenges Programme to Taylor [IC4/100159], including our excellent project coordinator Risa Rylander. The authors would like to thank Jelena Drča, Biljana Erceg, Tanja Karakaš, Marija Milić, Ljubica Brigitte Nikić and Tea Žagar for their contributions in data collection. There are no known conflict of interests. Data and supporting materials are available from the first author upon request. Helping Kids!

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Children & Society published by National Children's Bureau and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • children
  • Croatia
  • intergroup conflict
  • intergroup contact
  • out-group empathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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