Promoting prosocial behaviour toward refugees: Exploring the empathy-attitude-action model in middle childhood

Catherine Glen, Laura Taylor, Jocelyn Dautel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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Abstract

Given the current global “refugee crisis,” there is a need for research investigating methods to promote positive intergroup relationships in host communities. This chapter will explore how empathy can be used to encourage host-society children to develop positive attitudes and engage in helping and prosocial behaviors toward refugees. The focus will be on middle childhood, a period when youth acquire advanced forms of perspective taking and an increased understanding of intergroup dynamics. This chapter extends prior research in adult populations by applying the empathy-attitudes-action model as an intervention for preparing children to engage positively toward incoming refugee children. This model outlines that inducing empathy toward a member of a stigmatized group may improve out-group attitudes as a whole, and in turn, increase prosocial behavior toward that collective out-group. Furthermore, the chapter recognizes the agency of children in establishing harmonious intergroup relations and in creating peaceful and inclusive societies. This chapter concludes with a call to action, advocating for the implementation of preventative programs that prepare children to engage meaningfully with their new peers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren and Peace: From Research to Action
PublisherSpringer
Pages71-87
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2019

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