Trust, Forgiveness and Peace: The Influence of Adolescent Social Identity in a Setting of Intergroup Conflict

Laura Taylor, Dean O'Driscoll, Christine E. Merrilees, Marcie Goeke-Morey, Peter Shirlow, Mark Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following the signing of peace agreements, post-accord societies often remain deeply divided across group lines. There is a need to identify antecedents of youth’s support for peace and establish more constructive intergroup relations. This article explored the effect of out-group trust, intergroup forgiveness and social identity on support for the peace process among youth from the historic majority and minorities communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The sample comprised of 667 adolescents (49% male; M=15.74, SD=1.99 years old) across two time points. Results from the structural equation model suggested that out-group trust was related to intergroup forgiveness over time, while forgiveness related to later support for the peace process. Strength of in-group social identity differentially moderated how out-group trust and intergroup forgiveness relate to later support for peace among youth from the conflict-related groups (i.e., Protestants and Catholics). Implications for consolidating peace in Northern Ireland are discussed, which may be relevant to other settings affected by intergroup conflict.
Original languageEnglish
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT
Publication statusAccepted - 22 Oct 2021

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