Extended contact through story reading in school: Reducing children’s prejudice towards the disabled

Cameron, Lindsey and Rutland, Adam. 2006. Extended contact through story reading in school: Reducing children’s prejudice towards the disabled. Journal of Social Issues, 62(3), pp. 489-510. ISSN 0022-4537 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The aim of this study was to develop and assess a prejudice-reduction intervention for young children based on a relatively recent psychological concept, extended contact. A number of extended contact interventions were tested based on different models of generalized intergroup contact. A 3 (type of extended contact: neutral, decategorization, and “intergroup”) × 2 (time of interview: pre- vs. post-extended contacts) mixed design was used, with the latter variable being within participants. Non-disabled children (N= 67) aged 5–10 years took part in a 6-week intervention involving reading stories featuring disabled and non-disabled children in friendship contexts. The main dependent variables were children's attitudes and intended behavior toward non-disabled and disabled people. Results showed that extended contact led to increased positivity toward the disabled, and this was most pronounced in the intergroup-extended contact condition. These findings suggest that extended contact can provide a prejudice-reduction intervention tool that can be used with young children in contexts in which the opportunity for direct contact is low. The findings also add to the psychological literature, providing support of the Hewstone and Brown (1986)“intergroup” model in the context of extended contact.

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Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2015 13:24

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 12:43

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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