Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children's Peer Victimization -- A Mix Of Loyalty And Preference

Date:
November 12, 2007
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
New research into childhood prejudice suggests that loyalty and disloyalty play a more important role than previously thought in how children treat members of their own and other groups. A study into the 'black sheep effect,' shows that children treat disloyalty in their own group more harshly than disloyalty within different groups.

New research into childhood prejudice suggests that loyalty and disloyalty play a more important role than previously thought in how children treat members of their own and other groups. A study into the 'black sheep effect', shows that children treat disloyalty in their own group more harshly than disloyalty within different groups.

Professor Dominic Abrams, of Kent University, who led the research team, says the findings will be valuable when applied to the classroom.

"This research has implications for peer victimisation and bullying as well as for the understanding and management of prejudice and discrimination in schools."

For the past 30 years, research into prejudice between different groups suggested that children progress from regarding groups of people in simple terms of difference, such as White or Black, to regarding people more as unique individuals. However, this does not easily explain why prejudice happens at different ages for different types of groups or why adults continue to show prejudice.

The new research was stimulated by evidence that adults may show strong bias in favour of or against groups while also being staunch critics of individual members within those same groups. Rather than becoming less prejudiced with age, young people can grow to support their own group in a more targeted and sophisticated way. They focus not just on whether peers belong to their own group, but on how well they conform to social values, such as loyalty to the group.

Carried out with more than 800 children aged between 5-12 years, a series of 7 experimental studies showed that children in this early age group favoured loyal peers more if these peers belonged to the same group as themselves than if they belonged to a different group. Disloyalty within outside groups was seen to be more valued and not criticized in the same way as it would be from members of their own group. This "black-sheep effect" was found within national groups (French and English) and within gender groups where it was clearer for boys than girls.

The research consistently supported a new model, known as the Development Model of Subjective Group Dynamics, challenging previous theories of childhood prejudice. According to Professor Abrams, a more complete developmental account of 'intergroup' prejudice must understand not just why particular groups are victimized but also how children decide which individuals within those groups should be singled out for specially positive or specially negative treatment.

The research "Children's Evaluations of Deviant Ingroup and Outgroup Members', was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It was carried out by Professor Dominic Abrams and Professor Adam Rutland of the University of Kent

Methodology: A series of 7 experimental studies were carried out on groups involving more than 800 children aged between 5 and 12 years. They were asked about their perceptions and evaluations of other 'target' children described as belonging either to an 'ingroup' (school, team, nationality, gender) or a contrasting or competing group. Some targets were described as conforming to their group norms by displaying loyalty (normative targets), other (deviant) targets behaved in ways more consistent with the norms of the outgroup.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Children's Peer Victimization -- A Mix Of Loyalty And Preference." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071111182519.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2007, November 12). Children's Peer Victimization -- A Mix Of Loyalty And Preference. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071111182519.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Children's Peer Victimization -- A Mix Of Loyalty And Preference." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071111182519.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins