Social distance toward Syrian refugees: The role of intergroup anxiety in facilitating positive relations

Journal article


Koc, Yasin and Anderson, Joel R.. (2018). Social distance toward Syrian refugees: The role of intergroup anxiety in facilitating positive relations. Journal of Social Issues. 74(4), pp. 790 - 811. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12299
AuthorsKoc, Yasin and Anderson, Joel R.
Abstract

The number of asylum seekers and refugees across the world is rapidly increasing. Negative attitudes toward these groups are globally prevalent and typically hostile because most receiving country citizens perceive them to be a security threat and an economic burden. This paper aims to understand the antecedents of negative attitudes toward a large refugee group currently garnering a great deal of attention—Syrian refugees, and experimentally test ways to ameliorate negative attitudes. In Study 1 (N = 122), we investigated predictors of social distance—as a proxy for prejudice—and found right‐wing authoritarianism and intergroup anxiety to be significant predictors. In Study 2 (N = 162), we tested whether perceived acculturation orientation would predict social distance and found that Americans were less prejudiced toward Syrians who preferred to assimilate rather than integrate. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 153), we tested if a form of vicarious contact could reduce social distance via reduced intergroup anxiety; we found initial evidence for this mediation link. We discussed the potential for the vicarious contact intervention to foster positive intergroup relations and contribute to refugee wellbeing.

Year2018
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Journal citation74 (4), pp. 790 - 811
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN0022-4537
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12299
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85056413349
Open accessOpen access
Page range790 - 811
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Publisher's version
License
Place of publicationUnited States of America
EditorsC. S. Ryan
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/870yw/social-distance-toward-syrian-refugees-the-role-of-intergroup-anxiety-in-facilitating-positive-relations

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