Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Jennifer L. Rennels

Second Committee Member

Erin E. Hannon

Third Committee Member

Murray Millar

Fourth Committee Member

Joel Lieberman

Fifth Committee Member

Kathryn Korgan

Number of Pages

85

Abstract

Discrepant results regarding the emergence of children's implicit racial bias suggest additional research is needed to understand the developmental timeline of racial bias. Investigations using established explicit racial bias measures and the implicit association task with children demonstrate racial bias in young children (Aboud, 1988; Baron & Banjai, 2006). These findings do not corroborate the only known developmental use of the affective priming task (APT) to measure racial bias, which suggests implicit racial bias does not emerge until adolescence (Degner & Wentura, 2010). Variations in the task demands, the types of stimuli used to represent the construct of race, and child's environment may be important factors to consider when investigating these discrepancies. The current study explored how same-age faces and adult faces influenced 6.5-, 10.5-, and 14.5-year-old children's racial bias using the APT and whether cross-race interactions affected racial bias. Results indicated that children did not demonstrate significant racial bias at any age when viewing child or adult faces, though data from non-Hispanic Caucasian 6.5-year-olds suggested stronger racial bias to same-age faces. Cross-race interactions were positively correlated with 14.5 year-olds' same-age racial bias. This effect occurred because greater cross-race interactions with peers predicted adolescents' positive associations to Caucasian same-age faces but did not predict negative associations to African American same-age faces. The lack of significant racial bias observed in this sample suggests that children from racially diverse areas (i.e., Las Vegas, NV) may not have the same levels of implicit racial bias as samples collected in previous studies.

Keywords

Affective priming task; Child development--Psychological aspects; Prejudices; Stereotypes (Social psychology); Racism

Disciplines

Developmental Psychology | Social Psychology

Language

English


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