Language and the development of children's ethnic prejudice
This article considers whether the study of children's language in intergroup contexts enhances our understanding of the development of children's ethnic prejudice. It is concluded that whereas children's ethnic preferences may be well established by 6 years of age, ethnic prejudice does not emerge in middle childhood. In addition, whether children develop ethnic prejudice does not appear to be directly dependent on their perceptualcognitive abilities or the proximity of prejudiced others. Nevertheless, children may express racist statements toward ethnic outgroups by 5 years of age, and parents and peers are the primary sources of these expressions. However, such expressions are typically not held as the child's own. That is, younger children may have the verbal fluency, but not the intergroup attitudes and stereotypes of older children in whom ethnic prejudice is fully realized. The implications of these findings for minimizing children's ethnic prejudice are considered.
Journal of Language and Social Psychology
© 2001 Sage Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. First published in Journal of Language and Social Psychology. This journal is available online: http://jls.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue1-2/