The general goal of the proposed research is to investigate the development of social reasoning about exclusion on the basis of group membership, and the extent to which this knowledge is related to contact with members of different social groups, social identity, and experiences with exclusion. Social psychologists have generated extensive research on stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, social identity, and in-group/out-group perceptions without examining the emergence, and acquisition of these phenomena. Developmental psychologists have provided a wealth of data on children's and adolescents' social and moral reasoning but have not examined reasoning about inter-group relationships, including stereotypes, discrimination, and exclusion. In this proposal, we plan to investigate several new dimensions of children's' and adolescents' social reasoning about exclusion and rights. First, we plan to examine several contexts of exclusion (friendship, peer groups, and societal institutions) not previously included in research designs. Second, we will include children from heterogeneous (mixed-ethnicity) communities and homogeneous (all-black, all-white) communities and from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Third, we will measure social and ethnic identity as they bear on exclusion judgments. Fourth, we will examine children's past history with exclusion and their judgments about rights in relation to judgments about exclusion. This integrative approach is expected to be theoretically important, and to contribute to the literature by broadening the factors and variables that contribute to judgments about inter-group relationships in morally relevant contexts. The knowledge derived from this project will help to establish the developmental benefits that accrue as a result of experiencing diverse school environments as well as to provide a means for creating intervention programs designed to ameliorate inter-group tensions and conflict.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-4 (01))
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Oliveri, Mary Ellen
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University of Maryland College Park
Other Health Professions
Schools of Education
College Park
United States
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Ruck, Martin D; Park, Henry; Killen, Melanie et al. (2011) Intergroup contact and evaluations of race-based exclusion in urban minority children and adolescents. J Youth Adolesc 40:633-43
Killen, M; Kelly, M; Richardson, C et al. (2010) European-American Children's and Adolescents' Evaluations of Interracial Exclusion. Group Process Intergroup Relat 13:283-300
Killen, Melanie; Lee-Kim, Jennie; McGlothlin, Heidi et al. (2002) How children and adolescents evaluate gender and racial exclusion. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 67:i-vii, 1-119