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  • Mäkinen, Viivi; Liebkind, Karmela; Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga; Renvik (Mähönen), Tuuli Anna (2019)
    Existing prejudice-reduction interventions in schools mainly target majority students and are mostly conducted by researchers, which limits their use for anti-discriminatory practices in culturally mixed schools. We tested a teacher-led intervention aiming at prejudice-reduction among both minority and majority adolescents through vicarious contact. The effects of indirect vicarious contact rest on observed ingroup role models of intergroup contact who have positive attitudes towards the outgroup, and vice versa. However, the specific impact of vicarious contact exerted by outgroup role models in comparison with ingroup role models has never been studied in interventions conducted in naturalistic school settings. To fill these gaps, a field experiment was conducted among secondary school students in Finland (N-majority = 437; N-minority = 146). The experiment consisted of two stages, between which the ethnic status of the role models (majority vs minority) in stories read during the intervention sessions was changed. This was done to explore the impact of the in- and outgroup role models after the first stage, and to test the overall effect of the intervention on out-group attitudes and perceived in- and outgroup norms after participants were presented with both majority and minority storytellers after the second stage. The intervention affected the perceived outgroup norms among the minority participants as they perceived norms prevailing in the majority group to be more positive after the intervention. However, the ethnic status of the role models made no difference for any outcome variable. Ways to implement scientific knowledge into practice by providing research-based tools for multicultural education are discussed.
  • Liebkind, Karmela; Mäkinen, Viivi M; Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga; Renvik (Mähönen), Tuuli Anna; Solheim, Erling (2019)
    Despite the urgent need for promoting positive intergroup relations in schools, research on intergroup relations is not systematically translated into prejudice-reduction interventions. Although prejudice-reduction interventions in schools based on indirect contact have been conducted for decades, they have all been carried out by researchers themselves. In a field experiment in Finland in autumn 2015, we tested for the first time a vicarious contact prejudice-reduction intervention for its effectiveness among adolescents (N = 639) when implemented independently by school teachers instead of researchers. In addition, we tested the extent to which the intervention’s effect depends on initial outgroup attitudes, previous direct outgroup contact experiences, and gender, hypothesizing that the intervention improves outgroup attitudes particularly among adolescents with more negative prior attitudes and less positive prior direct contact, and more among girls than among boys. We found an unanticipated overall deterioration in the outgroup attitudes during intervention in both the experimental and control groups. However, attitudes seemed to deteriorate somewhat less in the experimental than in the control group, and the intervention had a significant positive effect on outgroup attitudes in one experimental subgroup that needed it most: girls who had negative rather than positive outgroup attitudes at the outset. We discuss our results in light of previous research and contextual particularities.
  • Visintin, Emilio Paolo; Brylka, Asteria; Green, Eva G. T.; Mahonen, Tuuli Anna; Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga (2016)
    Objective: Research on intergroup contact and prejudice reduction has dedicated little attention to relations between minority groups. We examined whether interminority extended contact, that is, the knowledge that a member of the minority ingroup has a friend from the minority outgroup, is associated with positive outgroup attitudes. Affective (outgroup empathy and outgroup trust) and cognitive (ingroup norm) mediators were considered. Method: Two correlational studies were conducted. Study 1 (N = 640, 50% female, mean age = 44 years) was conducted in Bulgaria among the Bulgarian Turkish and Roma ethnic minorities, while Study 2 (N = 458, 67% female, mean age = 44 years) was conducted in Finland among Estonian and Russian immigrants. Results: Path analyses showed that, over and above the effects of direct contact between the minority groups, interminority extended contact was associated with positive outgroup attitudes in both intergroup settings. These effects occurred through empathy (Study 1), trust, and ingroup norms (Study 2). Conclusion: The 2 studies highlight interminority extended contact as a means to promote harmonious interminority relationships and suggest the implementation of interventions based on extended contact to reduce interminority prejudice and to foster solidarity among minorities.