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'And the best essay is...': Extended contact and cross-group friendships at school

'And the best essay is...': Extended contact and cross-group friendships at school

Vezzali, Loris, Stathi, Sofia, Giovanni, Dino and Visintin, Emilio Paolo (2015) 'And the best essay is...': Extended contact and cross-group friendships at school. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54 (4). pp. 601-615. ISSN 0144-6665 (Print), 2044-8309 (Online) (doi:10.1111/bjso.12110)

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Abstract

We conducted one experimental intervention based on extended contact principles aimed at fostering the formation of cross-group friendships within educational settings. Italian school children took part in a school competition for the best essay on personal experiences of cross-group friendships with immigrants, to be written in small groups. This manipulation was intended to favour the exchange of personal positive cross-group experiences, thus capitalizing on the benefits of extended contact. In the control condition, participants wrote an essay on friendship, without reference to cross-group relations. Results revealed that children who took part in the intervention reported a higher number of outgroup friends 3 months later. This indirect effect was sequentially mediated by pro-contact ingroup and outgroup norms and by outgroup contact behavioural intentions. This study provides experimental evidence that interventions based on extended contact can foster cross-group friendship formation. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Extended contact; Cross-group friendship; Intergroup behaviour
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 20:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15448

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