Effects of negative metastereotype on intergroup relations among rural-to-urban migrant children in China

Wen He1, Lulu Xu1, Yawen Sun2, Junlong Luo1, Haijiang Li1
1Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, People’s Republic of China
2Department of Health Education, Sanda University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  He, W., Xu, L., Sun, Y., Luo, J., & Li, H. (2017). Effects of negative metastereotype on intergroup relations among rural-to-urban migrant children in China. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(6), 931-942.

Volume 45 Issue 6 | e6548 | Published: July 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6548

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We examined how group identification and intergroup anxiety jointly mediate the relationship between negative metastereotype and intergroup relations among rural-to-urban migrant children in China. Migrant children, who have both rural and urban identities, are sensitive to their uncertain status, which means that a negative metastereotype is easily activated. We recruited 105 migrant children who were randomly assigned to two groups. They received either a negative metastereotype or control manipulation. Intergroup anxiety, group identification, and intergroup relations were then assessed. Results showed that intergroup anxiety and urban identification could independently mediate the effects of a negative metastereotype on intergroup relations. Intergroup anxiety indirectly influenced intergroup relations through urban identification. These findings suggest that negative emotion and urban identification should be considered when studying the negative metastereotype of migrant children in China and should be included when planning interventions to improve intergroup relations of these children.

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