The Role of Parent and Peer Norms in Explaining Negative Outgroup Attitudes in Adolescence
Keywords:parent norms, peer norms, prejudice, adolescence, parent and peer influence
AbstractThe aim of the research was to investigate the role of parent and peer norms in explaining outgroup attitudes in adolescence and to explore how this relation depends on the general susceptibility to parent or peer norms. The study was conducted on a sample of 457 high school students from Zagreb. We measured attitudes toward the Roma ethnic group, using the Modern Racism Scale, Social Distance Scale (self-assessment and estimation for parents and peers), Parent and Peer Pressure Scale and sociodemographics. Results indicate that, in average, participants show a high level of negative attitude toward Roma on a Social Distance Scale (would agree on going to school with Roma peers, but wouldn't agree on being friends with or dating them), and a moderate level of negative attitude on the Modern Racism Scale. Both parent and peer norm have a significant contribution in explaining negative attitudes on a social distance measure (a more negative norm is associated with more negative attitudes), with parent norm having a larger contribution than peer norm. Regarding modern prejudice, there is only a significant contribution for parent (but not for peer norm). Hypothesis about the moderation effect of general susceptibility to parent or peer norms on the norm-prejudice relationship was not confirmed, which can be explained by method factors. Results of this research indicate a possible contribution of ingroup norms to development and maintenance of negative outgroup attitudes, yet further research, using stronger research designs is needed.