Reducing prejudice toward Syrian refugee children: A vicarious contact intervention among Turkish elementary school children

Terkan M., Bisagno E., Cocco V. M., KAÇMAZ T., TÜRNÜKLÜ A., Stathi S., ...More

JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY, vol.49, no.2, pp.564-587, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jcop.22480
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, CAB Abstracts, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.564-587
  • Keywords: indirect contact, intergroup contact, intergroup relations, prejudice, refugees, vicarious contact, IMPROVING INTERGROUP RELATIONS, EXTENDED CONTACT, ATTITUDES, BEHAVIOR, PERSPECTIVE, INTENTIONS, REDUCTION, FORMS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


We conducted an experimental intervention to test the effectiveness of vicarious contact in the relationship between Turkish and Syrian elementary school children; the participants were Turkish children. We used a mixed-methods approach, investigating effects by using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Participants in the experimental condition were asked to read stories on positive contact between Turkish and Syrian children over the course of six weekly sessions. The results revealed that vicarious contact, compared to a control condition where participants did not engage in any activity, led to greater intentions to help outgroup members. Importantly, effects only emerged among children who reported higher initial negative outgroup attitudes. Results from qualitative data revealed that vicarious contact produced richer, more positive, and complex representations of the relationships and friendships between groups. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.