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  • Publication
    Youth Identity, Peace and Conflict: Insights from Conflict and Diverse Settings
    Many of today’s youth are growing up and developing their sense of self in settings where identities are contested. Such identity dynamics play a key role in societal functioning, with group conflict often arising and being maintained due to competing social identities. Understanding how youth develop these social identities, and the consequences for peaceful and violent behaviours is of urgent importance in order to design appropriate policies and interventions. Much of the social psychological research on identity is based on social identity theory, which posits that we divide our world into social categories and define ourselves in terms of group belonging. The expressions of these social identities can be both positive and negative in how they are manifested in conflict and diverse settings. Whilst research often focuses on the negative side of identification (e.g., prejudice), identities can also be a source of peace; fostering individual belonging in society and under certain conditions, collective identities can also bring together groups in conflict. In this chapter, we briefly review the development of adolescent ethnic identity and then focus on the impact of identity for youth in conflict and diverse settings, highlighting positive and negative effects. This includes a consideration of the consequences of identity for peaceful and non-peaceful behaviours in Northern Ireland as well as how identity develops for ethnic minority youth in England. We conclude by providing suggestions for policy, practice and future research, arguing that a comprehensive account of the role of youth in society cannot be complete without understanding the development and consequences of identity processes.
  • Publication
    Empathy to action: Child and adolescent outgroup attitudes and prosocial behaviors in a setting of intergroup conflict
    The paper explored how to promote constructive intergroup relations among children and young people in a context of protracted conflict. Across two studies, the Empathy‐Attitudes‐Action model was examined in middle childhood and adolescence. More specifically, we tested the relations among dispositional empathy, outgroup attitudes, and prosocial behaviors for youth born after the peace agreement in Northern Ireland. In one correlational (Study 1: N = 132; 6‐ to 11‐years‐old: M = 8.42 years, SD = 1.23) and one longitudinal design (Study 2: N = 466; 14‐ to 15‐years‐old), bootstrapped mediation analyses revealed that empathy was associated with more positive attitudes toward the conflict‐related outgroup, which in turn, was related to higher outgroup prosocial behaviors, both self‐report and concrete actions. Given that outgroup prosocial acts in a setting of intergroup conflict may serve as the antecedents for peacebuilding among children and adolescents, this study has intervention implications.
      172Scopus© Citations 21