Social cure processes help lower intergroup anxiety among neighbourhood residents

Stevenson, Clifford, Costa, Sebastiano, Easterbrook, Matthew J, McNamara, Niamh and Kellezi, Blerina (2020) Social cure processes help lower intergroup anxiety among neighbourhood residents. Political Psychology. pp. 1-19. ISSN 0162-895X

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Research in the social cure tradition shows that groups can reduce members' stress by providing support to cope with challenges, but it has yet to consider how this applies to the anxiety occasioned by outgroups. Research on intergroup contact has extensively examined how reducing intergroup anxiety improves attitudes towards outgroups, but it has yet to examine the role of intragroup support processes in facilitating this. The present article takes the case of residential contact, in which the impact of diversification upon neighborhood cohesion is hotly debated, but the role of neighborhood identification and social support from neighbors in facilitating residential mixing has been largely ignored. Our surveys of two geographically bounded communities in England (n = 310; n = 94) and one in Northern Ireland (n = 206) show that neighborhood identification predicts both well‐being and more positive feelings towards outgroups, with both effects occurring via increased intragroup support. In studies 2 and 3, we show that this positive effect on feelings towards the outgroup occurs independently of that of intergroup contact and is further explained by the effect of neighborhood support in reducing intergroup anxiety. This suggests that social cure processes can improve intergroup attitudes by supporting group members to deal with the stress of intergroup interactions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 07:06
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2020 11:15

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