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  1. Killen, Melanie ; Elenbaas, Laura ; Ruck, Martin D. (Ed.)
    Social inequalities and human rights are inevitably linked to children’s and adolescents’ healthy development. Children who experience structural and interpersonal inequalities in access to resources and opportunities based on their gender, race, ethnicity, or other group categories are denied the right to fair treatment. We assert that investigating the psychological perspectives that children hold regarding inequalities and human rights is necessary for creating fair and just societies. We take a constructivist approach to this topic which seeks to understand how individuals interpret and evaluate observed and experienced inequalities. Even young children think about these issues. Yet, throughout development, individuals must often weigh multiple, potentially conflicting considerations when interpreting, evaluating, and responding to social inequalities and rights violations. In these complex contexts, children and adolescents are neither fully “moral” nor fully “prejudiced.” Rather, critical questions for research in this area concern when, why, and for whom young people reject inequalities and support rights, and, by contrast, when, why, and for whom they accept that inequalities and rights violations should be allowed to persist. This paper provides a brief overview of how different conceptions of social inequalities and rights are intrinsically linked together. 
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  2. Social inequalities and human rights are inevitably linked to children’s and adolescents’ healthy development. Children who experience structural and interpersonal inequalities in access to resources and opportunities based on their gender, race, ethnicity, or other group categories are denied the right to fair treatment. We assert that investigating the psychological perspectives that children hold regarding inequalities and human rights is necessary for creating fair and just societies. We take a constructivist approach to this topic which seeks to understand how individuals interpret and evaluate observed and experienced inequalities. Even young children think about these issues. Yet, throughout development, individuals must often weigh multiple, potentially conflicting considerations when interpreting, evaluating, and responding to social inequalities and rights violations. In these complex contexts, children and adolescents are neither fully “moral” nor fully “prejudiced.” Rather, critical questions for research in this area concern when, why, and for whom young people reject inequalities and support rights, and, by contrast, when, why, and for whom they accept that inequalities and rights violations should be allowed to persist. This paper provides a brief overview of how different conceptions of social inequalities and rights are intrinsically linked together. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. The Developing Inclusive Youth program is a classroom based, individually administered video tool that depicts peer based social and racial exclusion, combined with teacher-led discussions. A multisite randomized control trial was implemented with 983 participants (502 females; 58.5% White, 41.5% Ethnic/racial minority; Mage = 9.64 years) in 48 third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms across six schools. Children in the program were more likely to view interracial and same-race peer exclusion as wrong, associate positive traits with peers of different racial, ethnic, and gender backgrounds, and report play with peers from diverse backgrounds than were children in the control group. Many approaches are necessary to achieve antiracism in schools. This intervention is one component of this goal for developmental science. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Many people believe in equality of opportunity but overlook and minimize the structural factors that shape social inequalities in the United States and around the world, such as systematic exclusion (e.g., educational, occupational) based on group membership (e.g., gender, race, socioeconomic status). As a result, social inequalities persist and place marginalized social groups at elevated risk for negative emotional, learning, and health outcomes. Where do the beliefs and behaviors that underlie social inequalities originate? Recent evidence from developmental science indicates that an awareness of social inequalities begins in childhood and that children seek to explain the underlying causes of the disparities that they observe and experience. Moreover, children and adolescents show early capacities for understanding and rectifying inequalities when regulating access to resources in peer contexts. Drawing on a social reasoning developmental framework, we synthesize what is currently known about children’s and adolescents’ awareness, beliefs, and behavior concerning social inequalities and highlight promising avenues by which developmental science can help reduce harmful assumptions and foster a more just society. 
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  6. Asian American youth’s inclusion decisions were investigated in cross-ethnic peer contexts (Asian and non-Asian). Ten-, 13-, and 16-year-old participants ( N = 134), enrolled in U.S. schools, decided whether to include a same-ethnic peer with different interests or a different-ethnic peer with similar interests. Findings showed that with age, participants more frequently included a peer who shared interests even when this peer was not of the same ethnicity. Participants expected their peer groups to be equally inclusive of others of both ethnic backgrounds, and expected that in-group parents would be less inclusive of cross-ethnic peers. In addition, adolescents expected parents to have prejudicial attitudes about ethnic out-group members. Views about peer group and in-group parents’ inclusivity diverged from adolescents’ own inclusivity. These findings point to areas for intervention regarding the promotion of cross-group friendships and the reduction of prejudice. 
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  7. Children and adolescents (= 153, ages 8–14 years,Mage = 11.46 years) predicted and evaluated peer exclusion in interwealth (high‐wealth and low‐wealth) and interracial (African American and European American) contexts. With age, participants increasingly expected high‐wealth groups to be more exclusive than low‐wealth groups, regardless of their depicted race. Furthermore, children evaluated interwealth exclusion less negatively than interracial exclusion, and children who identified as higher in wealth evaluated interwealth exclusion less negatively than did children who identified as lower in wealth. Children cited explicit negative stereotypes about high‐wealth groups in their justifications, while rarely citing stereotypes about low‐wealth groups or racial groups. Results revealed that both race and wealth are important factors that children consider when evaluating peer exclusion.

     
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