skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Killen, Melanie"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Early and middle adolescents’ judgments and reasonings about peers who challenge exclusive and inclusive peer group norms were examined across three studies with varying intergroup contexts. Study 1 participants included (N = 199) non-Arab American participants responding to an Arab American/non-Arab American intergroup context. Study 2 included (N = 123) non-Asian and (N = 105) Asian American participants responding to an Asian/non-Asian American intergroup context. Study 3 included (N = 275) Lebanese participants responding to an American/Lebanese intergroup context. Across all three studies participants responded to ingroup and outgroup deviant group members who challenged their peer groups to either include or exclude an outgroup peer with similar interests. Findings indicated that adolescents approved of peers who challenged exclusive peer norms and advocated for inclusion of an ethnic and cultural outgroup, and disapproved of peers who challenged inclusive group norms and advocated for exclusion. Non-Arab and non-Asian American adolescents displayed ingroup bias when evaluating a deviant advocating for exclusion. Additionally, age differences were found among Asian American adolescents. Findings will be discussed in light of intergroup research on those who challenge injustices.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 18, 2023
  5. Children’s understanding of status and group norms influence their expectations about social encounters. However, status is multidimensional and children may perceive status stratification (i.e., high- and low-status) differently across multiple status dimensions (i.e., wealth and popularity). The current study investigated the effect of status level and norms on children’s expectations about intergroup affiliation in wealth and popularity contexts. Participants ( N = 165; age range: 5–10 years; M age = 7.72 years) were randomly assigned to hear two scenarios where a high- or low-status target affiliated with opposite-status groups based on either wealth or popularity. In one scenario, the group expressed an inclusive norm. In the other scenario, the group expressed an exclusive norm. For each scenario, children made predictions about children’s expectations for a target to acquire social resources. Novel findings indicated that children associated wealth status to some extent, but they drew stronger inferences from the wealth dimension than from the popularity dimension. In contrast to previous evidence that children distinguish between high- and low-status groups, we did not find evidence to support this in the context of the current study. In addition, norms of exclusion diminished children’s expectations for acquiring social resources from wealth and popularity groupsmore »but this effect was more pronounced between wealth groups. We found age differences in children’s expectations in regards to norms, but not in regards to status. The implications of how these effects, in addition to lack of effects, bear on children’s expectations about acquiring resources are discussed.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 11, 2023
  6. Investigating socioeconomic status (SES) biases, Nepalese children and adolescents (N = 605, 52% girls, Mage = 13.21, SDage = 1.74) attending schools that varied by SES composition were asked to anticipate whether a peer would include a high or low SES character as a math partner. Novel findings were that students attending mixed SES schools were more likely to expect inclusion of a low SES character than were students attending high SES schools. With age, high SES participants attending mixed SES schools increasingly expected the inclusion of the low SES character. Moreover, teachers' democratic beliefs in high SES schools predicted inclusive expectations. Teacher beliefs and school diversity play a significant role for fostering students' inclusivity in educational contexts.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 11, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  10. Incidents of prejudice and discrimination in K–12 schools have increased over the past decade around the world, including the United States. In 2018, more than two-thirds of the 2,776 U.S. educators surveyed reported witnessing a hate or bias incident in their school. Children and adolescents who experience prejudice, social exclusion, and discrimination are subject to compromised well-being and low academic achievement. Few educators feel prepared to incorporate this topic into the education curriculum. Given the long-term harm related to experiencing social exclusion and discrimination, school districts need to create positive school environments and directly address prejudice and bias. Several factors are currently undermining progress in this area. First, national debates in the United States and other countries have politicized the topic of creating fair and just school environments. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted children's and adolescents’ education by halting academic progress which has particularly negatively affected students from marginalized and ethnic/racial minority backgrounds. Third, teachers have experienced significant stress during COVID-19 with an increase in anxiety around virtual instruction and communication with parents. Three strategies recommended to address these converging problems include creating inclusive and nondiscriminatory policies for schools, promoting opportunities for intergroup contact and mutual respect, and implementingmore »evidence-based, developmentally appropriate education programs. It is anticipated that these strategies will help to reduce prejudice, increase ethnic and racial identity (ERI), and promote equity, fairness, and justice in school environments.

    « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 23, 2023