Social cure lowers intergroup anxiety

Stevenson, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2438-6425, Costa, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-2392-6039, Easterbrook, M., McNamara, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-3123-3678 and Kellezi, B. ORCID: 0000-0003-4825-3624, 2020. Social cure lowers intergroup anxiety. Political Psychology. ISSN 0162-895X (Forthcoming)

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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 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 has yet to examine the role of intragroup support processes in facilitating this. The present paper takes the case of residential contact, in which the impact of diversification upon neighbourhood cohesion is hotly debated, but the role of neighbourhood identification and social support from neighbours 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 neighbourhood identification predicts both wellbeing 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 neighbourhood 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: Journal article
Publication Title: Political Psychology
Creators: Stevenson, C., Costa, S., Easterbrook, M., McNamara, N. and Kellezi, B.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 25 March 2020
ISSN: 0162-895X
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Mar 2020 16:27
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 16:27

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