Social cure processes help lower intergroup anxiety among neighborhood residents

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 processes help lower intergroup anxiety among neighborhood residents. Political Psychology, 41 (6), pp. 1093-1111. 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 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
Alternative Title: Social cure lowers intergroup anxiety
Publication Title: Political Psychology
Creators: Stevenson, C., Costa, S., Easterbrook, M., McNamara, N. and Kellezi, B.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: December 2020
Volume: 41
Number: 6
ISSN: 0162-895X
Rights: © 2020 the authors. Political Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society of Political Psychology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Mar 2020 16:27
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2021 16:09

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