Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

From empathy to action: Can enhancing host‐society children's empathy promote positive attitudes and prosocial behaviour toward refugees?

Abstract Over half of refugees are school‐aged children. In host communities, children's attitudes and behaviours are important for the integration of refugee children. This study examines the empathy–attitudes–action model in middle childhood (N = 94, 8 to 11 years old). In both the experimental and control conditions, children were introduced to a (fictional) refugee and told that he or she would be moving to their school. The experimental condition also listened to a storybook about the child's refugee experience. Empathy, outgroup attitudes, and prosocial behaviour toward the incoming child, and refugees as a group, were measured. Although mediation was not supported, the storybook condition reported more empathy and helping intentions, and attitudes predicted helping intentions but not giving to refugees. Results highlight how host‐society children can welcome refugees.

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