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Abstract

The present study investigated the attitudes of one disadvantaged minority group in Australia, Asian Australians (N = 87), towards another more severely disadvantaged minority group, Aboriginal Australians. Asian Australian attitudes were compared to European Australian attitudes (N = 273). Cognitions of outgroup rejection, identification and intergroup anxiety were assessed in relation modern racism, desire for intergroup avoidance and support for a national apology. Both Asian and European participants who perceived Aboriginal Australians as rejecting were more likely to express intergroup anxiety. Anxiety mediated the relationship between cognitions of rejection and the dependent variables. Whilst there was a direct positive relationship between European Australian identification and prejudice, for Asian Australian participants, identification moderated the relationship between cognitions of rejection and the dependent variables. Highly identified Asian Australian participants were particularly sensitive to cognitions of rejection, which increased modern racism and avoidance and lowered political support. The pattern was reversed for low identifiers, who were more likely to endorse a national apology to Aboriginal Australians when they perceived Aboriginal Australians as rejecting. The role of perceived rejection in predicting prejudice and avoidance, and the moderating role of Asian Australian identification, are both discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.