Indirect contact through book reading: Improving adolescents' attitudes and behavioral intentions toward immigrants



A study was conducted to test the effects of indirect contact through book reading on the improvement of Italian students' attitudes, stereotypes, and behavioral intentions toward immigrants. The results indicated that adolescents who read a book concerning intercultural topics, compared to those who read a book unrelated to intercultural themes or to those who did not read any book, showed improved intergroup attitudes, reduction in stereotyping, more positive intergroup behavioral intentions, and an increased desire to engage in future contact. Furthermore, the effects of indirect contact were mediated by increased inclusion of other in the self and reduced group identification. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.