The Development and Consequences of Stereotype Consciousness in Middle Childhood

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Abstract

Two studies including an ethnically diverse sample of 202 children ages 6 to 10 examined the development and consequences of children's awareness of others’ stereotypes (“stereotype consciousness”). Study 1 revealed that between ages 6 and 10, children's ability to infer an individual's stereotype increases dramatically. Children's awareness of broadly held stereotypes also increases with age, and children from academically stigmatized ethnic groups (African Americans and Latinos) are at all ages more likely be aware of broadly held stereotypes than children from academically nonstigmatized ethnic groups (Whites and Asians). Study 2 revealed that among children from stigmatized ethnic groups aware of broadly held stereotypes, on 1 of 2 challenging cognitive tasks and self-reported effort, diagnostic testing conditions led to stereotype threat effects.

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