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Children's Perceptions of Discrimination: A Developmental Model


  • This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the second author. The authors are extremely grateful to Jacqueline Woolley, Campbell Leaper, and our anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

concerning this article should be addressed to Christia Spears Brown, Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095. Electronic mail may be sent to


Discrimination affects millions of children in the United States and throughout the world. Although the topic is important for both theoretical and applied reasons, little developmental work has examined children's perceptions of discrimination directed toward themselves and others. A review of past theoretical and empirical work on the perception of discrimination is provided. Next, a developmental model of the perception of discrimination is offered. The model identifies developmental and individual differences expected to influence judgments about discrimination, as well as situational variables that are likely to support attributions to discrimination.