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Positive and negative racial attitudes of 122 Euro-Australian children (60 girls and 62 boys) toward Euro-, Asian, and Aboriginal Australians were examined across the 5–6-, 7–9-, and 10–12-year age groups. Children were more positive toward Euro- and Asian Australians than toward Aborigines. The middle group were less negative toward Aborigines than were the older and younger groups. Greater maturity in the ability to reconcile different racial perspectives and to perceive between-race similarity was moderately related to greater racial tolerance. Although the results support the role of cognition in age-related changes in prejudice between ages 5 to 9, found by A. B. Doyle and F. E. Aboud (see record 1995-28726-001) in Canadian children, the differences in attitudes to the 2 other groups and the finding that older children's negativity did not differ from that of the youngest group suggest the influence of environmental in addition to cognitive factors in the development of prejudice.

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Journal Article

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