Contact Interventions in Intractable Conflicts: Long-Term Attitude and Behavior Intention Changes in Israel

“Conflicts based in ethnic, religious, and racial differences continue to erupt around the world, despite decades of interventions and scholarly research.” (Tropp, 2012, p. 3). One way to improve intergroup relations was introduced by Allport (1954) in The Nature of Prejudice. In this book, he wrote...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Guffler, Kerstin
Contributors: Wagner, Ulrich (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Dissertation
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2016
Psychologie
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Summary:“Conflicts based in ethnic, religious, and racial differences continue to erupt around the world, despite decades of interventions and scholarly research.” (Tropp, 2012, p. 3). One way to improve intergroup relations was introduced by Allport (1954) in The Nature of Prejudice. In this book, he wrote that intergroup contact under certain conditions can reduce prejudice between conflicting groups. Several scholars confirmed this understanding empirically. Especially for contact programs, positive effects on reduced prejudice and improved intergroup relations were discovered (e.g., Lemmer & Wagner, 2015; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). This doctoral thesis follows Allport’s approach and strives to increase theoretical and practical knowledge about intergroup contact interventions between conflicting groups. We focus on those interventions that are implemented in intractable conflicts and include face-to-face contact interventions with repeated intergroup meetings. We build on and extend current contact sustainability research by investigating long-term contact inter¬vention effects. Accordingly, we evaluate, in the context of the current intractable Israel-Palestine conflict, two intergroup contact interventions involving Jewish Israeli and Arab Israeli students between the age of 10 and 13. The results of the first intervention are described in manuscript 1; results of the second intervention are presented in manuscript 2. Manuscript 1: Study 1 illustrates that multiple short intergroup meetings between Jewish Israeli and Arab Israeli students in Israel led to sustainable changes at least for majority members. We also discovered that the valence of personal intergroup experience had an impact on short- and in case of the majority long-term effects. In Study 2, we showed that long-term intervention effects appeared in fact only after the participation in multiple contact meetings. Manuscript 2: We investigated whether an intergroup contact intervention that included two intergroup meetings between Jewish and Arab Israeli students in Israel led to improved long-term intergroup relations. Besides our interest in long-term intergroup contact effects in an intractable conflict, we analyzed minority-majority differences in this context. Results for minority members (Arab Israeli) showed positive short- but no long-term contact intervention effects. That is, attitudes and behavior intentions improved shortly after the intervention but went back to the before-intervention level after nine weeks. Contrary to our expectation for majority members (Jewish Israeli), the intervention led to a reduction of positive intergroup relations both in the short- and long-run. By merging quantitative data with students’ comments about their intergroup experience, we identified that this effect was probably based on negative contact experiences. Additionally, we analyzed our quasi-experimental data using state of the art methodical approaches, i.e., latent variable modeling, longitudinal and cross-group measurement invariance analysis, control for hierarchical effects, and missing data analysis. A detailed description of the applied methods is included in the synopsis.
Physical Description:175 Pages
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2016.0484