2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Iryna Babik


The investigation of out-group perception, starting in early childhood, has been increasingly important in the recent years. The purpose of the current study is to investigate how parenting style, child’s temperament, and child’s attachment style affect out-group perceptions in early childhood (3-7 years). Authoritarian parenting, which is demanding, over-controlling, and unresponsive [1], is more likely to produce fearful individuals who tend to protect the in-group and display out-group biases [2]. Conversely, authoritative parenting, which is warm, responsive, and undemanding [1], produces empathetic, open-minded children who tend to condemn out-group biases [3,4]. For temperament, self-confident, social children (3-4 years) often grow up to show greater acceptance toward out-groups compared to fearful, indecisive children who often grow up to be resistant to change and have more negative attitudes toward out-group members [5]. For attachment styles, infants who are securely attached grow up to embrace differences in members of out-groups and condemn intergroup biases. In contrast, insecurely attached infants become individuals who seek security in their affiliation with ingroups, which triggers intergroups biases and social exclusion [6]. By understanding how these factors affect out-group perception, we can work to foster positive attitudes toward out-groups and create more inclusive environments, beginning in early childhood.


  1. Baumrind, D. (1994). The social context of child maltreatment. Family relations, 360-368.
  2. Holub, S. C., Tan, C. C., & Patel, S. L. (2011). Factors associated with mothers’ obesity stigma and young children’s weight stereotypes. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 118–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2011.02.006
  3. Fraley, R. C., Griffin, B. N., Belsky, J., & Roisman, G. I. (2012). Developmental antecedents of political ideology: A longitudinal investigation from birth to age 18 years. Psychological science, 23(11), 1425-1431.
  4. McAdams, D. P., Albaugh, M., Farber, E., Daniels, J., Logan, R. L., & Olson, B. (2008). Family metaphors and moral intuitions: How conservatives and liberals narrate their lives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(4), 978–990.
  5. Block, J., & Block, J. H. (2006). Nursery school personality and political orientation two decades later. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(5), 734-749. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2005.09.005
  6. Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2001). Attachment theory and intergroup bias: Evidence that priming the secure base schema attenuates negative reactions to outgroups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 97–115.



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