Reducing Prejudice in Childhood

September 29, 2016 (12 p.m. – 1 p.m.)


Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB), Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD


6710B Rockledge Drive, Room 2223, Bethesda, Maryland


Melanie Killen, Ph.D., is Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, Professor of Psychology (Affiliate), and the Director of the NICHD Graduate Training Program in Social Development at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Killen's research areas include social cognitive development of children and adolescents, morality, experiences and perceptions of social exclusion, prejudice and bias, theory of mind, social inequalities in childhood, origins of fair distribution of resources, and the role of school environments on development.

Dr. Killen will describe research on children's racial bias and the role of intergroup contact for reducing prejudice in childhood. Children who experience prejudice and discrimination are at risk for long-term negative consequences related to academic motivation and healthy well-being. Intergroup contact, which is defined as direct and indirect forms of positive contact with members of outgroups (other social groups), has been shown to reduce prejudice. For example, research suggests that the most significant predictor for reducing prejudice is cross-race friendships.

According to Dr. Killen, stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes are deeply entrenched by adulthood, and the time for intervention is during childhood. She also will discuss research on racial bias and intergroup social relationships, as well as policy and programs designed to reduce prejudice.

This presentation is part of the Advances in Child Development and Behavior Research Speaker Series, supported by the CDBB.

If you require a sign language interpreter and/or other reasonable accommodations, please contact Laureen Lee.


Laureen Lee, CDBB, DER, NICHD
Tel: (301) 496-5578

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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