ABSTRACT

The degree of prejudice children express against racial/ethnic groups, gender, sexual orientation groups, and transgender people differs across age groups in complex patterns. The development of prejudice proceeds in several steps: learning which social categories are important in their cultures, learning how to place people in those categories, and developing category-based stereotypes and prejudice. These processes are influenced by parents, peers, and the media. Children with more intergroup contact exhibit less prejudice. In the school environment factors such as school policies and students’ attitudes and beliefs can create barriers to contact. These barriers can be reduced through cooperative learning, preparing children for contact, multicultural education, and having teachers who model positive intergroup attitudes.