Sibling Relation, Ethnic Prejudice, Direct and Indirect Contact: There is a Connection?


  • Sara Alfieri
  • Elena Marta


The literature on the socialisation of prejudice has concentrated on “vertical” processes (from parents to children), ignoring siblings’ contribution. This work aims to investigate the effect of contact (direct or indirect) with the outgroup that young people experience a) directly or b) indirectly through older or younger siblings’ friendships. Our hypotheses are a) that young people with friends in the outgroup will report lower prejudice levels (direct contact), as will young people who have older or younger siblings with friends in the outgroup (indirect contact); b) that other forms of contact such as having classmates/coworkers, neighbours, or employees are not effective in reducing either direct or indirect prejudice. 88 sibling dyads were administered the blatant and subtle prejudice questionnaire (Pettigrew & Meertens, 1995) and some ad hoc items aimed at investigating the typology of the contact experienced. The analysis of mixed ANOVA reveals that the first hypothesis was partially confirmed in that prejudice (subtle for the younger sibling and blatant for the older one) decreases in a statistically significant way only when there is the co-presence of direct and indirect contact. The second hypothesis is fully confirmed as no statistically significant differences emerged between the groups.