Children's helping behavior in an ethnic intergroup context: Evidence for outgroup helping

Jellie Sierksma, Tessa A M Lansu, Johan C Karremans, Gijsbert Bijlstra

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Two studies examined when and why children (10-13 years) help ethnic in-group and out-group peers. In Study 1 (n = 163) children could help an out-group or in-group peer with a word-guessing game by entering codes into a computer. While children evaluated the out-group more negatively than the in-group, they helped out-group peers more than in-group peers. Study 2 (n = 117) conceptually replicated the findings of Study 1. Additionally the results suggest that when children endorsed the stereotype that the out-group is "less smart," this increased their intention to help out-group peers and it decreased their intention to enter codes for in-group peers. The results suggest that the specific content of a negative stereotype can guide helping responses toward out-group and in-group members. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-928
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

(c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior/physiology
  • Ethnic Groups/psychology
  • Group Processes
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Peer Group
  • Stereotyping


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