Interventions to Reduce Racial Bias and Prejudice in Preschool Children: A Systematic Review of the Literature Since 2010

Ortal Slobodin, Tala Noufi, Yael Caspi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Developmental research suggests that preschool children can already identify racial differences and show race-based preferences. While previous studies underscore the importance of early interventions to challenge negative racial beliefs and promote positive attitudes, little is known about which models or implementation strategies are most effective. To understand the current landscape of these interventions, we conducted a systematic review of studies describing anti-bias interventions for children under 6 years of age between 2010 and 2023. We used the preferred guidelines for reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). In total, 11 articles met our inclusion criteria. Interventions were grouped into four main categories: perceptual individuation training, media exposure, mentalizing intervention, and contact with another racial/ethnic group. All interventions, except the one that studied the efficacy of storybook reading on Indonesian children’s racial attitudes, were effective in reducing racial bias. None of the reported interventions had an adverse effect. Only two studies assessed the long-term effects of the intervention. The current review supports the view that children at young ages are responsive to educational interventions focusing on racial attitudes and awareness. The limitations of existing studies and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1032
Number of pages16
JournalSchool Mental Health
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Ethnic bias
  • Prejudice reduction
  • Preschool
  • Program Evaluation
  • Racial bias
  • Systematic review

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