Reducing Israeli-Jewish Pupils’ Outgroup Prejudice with a Mindfulness and Compassion-Based Social-Emotional Program
- 695 Downloads
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a newly developed mindfulness and compassion-based social-emotional intervention, Call to Care-Israel (C2C-I), in reducing prejudiced attitudes of Israeli-Jewish youth toward the Israeli-Palestinian outgroup. The C2C-I combines social-cognitive and social-emotional driven mindfulness and compassion practice into one program to create a community of care and cultivate compassion toward the self and others. Three hundred twenty-four Israeli-Jewish 3rd–5th graders (ngirls = 137) from three elementary schools in central Israel were assigned by partial randomization to the C2C-I intervention (nC2CI = 175) or a wait-list control group. Outgroup prejudice was assessed by three measures—stereotyping, affective prejudice, and readiness for social contact—at pre- and post-intervention, as well as at a 6-month follow-up. Results showed that, compared to control group participants, those in the C2C-I intervention significantly reduced affective prejudice toward and negative stereotyping about the Israeli-Palestinian outgroup, while simultaneously increasing their readiness to engage in social contact with Israeli-Palestinian youth. Importantly, the significant effects found in the C2C-I group were maintained at the 6-month follow-up—a period that involved a violent escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—while further deterioration in intergroup attitudes emerged for the control group. High effect sizes for group differences in all prejudice measures emerged, further highlighting the robust impact of the C2C-I program. These results have significant implications for implementing C2C-I mindfulness and compassion-based practices in order to promote positive intergroup relations in areas characterized by ethnic tension and violent conflict.
KeywordsCall to Care-Israel Compassion Intergroup contact Mindfulness Prejudice reduction Protracted ethnic conflict
RB: designed and executed the study, trained the facilitators, managed the data collection, and collaborated with the writing of the manuscript. AB: assisted in the conceptualization of the study, analyzed the data, and collaborated with the writing of the manuscript. RT: designed and executed the study, assisted with data collection, analyzed the data, wrote part of the methods and results, and collaborated with the editing of the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Aboud, F. E. (2008). A social-cognitive developmental theory of prejudice. In S. M. Quintana & C. McKown (Eds.), Handbook of race, racism, and the developing child (pp. 55–71). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Beaumont, P. (2015). Is a third Palestinian intifada on the way—or has it already begun? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/05/third-palestinian-intifada-on-way-or-already-begun
- Berger, R., Benatov, J., Abu-Raiya, H., & Tadmor, C. T. (2016a). Reducing prejudice and promoting positive intergroup attitudes among elementary-school children in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Journal of School Psychology, 57, 53–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2016.04.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., Sefal, Z. V., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D., & Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11, 230–241. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy.bph077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brach, T. (2004). Radical acceptance: embracing your life with the heart of a Buddha. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
- Brenick, A., Lee-Kim, J., Killen, M., Fox, N. A., Raviv, A., & Leavitt, L. A. (2007). Social judgments in Israeli and Arab children: Findings from media-based intervention projects. In D. Lemish & M. Götz (Eds.), Children and media at times of conflict and war (pp. 287–308). Cresskill: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
- Brown, R. (2010). Prejudice: its social psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Christ, O., & Wagner, U. (2013). Methodological issues in the study of intergroup contact: towards a new wave of research. In G. Hodson & M. Hewstone (Eds.), Advances in intergroup contact (pp. 262–305). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Dalai Lama, T. G., & Ekman, P. (2008). Emotional awareness: overcoming the obstacles to psychological balance and compassion: a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman. New York: Times Books/Henry Holt and Co..Google Scholar
- Dodson-Lavelle, B., Berger, R., Makransky, J., & Siegle, P. (2014). Call to Care: educators’ professional development guide, (1st edition), Amherst: Mind and Life Institute.Google Scholar
- Kaminsky, M., & Bar-Tal, D. (1996). Stereotypic perceptions of different Israeli-Arab labels as a function of age and religiosity. Studies in Education, 1, 121–157.Google Scholar
- Lavelle Heineberg, B. D. (2016). Promoting caring: mindfulness- and compassion-based contemplative training for educators and students. In K. A. Schonert-Reichl & R. W. Roeser (Eds.), Handbook of mindfulness in education: integrating theory and research into practice (pp. 285–294). New York: Springer-Verlag Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3506-2_18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Makransky, J. (2007). Awakening through love: a Buddhist guide for unveiling deepest goodness. Boston: Wisdom Publishing.Google Scholar
- Safran, J. D., & Segal, Z. V. (1990). Interpersonal process in cognitive therapy. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Salzberg, S. (2002). Loving-kindness: the revolutionary art of happiness. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
- Schachner, M. K., Brenick, A., Heizmann, B., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Noack, P. (2015). Structural and normative conditions for interethnic friendships in multiethnic classrooms. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 47, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2015.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social-emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: a randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shwed, U., Shavit, Y., Dellashi, M., & Ofek, M. (2014). Integration of Arab Israelis and Jews in schools in Israel. Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. Retrieved from: http://taubcenter.org.il/integration-of-arabisraelis-and-jews-in-schools-in-israel.
- Tirch, D. D., Silberstein, L. R., & Kolts, R. L. (2016). Buddhist psychology and cognitive-behavioral therapy: a clinician’s guide. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar