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Mindfulness

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 1768–1779 | Cite as

Reducing Israeli-Jewish Pupils’ Outgroup Prejudice with a Mindfulness and Compassion-Based Social-Emotional Program

  • Rony Berger
  • Alaina BrenickEmail author
  • Ricardo Tarrasch
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Call to Care-Israel Compassion Intergroup contact Mindfulness Prejudice reduction Protracted ethnic conflict 

Notes

Author Contributions

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

Ethical Approval

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.

Supplementary material

12671_2018_919_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (63 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 62 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine and PREPARED Center for Emergency Response ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeershebaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.School of EducationTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Sagol School of NeuroscienceTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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