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Parents' valuing diversity and White children's prosociality toward White and Black peers


Although scholars are increasingly building empirical evidence that helps us understand racism, they have conducted surprisingly little research on White children's prosocial behavior toward historically marginalized people. 190 White, non-Hispanic children (M = 7.09 years, 54.2% boys) participated in the study. We examined whether both parents' reported values for racial diversity in their children's friendships and parents' and teachers' reports of children's cross-race friendships were related to children's sharing behaviors toward Black or White peers. We found that parents' valuing of diversity was positively related to older, but not younger, children's sharing behavior toward Black peers but not White peers. Further, for children of all age, parental diversity values were positively related to teachers' and parents' report of children's cross-race friendships. Our findings indicate that interventions to improve White children's positive behavior toward Black peers should include a focus on contexts that promote equity (i.e., parents' values and friendships).

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