Good words! I love the “Breathe” things at the end too! 🙂
A recent study showed that adolescents are influenced by parents’ prejudices—toward immigrants, specifically, and concerning difference, in general. Behavioral research is famously unsuccessful in clearly demonstrating causality. Still, a strong correlation is valuable for insight and consideration. This research happened to be well constructed (consistent measures, valid data, accounting for confounding variables, etc.) Being intuitive that young adolescents tend to express similar attitudes to their parents’ toward others augments the findings.
The effect seems to shifts, though, in older adolescents, particularly if teenagers are in a setting that includes immigrant teens (e.g., public school). In this case, prejudice tends to decrease. Interesting were the lower scores for markers of empathy prevalent for those expressing greater prejudice. And empathy markers in adolescents were clearly correlated to the same trajectory as for their parents.
Now, it is important to note that while empathy is other-perspectival it is much more comprehensive than the put-yourself-in-her-shoes…
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