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Religious difference, inter-group trust, attraction, and disclosure amongst young people in Northern Ireland

Hargie, Owen, Dickson, David and Rainey, Seanenne (2002) Religious difference, inter-group trust, attraction, and disclosure amongst young people in Northern Ireland. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 10 . pp. 213-235. [Journal article]

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This study examines the extent and pattern of out-group contact amongst a cohort of Catholic and Protestant first year university students in Northern Ireland (N.I.). Attitudes towards mixing with members of the out-group were also considered, together with a complex of constructs identified in the literature as being central to friendship development. These included group identification, self-disclosure, out-group attraction, and trust. Gender differences were also taken into account. Results revealed significant differences between religious groups and between genders. Catholics displayed a greater inclination to disclose to a friend of the same religion (p<.05). They also recorded a stronger feeling of group identification than their out-group counterparts (p<.01). Females, compared with males, reported higher levels of out-group trust (p<.05), a greater willingness to self-disclose to a friend of both the same (p<.05) and other religion (p<.001) and “to others” collectively (p<.05) together with higher levels of social attraction towards the out-group (p<.05). Both males and females preferred disclosing to a friend than a stranger (p<.001). Criticism of Social Identity Theory and the Contact Hypothesis as incomplete explanations for inter-group relations are discussed. The contribution of relational dimensions to an understanding of the association of Catholics and Protestants in N.I. is explored.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Communication
Psychology Research Institute > Peace, Conflict and Equality
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:7518
Deposited By: Professor Owen Hargie
Deposited On:19 Jan 2010 10:58
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 09:56

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