Race, Wealth, and Preschool children

Preschool children view White families as much more likely to own high-wealth items.

Over one hundred 4- and 5-year-old children participated in this study. They were shown pictures of high-wealth items, like nice houses or expensive objects, and separate pictures of a Black family & a White family, then asked to match the items with the family that owned the item. Children “showed a significant tendency to match White families with high wealth items.”

Shutts K, Brey EL, Dornbusch LA, Slywotzky N, Olson KR (2016) Children Use Wealth Cues to Evaluate Others. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0149360.

What action will I take?  I’ve tried shutting out the negative influence of pop culture from my oldest child’s life, but that didn’t work…at all. It’s everywhere. My new plan is to try just monitoring her consumption of said pop culture, and attempting to counter it whenever possible. I’m setting up a mental flag to pop up when I see my oldest child begin to develop concepts of money, wealth, and race so I can consciously help shape her attitudes about it. I’m guessing that day will come pretty soon.

For an introduction to this blog series, click here.

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