Hearing individual refugee stories makes children more compassionate toward new arrivals, suggests a new study.

We know the benefits of storytelling for all kinds of different groups. This research has the focus on the benefits of individual refugee stories on children. In host communities, children’s attitudes and behaviours are important for the integration of refugee children. Integration is a complex subject which has many different layers. It seems that this study is also tackling polarization in an early stage of integration, this is a very new and inventive approach on how to tackle polarization in host countries worldwide. 

The study shows how important it is that children and probably adults, as well hear refugee stories. It  once again reveals the links between empathy, attitudes, and a willingness to help.  It seems that creating feelings of empathy, specifically through telling stories about the experiences of refugees, can create more of a desire to help them in the future.Over half of refugees are school‐aged children. In host communities, children’s attitudes and behaviours are important for the integration of refugee children. In both the experimental and control conditions, children were introduced to a (fictional) refugee and told that he or she would be moving to their school. The experimental condition also listened to a storybook about the child’s refugee experience. Empathy, outgroup attitudes, and prosocial behaviour toward the incoming child, and refugees as a group, were measured.

Read more: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_children_need_to_hear_refugee_stories

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