The role of threats in the racial attitudes of Blacks and Whites

Walter G. Stephan, Kurt A. Boniecki, Oscar Ybarra, Ann Bettencourt, Kelly S. Ervin, Linda A. Jackson, Penny S. McNatt, C. Lausanne Renfro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study employed the integrated threat theory of intergroup attitudes to examine the attitudes of Black and White students toward the other racial group. This theory synthesizes previous research on the relationships of threats to intergroup attitudes. Structural equation modeling revealed that for both racial groups, realistic threats, symbolic threats, and intergroup anxiety predicted attitudes toward the other group. To varying degrees, the effects of negative contact, strength of ingroup identity, perceptions of intergroup conflict, perceived status inequality, and negative stereotyping on negative racial attitudes were mediated by the three threat variables. The model accounted for more variance in the negative attitudes of Whites toward Blacks than in the negative attitudes of Blacks toward Whites. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1254
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of threats in the racial attitudes of Blacks and Whites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this