Racism and xenophobia are not just the problems of the adult world; racist and xenophobic ideologies and practices influence children's perceptions and experiences at early ages. To understand the broader context of racism and xenophobia in childhood and adolescence, we focus on the family. Families can be significant sources of support in a racist society and provide children with important information regarding intergroup understanding. In this paper, we first provide an overview of research conducted among marginalized families that has focused on the role of family ethnic-racial socialization in supporting children and adolescents’ capabilities to cope with racism and xenophobia at the interpersonal and structural level. We then review research conducted among white and ethnic/religious majority families, that has mainly taken an intergroup relations perspective and has examined associations between parents’ and children’s intergroup attitudes, bias, and prejudice. Finally, we discuss how linking family ethnic-racial socialization and intergroup relations perspectives highlights areas that are currently understudied and offer recommendations concerning future research directions.
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