Publications

Choi, K., S. Ramaj, and M. Haan. Forthcoming. "Age of the oldest child and internal migration of immigrant families: A study using administrative data from immigrant landing and tax files" Population, Place, and Space.

- Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/psp.2409 

Abstract:
Immigrant parents report better opportunities for their children as the rationale for moving internationally. Residential mobility is associated with poorer outcomes for school‐age children. Many immigrant families prioritise child opportunities in their mobility decisions, especially those with school‐age children. These families may refrain from moving within the destination country to avoid such outcomes. Whether or not this is true is unknown because researchers have not examined how children's age shapes immigrant families' decisions to move within the host country. We link administrative immigration and income tax files with census data to examine how the age of the oldest child influences immigrant families' decisions to move after they immigrate. Immigrant families with school‐age children are less likely to move than those with younger children. Although the presence of older children deters migration for all immigrant families, those in immigrant gateways are more likely to move relative to those living in nongateways.


Choi, K.H., Goldberg, R.E. The Social Significance of Interracial Cohabitation: Inferences Based on Fertility Behavior. Demography 57, 1727–1751 (2020).

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-020-00904-5  

Abstract:
Interracial couples cohabit at higher rates than same-race couples, which is attributed to lower barriers to interracial cohabitation relative to intermarriage. This begs the question of whether the significance of cohabitation differs between interracial and same-race couples. Using data from the 2006–2017 National Survey of Family Growth, we assessed the meaning of interracial cohabitation by comparing the pregnancy risk, pregnancy intentions, and union transitions following a pregnancy among women in interracial and same-race cohabitations. The pregnancy and union transition behaviors of women in White-Black cohabitations resembled those of Black women in same-race cohabitations, suggesting that White-Black cohabitation serves as a substitute to marriage and reflecting barriers to the formation of White-Black intermarriages. The behaviors of women in White-Hispanic cohabitations fell between those of their same-race counterparts or resembled those of White women in same-race cohabitations. These findings suggest that White-Hispanic cohabitations take on a meaning between trial marriage and substitute to marriage and support views that Hispanics with White partners are a more assimilated group than Hispanics in same-race unions. Results for pregnancy intentions deviated from these patterns. Women in White-Black cohabitations were less likely than Black women in same-race cohabitations to have an unintended pregnancy, suggesting that White-Black cohabitations are considered marriage-like unions involving children. Women in White-Hispanic cohabitations were more likely than White and Hispanic women in same-race cohabitations to have an unintended pregnancy, reflecting possible concerns about social discrimination. These findings indicate heterogeneity in the significance of interracial cohabitation and continuing obstacles to interracial unions.


Esses, V.M., & Hamilton, L.K., (2021). Xenophobia and anti-immigrant attitudes in the time of COVID-19. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 24, 253-259.

- part of a special issue on “In the time , of COVID: Group processes and intergroup relations”.

Abstract:
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nations and individuals has almost certainly led to increased feelings of threat and competition, heightened uncertainty, lack of control, and a rise in authoritarianism. In this paper we use social psychological and sociological theories to explore the anticipated effects on xenophobia and anti-immigrant attitudes worldwide. Based on our analysis, we discuss recommendations for further research required during the ups and downs of the pandemic, as well as during recovery. We also discuss the need for research to address how to best counteract this expected surge in xenophobia and anti-immigrant attitudes. As the pandemic persists, it will be important to systematically examine its effects on xenophobia and anti-immigrant attitudes, and to develop and implement strategies that keep these negative attitudes at bay.  


Esses, V.M. (2021). Prejudice and discrimination toward immigrants. Annual Review of Psychology, 72, 503-531.

- Available at: http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/JQY56VUYNWYHQTMGN5JH/full/10.1146/annurev-psych-080520-102803  

Abstract:
Prejudice and discrimination toward immigrants, and the consequences of these negative attitudes and behavior, are key determinants of the economic, sociocultural, and civic-political future of receiving societies and of the individuals who seek to make these societies their new home. In this article I review and organize the existing literature on the determinants and nature of prejudice and discrimination toward immigrants, summarizing what we know to date and the challenges in attributing effects to immigrant status per se. I also discuss the consequences of discrimination against immigrants for immigrants themselves, their families, and the societies in which they settle. I conclude by presenting key research questions and topics in this domain that should be at the top of th-e research agenda for those interested in intergroup relations in this age of mass migration.


Esses, V.M., Medianu, S., & Sutter, A. (2021). The dehumanization and rehumanization of refugees. In M. Kronfeldner (Ed.), Routledge handbook of dehumanization. Abingdon-on-Thames, UK: Routledge.

Abstract:
Refugees tend to be the targets of dehumanization, which may function to justify the poor treatment and exclusion that they face. In this chapter, we discuss the refugee situation worldwide and the need for global involvement in refugee protection. We link this focus on refugees to the concept of dehumanization and discuss how common media portrayals of refugees – including their depiction as bogus claimants who cheat to gain entry to Western countries and as terrorists who are a threat to receiving nations – may lead to the dehumanization of these individuals, which may in turn lead to their negative treatment and rejection. We then discuss the potential for the rehumanization of refugees, and the role of humanization in promoting fair treatment. This includes work on how system-sanctioned positive messages from political leaders can support the rehumanization of refugees and their asylum in Western nations. We conclude by discussing the implications of this work, and the need for further research in this area as a contribution to ameliorating the “refugee crisis.”


Mansell, J., Reuter, L., Rhea, C. and Kiesel, A. (2021) A Novel Network Approach to Capture Cognition and Affect: COVID-19 Experiences in Canada and Germany. Front. Psychol. 12:663627. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.663627

- Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.663627/full 

Abstract
We tested a novel method for studying human experience (thoughts and affect). We utilized Cognitive-Affective Maps (CAMs)–an approach to visually represent thoughts and their affective connotations as networks of concepts that individuals associate with a given event. Using an innovative software tool, we recruited a comparative sample of (n = 93) Canadians and (n = 100) Germans to draw a CAM of their experience (events, thoughts, feelings) with the Covid-19 pandemic. We treated these CAM networks as a series of directed graphs and examined the extent to which their structural properties (latent and emotional) are predictive for the perceived coronavirus threat (PCT). Across multiple models, we found consistent and significant relationships between these network variables and the PCT in both the Canadian and German sample. Our results provide unique insights into individuals' thinking and perceptions of the viral outbreak. Our results also demonstrate that a network analysis of CAMs' properties is a promising method to study the relationship between human thought and affective connotation. We suggest that CAMs can bridge several gaps between qualitative and quantitative methods. Unlike when using quantitative tools (e.g., questionnaires), participants' answers are not restricted by response items as participants are free to incorporate any thoughts and feelings on the given topic. Furthermore, as compared to traditional qualitative measures, such as structured interviews, the CAM technique may better enable researchers to objectively assess and integrate the substance of a shared experience for large samples of participants.


Harell, A., Hinckley, R., and Mansell, J. (2021) Valuing Liberty or Equality? Empathetic Personality and Political Intolerance of Harmful Speech. Front. Polit. Sci. 3:663858. doi: 10.3389/fpos.2021.663858

- Available at: Frontiers | Valuing Liberty or Equality? Empathetic Personality and Political Intolerance of Harmful Speech | Political Science (frontiersin.org)

Abstract:
Political tolerance is a core democratic value, yet a long-standing research agenda suggests that citizens are unwilling to put this value into practice when confronted by groups that they dislike. One of the most disliked groups, especially in recent times, are those promoting racist ideologies. Racist speech poses a challenge to the ideal of political tolerance because it challenges another core tenet of democratic politics – the value of equality. How do citizens deal with threats to equality when making decisions about what speech they believe should be allowed in their communities? In this article, we contribute to the rich literature on political tolerance, but focus on empathy as a key, and understudied, personality trait that should be central to how – and when – citizens reject certain types of speech. Empathy as a cognitive trait relates to one’s capacity to accurately perceive the feeling state of another person. Some people are more prone to worry and care about the feelings of other people, and such empathetic people should be most likely to reject speech that causes harm. Using a comparative online survey in Canada (n = 1,555) and the United States (n = 1627) conducted in 2017, we examine whether empathetic personalities - as measured by a modified version of the Toronto Empathy Scale - predict the tolerance of political activities by “least-liked” as well as prejudicially motivated groups. Using both a standard least-liked political tolerance battery, as well as a vignette experiment that manipulates group type, we test whether higher levels of trait empathy negatively correlate with tolerance of racist speech. Our findings show that empathy powerfully moderates the ways in which citizens react to different forms of objectionable speech.


Mansell, J., Harell, A., Thomas, M. et al. Competitive Loss, Gendered Backlash and Sexism in Politics. Polit Behav (2021). 

- Available at: Competitive Loss, Gendered Backlash and Sexism in Politics | SpringerLink

Abstract:
Politics is often seen as a zero-sum game, so understanding how competition affects political behavior is a fruitful, yet underexplored area of study. Reactions to competition are known to be gendered, as women are significantly more aware of and averse to the potential negative effects of competition—risk and loss—than are men. Participants (n = 1296) completed an experiment involving a non-political competitive task, where they were randomly assigned to receive a negative cue about their individual or gendered group's poor performance. Following this, we assessed their levels of political ambition, efficacy, interest, and sexism. We hypothesize that: (1) negative performance feedback on a competitive task will decrease political ambition, efficacy, and interest among women; and (2) men who receive negative feedback about their performance relative to women will report higher levels of sexism. We use a non-binary measure of masculinity/femininity that helps explain how gender identity affects these outcomes. Evidence does not support the conclusion that negative feedback about competition contributes to women’s lower levels of psychological engagement with politics. However, results show that negative performance feedback, particularly when it is relative to women, increases sexism in men. Furthermore, the effect of negative feedback on sexism is larger when men identify more strongly as masculine. We argue that threatening men’s relative performance partly explains larger trends of backlash against women in politics.


Mansell, J. (2020). Causation and Behaviour: The Necessity and Benefits of Incorporating Evolutionary Thinking into Political Science. Social Science Quarterly.

- Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ssqu.12856 

Abstract:
Political science now recognizes that both biological and social factors are significant to the expression of political phenomena. While necessary, this development has significant theoretical and methodological consequences. The recognition of biological and social factors complicates, rather than simplifies, the study of political phenomena by requiring a more complex model of behavioral causation.Objective.To adapt to this complexity, political science must familiarize itself with the study of behavior in the life and evolutionary sciences and adopt a consilient behavioral model. Method.To assist with this development, this article familiarizes political scientists with the principles on causation as they relate to behavior. It also reviews the most common approaches to studying behavioral causation in the evolutionary sciences. Conclusion.The article discusses the practical benefits of incorporating evolutionary thinking into the study of politics, including the importance of evolutionary thinking for problems of omitted variable bias.

Siegel, J. A., Anderson, R. A. A., Silver, K., & Mitchel, T. Yes, (In press). Yes, (most) men know what rape is: A mixed methods investigation into college men’s definitions of rape. Psychology of Men and Masculinities.

Abstract:
Sexual violence, including rape, is a pervasive problem on college campuses in the United States. Although men perpetrate the majority of sexual violence, men’s attitudes, experiences, and perspectives are not typically included in research on rape and sexual violence. We addressed this empirical gap through our mixed-methods analysis of 365 young men’s definitions of the term “rape.” Our analysis via consensual qualitative research revealed that men’s definitions fit into nine primary domains: lack of consent, taken advantage of, sex, sexual activity, unwanted, gender/sex-specific, harm to victim, relationship, and emotional response, as well as a miscellaneous domain. Further, using chi square tests of independence, we compared responses from men with and without a history of sexual violence perpetration. Findings showed that the definitions generated by men with a history of perpetration were less likely to include non-penetrative sexual violence and were more likely to use gender/sex-specific language in their definitions of rape. We conclude that most young men have a generally accurate understanding of rape, though perpetrators’ understandings may be somewhat narrower and more limited than those without a history of perpetration. We end with recommendations for refocusing sexual education curricula to better aid in the prevention of sexual violence perpetration. Specifically, given that (most) men know what rape is, educators should emphasize the cultural and situational factors that make rape more likely so all people can reduce the risk of sexual violence and take proactive precautions to prevent it.


Osa, M. L., Siegel, J. A., Elbe, C., & Meadows, A., & Calogero, R. M. (2021). Stigmatizing effects of weight status on lay perceptions of eating disorder-related distress. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention.

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2020.1855571

Abstract:
The present study examined how weight status would affect lay perceptions of a White female student presenting signs of eating disorder-related distress. We recruited a mixed-gender, weight-diverse U.S. community sample through Mechanical Turk (N = 130; 49.2% female) to complete an online survey. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in which they read a personal statement section of a college application revealing eating disorder-related distress from a student who was either ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight.’ Participants evaluated the student on need for support, behavioural prescriptions for eating and exercise, and personal qualities. Although participants recognized a serious mental health concern in both conditions, they were more likely to prescribe eating disorder behaviors to the higher weight student. Findings suggest that weight stigma may bias lay perceptions of and even reinforce an eating disorder when exhibited by higher weight individuals.


Siegel, J. A., & Calogero, R. M. (In press). Measurement of feminist identity and attitudes over the past half-century: A critical review and call for further research. Sex Roles.

- Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-020-01219-w

Abstract:
The study of feminism has a long and complicated history in psychological research over the past half century. Although a number of instruments have been designed to assess feminist attitudes and identity in the United States during this time, many contain psychometric problems or sample limitations, or they were derived from outdated models of feminism. Scales designed to assess feminist identity and attitudes require updating to reflect the shifting goals, meanings, and (mis)interpretations of feminism. Given feminism’s changing landscape and the emergence of postfeminism, a critical review of these tools is warranted. In the present article, we provide a synopsis of 10 self-report measures of feminist identity and attitudes (and their short and expanded forms) that met our selection criteria, including aims, psychometric properties, and utility for assessing modern feminist identity and attitudes. We identify the strengths and limitations of each measure and provide recommendations for a new generation of instruments to capture and assess modern feminist identity and attitudes in a changing cultural context.


Siegel, J. A., Ramseyer-Winter, V., & Cook, M. (2020). “It really presents a struggle for females, especially my little girl”: Exploring fathers’ experiences discussing body image with their young daughters. Body Image.

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.11.001

Abstract:
Body dissatisfaction in children, particularly young girls, is a growing concern around the world. The home environment can have a strong influence on children’s well-being, and parents may contribute to their children’s positive or negative body image development. Nearly all research on parent influence on body image has focused on mothers, leaving fathers’ attitudes and experiences poorly-understood. To address this gap in the literature, we interviewed 30 fathers (Mage = 40.30; SD = 7.48) of girls between the ages of 5 and 10 about the conversations they have with their daughters regarding body image. Through thematic analysis, we identified three primary themes: barriers to effective communication, combatting negative influences, and strategies for discussing body image. Fathers recognized the importance of talking about body image with their daughters, yet many did not feel confident or competent to do so effectively. They engaged in a variety of strategies to combat adverse cultural influences and encourage self-expression, character development, and mental and physical health in their daughters. However, messages about health were sometimes conflated with messages about thinness or food restriction. Implications for families and future research are discussed.


Calogero, R. M., Tylka, T. L., Siegel, J. A., Pina, A, & Roberts, T.-A. (2020). Smile pretty and watch your back: Personal safety anxiety and vigilance in objectification theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000344

Abstract:
Objectification Theory posits that everyday encounters with sexual objectification carry a diffuse nonspecific sense of threat that engenders personal safety anxiety in women. In this article, we provide direct evidence for this tenet across 5 studies and 1,665 participants using multiple methods. Study 1 (N = 207) and Study 2 (N = 161) explored and confirmed the factor structure of the Personal Safety Anxiety and Vigilance Scale (PSAVS), a measure of personal safety anxiety, and provided evidence for the reliability and construct validity of its scores. Study 3 (N = 363) showed that personal safety anxiety is a conceptually different construct for women and men, and differentially mediated the relation between sexual objectification and restricted freedom of movement and the relation between self-objectification and restricted freedom of movement for women and men. Study 4 (N = 460) included a comprehensive test of personal safety anxiety within an expanded Objectification Theory model, which supported personal safety anxiety as a mediator of the links from sexual and self-objectification to women’s restricted freedom of movement. Study 5 (N = 474) replicated these results while also adjusting for specific fears of crime and rape. Our findings offer a newly validated assessment tool for future research on safety anxiety, illuminate the real and lasting sense of threat engendered by everyday sexual objectification, and broaden understanding of the mental and physical constraints on women’s lived experiences posited in Objectification Theory.


Cooper, M., Reilly, E., Siegel, J. A., Coniglio, K., Sadeh-Sharvit, S., Pisetsky, E. M., & Anderson, L. (2020). Eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine: An overview of the literature and recommendations for treatment and prevention. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention. Online first.

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2020.1790271

Abstract:
Individuals with eating disorders (EDs) are at significant risk for increases in symptomatology and diminished treatment access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental precautions to limit coronavirus spread have affected food availability and access to healthy coping mechanisms, and have contributed to weight-stigmatizing social media messages that may be uniquely harmful to those experiencing EDs. Additionally, changes in socialization and routine, stress, and experiences of trauma that are being experienced globally may be particularly deleterious to ED risk and recovery. This paper presents a brief review of the pertinent literature related to the risk of EDs in the context of COVID-19 and offers suggestions for modifying intervention efforts to accommodate the unique challenges individuals with EDs and providers may be experiencing in light of the ongoing public health crisis.  


Vaswani, M., Safdar, S., Newby-Clark, I. R., & Giguère, B. (2021). Canadian identity attenuates the negative impact of familial rejection on psychological distress. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 81, 142-153.

- Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2021.01.009 

Abstract:
Bicultural individuals generally maintain their heritage cultures and live in accordance with mainstream culture with relative ease. However, when the two cultures hold incompatible values, beliefs, and social norms over what is considered appropriate, bicultural individuals may face unique challenges. One such challenge is potentially experiencing rejection from their families for transgressing their heritage cultural norms, which can cause psychological distress. The present study explored the association of familial rejection for transgressing heritage cultural norms and psychological distress in situations where those norms are incompatible with mainstream Canadian norms, and the role that Canadian group identification plays. Results revealed that familial rejection for transgressing heritage cultural norms may be associated with psychological distress; however, that association can be attenuated for those who strongly identify as Canadian. Results of the present study provide empirical support for the widely held but untested assumption that bicultural individuals’ experiences of familial rejection for transgressing heritage cultural norms is associated with psychological distress. Additionally, results of the present study suggest that Canadian group identification can assist bicultural Canadians to better cope when their familial relationships are threatened as a result of their heritage cultural norm transgressions.

 


Werner, K. “Filling the Gap: Customary Institutions as Governance Actors”, Peacebuilding, 2021.

- Available at:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21647259.2021.1895619 

Abstract: 
Customary institutions have taken a lead in providing justice and peace services following conflict in Uganda, taking on governance roles despite being relegated to only cultural status. This has been particularly prevalent in remote areas where government services are lacking, and where customary institutions remain both familiar and accessible. While this has some positive effects, it also has long term negative normative and political implications, which may contribute to uneven service delivery, increasing fragmentation of the state and impunity from the state’s responsibility to address serious crimes. This paper considers the role of customary institutions in delivering peace and justice in the aftermath of small-scale conflict. It argues that indigenous institutions can be enablers of impunity and that there is a need for a more inclusive and integrated framework in which the state works with indigenous structures to ensure service gaps are filled in a cohesive and sustainable manner.

Ashaba, I. & Werner, K., “Uganda” in Reyntjens, F. (ed) Political Chronicles of the African Great Lakes Region 2019, Antwerp, University Press Antwerp, 2020, p. 83-104.  

- Available at: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/projects/great-lakes-africa-centre/publications/political-chronicles-home/political-chronicles-2019/ 

Abstract:
This chronicle covers political events in Uganda in 2019, a year which saw a cabinet reshuffle, a university strike, growing tensions within the opposition, the announcement of presidential candidacies, and an ongoing spat with Rwanda. Regionally, Uganda has been in a low-level conflict with Rwanda which has resulted in a closed border even after an agreement between Museveni and Kagame was signed in Angola. As Uganda heads to general elections in 2021 President Yoweri Museveni will certainly be the candidate of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, although opposition figure Bobi Wine is garnering international fame, both through the media and his music, and has seemingly become a viable alternative particularly to younger Ugandans. Less visible, but certainly no less significant with elections approaching, are signs of freedom of expression being curtailed, from the social media tax instituted in 2018, to the increase in gag orders for the press, the new legislation on cyber harassment which has resulted in the arrest of academic and activist Stella Nyanzi, as well as ongoing discussions about the regulation of lyrics. The chronicle offers an overview of these and other events beginning with everyday governance in the country, to an examination of the regional tensions, and the ramping up of preparations for elections in 2021.