The shadow of war: Parental competitive victimhood and children's contact intentions in two post‐accord societies

Dearbháile Counihan, Bethany Corbett, Jasmina Tomašić Humer, Ana Tomovska Misoska, Jocelyn B. Dautel, Laura K. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


The effects of political violence are felt across generations; for example, extent of parental competitive victimhood (feeling that one's ingroup was relatively more victimised during the conflict) predicts adolescent's intergroup discrimination. We extend that research to children, born a generation after the height of violence. Participants were 223 family dyads with children aged 7–11 (M = 9.05, SD = 1.30; 52.4% female): Croatia (n = 82) and Republic of North Macedonia (RNM: n = 141), equally split by group status (i.e., Croatia: Croats/Serbs; RNM: Macedonian/Albanian). Parents reported on competitive victimhood while children reported on intergroup contact intentions (e.g., shared education initiatives). Moderation analysis across sites found a significant status by competitive victimhood interaction; increased parental competitive victimhood was associated with decreased contact intentions among minority, but not majority, children. We review site‐specific findings in relation to their historical context, concluding with the implications for shared education, reconciliation and peacebuilding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date25 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 25 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. European Journal of Social Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Croatia
  • reconciliation
  • competitive victimhood
  • peacebuilding
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • intergroup conflict
  • children


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