Ethnic outgroup aggression: A pilot study on the importance of emotion regulation, nationalism and susceptibility to persuasion

Snežana Stupar-Rutenfrans, Petrouschka C.D. Verdouw, Jedidja van Boven, Olga Aleksandrovna Ryzhkina, Anastasia Batkhina, Idil Aksoz-Efe, Oriola Hamzallari, Penny Papageorgopoulou, Fitim Uka, Nebojša Petrović, Arta Statovci, Miranda Rutenfrans-Stupar, Daniela Garbin Praničević, Skerdi Zahaj, Eric Mijts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current pilot study investigated the psychological mechanisms behind ethnic outgroup aggression, a significant outcome of intergroup conflicts. While previous research suggested several impactful predictors of ethnic outgroup aggression, such as intergroup contact and nationalism, no attempt has been made to synthesize all these constructs into a single cross-cultural study. Building on existing research, this pilot study is the first to assess a refined framework where we tested a proposed mediation model according to nationalism and emotion regulation mediate the relationship between intergroup contact, susceptibility to persuasion, and intergroup anxiety on the one hand and ethnic outgroup aggression on the other hand within a cross-cultural sample. An online questionnaire was distributed using convenience sampling among 2482 students with an ethnic majority background living and studying in ten (European) countries. Multigroup path analysis supported the larger part of the hypothesized model where we found that emotion regulation partially mediated the relationship between susceptibility to persuasion as a predictor and aggression as an outcome. As expected, we found that the higher the susceptibility to persuasion, the higher the emotion regulation, and the higher the regulation, the lower the aggression in all countries. Our pilot study provided preliminary evidence that emotion regulation, nationalism and susceptibility to persuasion are critical for the understanding of ethnic outgroup aggression in ethnically diverse societies. Future research needs to be carried out focusing on the development of an intergroup anxiety assessment in which possible gender differences in assessed constructs are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Emotion regulation
  • Intergroup anxiety
  • Nationalism
  • Outgroup aggression




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