Extended Contact with Turks and Syrian Refugees' Intention to Migrate: The Mediating Roles of Ingroup and Outgroup Identification

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Turkey hosts millions of Syrian refugees while very little is known about the factors that relate to their voluntary intentions to return and migrate to Western countries. We proposed that extended contact with the host group members, the mere knowledge of ingroup members having positive interactions with others, can be associated with refugees’ intentions to return and migrate to Western countries. To investigate this idea, we examined associates of both positive and negative extended contact because negativity is also a part of intergroup interactions with a sample of Syrian adults (N = 358). We also examined mediating roles of ingroup identification (identification with Syrians) and identification with the host society (identification with Turks) for the associations between intergroup contact and intentions to migrate. Results revealed that positive and negative extended contact were associated, respectively, with reduced and greater return migration intentions via identification with the host society. Extended positive contact was related to reduced intentions to migrate to the West while negative contact did not have a significant association with the intention to migrate. Ingroup identification was solely associated with increased intentions to return. Intergroup contact and social identification processes maintain a potential to explain the underlying processes behind migration decisions among refugees.


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Examining Complex Intergroup Relations

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