Two studies tested the intergroup contact hypothesis in the context of the grandparent-grandchild relationship. The hypothesis suggests that contact with an out-group member has more influence on attitudes toward the out-group when group memberships are salient. In Study 1, the predicted link was found but only for grandparents with whom the grandchild had more frequent contact. The second study examined only the most frequent grandparent relationship and replicated the effect. This study also investigated the role of various mediators of the link between quality of contact and attitudes, as well as quality of contact and perceived out-group variability. Perspective taking, anxiety, and accommodation mediated the effects of contact on attitudes, whereas individuation and self-disclosure mediated the effects of contact on perceived out-group variability. Moderated mediational analysis indicated that the moderating effect of group salience occurs between quality of contact and the mediator, not between the mediator and attitudes.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Vol. 31, no. 3, p. 393-406