Intercultural sensitivity and prosocial behavior towards South Asians in Hong Kong: Mediating mechanisms of warmth and stigma

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Abstract

Previous research shows that intercultural sensitivity is associated with a myriad of positive outcomes. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms for why and how it is related to positive experiences. To fill the gap in the literature, the present study tested the mediating roles of warmth and stigma between intercultural sensitivity and prosocial behaviors towards South Asians in Hong Kong. A total of 151 Chinese university students in Hong Kong (107 female, 70.86%), ranging in age from 18 to 26 years (M = 21.31; SD = 1.77), completed a self-report questionnaire that assessed the variables under study. Structural equation modeling was conducted to investigate the mediation model. The findings revealed that intercultural sensitivity was related to greater warmth towards South Asians. Greater warmth was, in turn, related to lower stigma, which was then associated with greater prosocial behavior towards South Asians in Hong Kong. Bootstrapping analysis further showed that warmth and stigma were mediators between intercultural sensitivity and prosocial behavior. The present study adds new evidence to the literature by demonstrating the correlates of intercultural sensitivity. Specifically, the findings demonstrate the mediating roles of warmth and stigma between intercultural sensitivity and prosocial behavior towards ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. As a practical implication, this study calls for policies to increase positive intercultural encounters in the public and across service sectors in the society. To holistically understand and enhance positive intercultural encounters, it is therefore crucial to examine both positive and negative correlates between ethnic groups. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume86
Early online dateNov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Citation

Cheung, R. Y. M., Jiang, D., Yum, Y. N., & Bhowmik, M. K. (2022). Intercultural sensitivity and prosocial behavior towards South Asians in Hong Kong: Mediating mechanisms of warmth and stigma. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 86, 56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2021.11.002

Keywords

  • Ethnic minorities
  • Hong Kong
  • Intercultural sensitivity
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Stigma
  • South Asians
  • Warmth

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