This paper explores some socio-psychological factors that might be indicative of the willingness of young people to establish post-conflict intergroup relationships in the city of Vukovar in Croatia. It is based on a study involving 254 students (132 male and 122 female) from the University of Vukovar and high schools, who identified themselves with one of the two ethnic groups associated with the conflict in Croatia; Croats (N = 165) and Serbs (N = 89). Participants completed a questionnaire on perceived parental communication, styles of adolescent conflict management within the family, their sense of victimhood, and their propensity towards reconciliation with youth belonging to the out-group. As expected, results confirm that sense of victimhood, referring to the loss of or damage to one’s house and to personal losses and threats to one’s own life or to the lives of significant others, is associated with negative emotions towards youth belonging to the out-group and less propensity towards reconciliation. Moreover, results show that perceived constructive parental communication is associated with higher propensity towards reconciliation among youth belonging to the out-group. Interestingly, the results suggest that young people who perceived their parents using constructive and non-aggressive relational communication (versus those who are verbally aggressive) seem to have a greater propensity towards reconciliation even when the young people in question experienced a high sense of victimhood. The paper discusses the theoretical and practical implications of the findings for improving communication and enhancing understanding between groups in post-conflict areas.
A study of perceived parental communication and propensity toward reconciliation among youth in Vukovar / Kosic, Ankica; Livi, Stefano. - In: JOURNAL ON ETHNOPOLITICS AND MINORITY ISSUES IN EUROPE. - ISSN 1617-5247. - 11:(2012), pp. 45-74.