Intergroup contact and willingness for renewed cohabitation in Cyprus: Exploring the mediating and moderating mechanisms
SourceGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations
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One of the major challenges in divided societies is finding ways to overcome geographical partition by increasing readiness for cohabitation in mixed areas. Cyprus has faced a protracted situation of division (between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) for the last 44 years. In this paper, we explore the role of intergroup contact (both quantity and quality of contact) in enhancing the willingness of members of these two communities to reestablish cohabitation, using representative survey samples from both communities. We hypothesize that such an effect is mediated by a decrease in the levels of prejudice between the two communities and an increase in the levels of trust. In addition, we hypothesize that the direct effect of intergroup contact and the indirect effect of intergroup contact through trust and prejudice are both moderated by age. To explore these hypotheses, we collected data from a representative sample of 502 Greek Cypriots and 504 Turkish Cypriots. The hypotheses are tested among the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot samples separately. In both samples, the results show that the positive effect of intergroup contact on willingness for renewed cohabitation is mediated by both trust and prejudice. There is also some support for the moderating effect of age for both the direct and indirect effects of intergroup contact.