The Mediating Role of Perceived Threat in the Relationship between Casual Contact and Attitudes towards Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Cirakoglu O. C., Demirutku K., Karakaya O.

JOURNAL OF REFUGEE STUDIES, vol.34, no.3, pp.2984-2999, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/jrs/fez118
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, HeinOnline-Law Journal Library, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2984-2999
  • Keywords: Syrian refugees, casual contact, perceived threat, attitudes, prejudice, TURKISH UNIVERSITY-STUDENTS, PERCEPTION, PREJUDICE, VARIABILITY, IMMIGRATION, CRISIS, MODEL
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey hosts the largest Syrian refugee population in the world. As an attempt to understand antecedents of residents attitudes towards Syrian refugees, the present study aimed to investigate the relationships between contact experience, perception of threat, and the attitudes. Specifically, we hypothesized that perception of threat would mediate the relationship between contact experience and the attitudes. Frequency of different contact types, threats associated with economic, cultural, and criminal risks, and attitudes towards male or female targets based on preferred social distance were subjected to analyses in an adult sample of 170 women and 183 men. Results revealed a full mediation effect both for female and male Syrian refugee targets. We discussed the findings referring the observed nature of contact as mostly being casual, threat level being high, and attitudes being relatively negative within a specific media-effects framework.