racial attitudes, South Africa, young adults, racial differences, identity, prejudice, social change


Due to many social changes that have occurred in South Africa since the first democratic elections in 1994, careful scrutiny must be given to the racial attitudes of South Africa’s young adults. Their degree of acceptance of the doctrine of deracialisation and reconciliation represents a hope or a warning in regard to a stable future. A follow up study was thus carried out in order to update data collected in 1995, with the hypothesis that, over time, greater acceptance of other racial groups would be reported. The authors examined the differences among the 180 Xhosa-speaking black, 89 so-called coloured, and 432 English-speaking white young adults. Data were collected using a questionnaire that assessed aspects of these groups’ perceptions of themselves (identities) and their attitudes toward other racial groups (their prejudice). Statistical significance was found between groups and over time across measures.

Original Publication Citation

Smith, T. B., Stones, C. R., & Naidoo, A. (2003). Racial attitudes among South African young adults: A four-year follow-up study. South African Journal of Psychology, 33, 39- 43.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Psychological Society of South Africa; Sage Publications




David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor