Examining predictors of anti-immigrant sentiment
Using integrated threat theory as the theoretical framework, this study examines the impact of perceived realistic threats (threats to welfare) and symbolic threats (threats to worldview) on anti-immigrant sentiment among a nationally representative sample in the U.S. Analysis of the antecedents of prejudice is particularly relevant today as anti-immigrant sentiment and hostile policies toward the population have risen in the past two decades. Perceived discrimination has also become salient within immigrant communities, negatively impacting both mental and physical health. Using logistic ordinal regressions with realistic threat, symbolic threat, and immigrant sentiment scales, this study found that both realistic and symbolic threats increased participants' likelihood of selecting a higher level of anti-immigrant sentiment, suggesting both are predictive of prejudice. However, symbolic threats emerged as a greater predictor of anti-immigrant sentiment, with an effect size over twice that of realistic threats. Implications for social work policy, practice, and future research are made.