Systematic Review of Dispositional Determinants of Xenophobic Behaviours among South Africans: Implications for Psychological-based Intervention

The Open Psychology Journal 07 May 2024 DOI: 10.2174/0118743501279866240409074450



Despite pieces of evidence suggesting that one of the major motivations of Xenophobic behaviour is cognition, there are limited studies that have systematically reviewed the influence of psychological factors on Xenophobic behaviour. Therefore, this study set to conceptualise a psychological-based intervention by weighing the pieces of evidence from previous studies that examined the dispositional determinants of xenophobic behaviour in South Africa using structured systematic reviews.


The articles considered in this study were incorporated using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses framework of 2009. We performed a review search in PubMed, PsychINFO, Google Scholar, and Unisa Library for studies published between 2008 and February 2022.


The outcome revealed that shared external locus of control, repression, displacement, and learned helplessness were major dispositional factors influencing reoccurring xenophobic behaviour.


It was concluded that dispositional factors precipitate/perpetuate xenophobic behaviours in South Africa, and implementation of the conceptualised intervention framework could forestall further occurrence. The organised body of psychology in South Africa should implement a National Cognitive Re-Orientation Programme (NCRP) to tackle and boost the internal locus of control of South Africans.

Keywords: Conceptual intervention, Psychology, Immigration, Xenophobia, South Africa.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub