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17-10-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 11/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2019

Cross-Ethnic Friendships, Intergroup Attitudes, Intragroup Social Costs, and Depressive Symptoms among Asian-American and Latino-American Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 11/2019
Auteurs:
Annemarie Kelleghan, Luiza Mali, Sarah Malamut, Daryaneh Badaly, Mylien Duong, David Schwartz
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Abstract

As American school districts become increasingly diverse, understanding the processes that promote positive intergroup relations is a critical task. The role of cross-ethnic friendships is one important factor, given the significance of these reciprocated peer relationships for social development. The current study examines the short-term longitudinal impact of cross-ethnic friendships on peer group attitudes and emotional adjustment. 524 student participants (54.8% female; Mage = 15.06 years, SD = 0.75; 47% Latino, 53% Asian-American) were followed for one year with two spring data collections. Students completed a self-report inventory assessing depressive symptoms and a peer nomination inventory assessed friendship, liking, disliking, popularity, and unpopularity. Cross-ethnic friendships were predictive of positive attitudes toward peers from other ethnic/racial groups and were also linked to declines in depressive symptoms for boys. Moreover, these positive effects did not come at a social cost, as cross-ethnic friendships were not associated with rejection by same-ethnic peers. Cross-ethnic friendships provide a unique environment that contributes to positive intergroup attitudes and beneficial socioemotional development for some youth.

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