Adolescent racial prejudice development

The role of friendship quality and interracial contact

Fiona A. White*, Bethany Wootton, Joyce Man, Hernan Diaz, Jana Rasiah, Emily Swift, Amanda Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a limited theoretical and empirical literature on the role of friendship quality and interracial contact on adolescent racial prejudice development. To address this gap, the present study examined the relationship between these factors amongst an Australian sample of 89 school-aged adolescent friendship dyads and 80 university-aged adolescent friendship dyads. All participants were administered questionnaires measuring prejudice towards Asian and Arab Australians, friendship quality and interracial contact. Overall, the results revealed that all adolescents reported significantly higher levels of subtle prejudice than blatant prejudice. As predicted, university-aged adolescents reported significantly lower levels of both subtle and blatant prejudice towards Asian and Arab Australians than school-aged adolescents. Importantly, adolescents who had contact with Asian (outgroup) friends reported significantly lower levels of subtle and blatant prejudice towards Asian Australians than adolescents with no Asian friends. Interestingly, friendship quality was not found to moderate the similarity of prejudice levels within friendship dyads. Together, these findings indicate that in developing subtle prejudice-reduction programs research should focus on increasing interracial cooperative contact, particularly amongst school-aged adolescents. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-534
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent prejudice development
  • Cooperative contact
  • Friendship quality
  • Peer relationships

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