UBC Theses and Dissertations
Birds of different feather flock together : associations between cross-racial friendships and children’s social and academic adjustment Qi, Hongyuan
As North American classrooms become increasingly diverse, it is important to examine children’s friendships with cross-racial classroom peers. The present study employed a short-term longitudinal design to investigate the bidirectional associations between cross-racial friendships and children’s social and academic adjustment. Participants were 583 elementary school children in western Canada, or the midwestern United States (4-10 years; 48% female; 143 Asian, 88 Black, 65 Hispanic or Latinx, 171 White, 116 mixed). Children’s adjustment (social preference, academic enablers, academic performance) and friendship nominations (reciprocated, received, given) were measured in fall and spring over one school year. Findings show that fall adjustment positively predicted spring reciprocated cross-racial friendships, but not vice-versa. Academic enablers and received cross-racial friendship nominations were positively and reciprocally related to one another. Fall same-racial friendships positively predicted spring academic performance and social preference. Effect sizes were small. Findings are discussed in the context of a multi-racial society.
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