Normativity and friendship choices among ethnic majority and minority group children

Patrick Leman, Malak Ben-Hmeda, Jo Cox, Christina Loucas, Sophia Seltzer-Eade, Ben Hine

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Two-hundred-and-fifty-eight White British (ethnic majority) and British South Asian (minority) children (5, 9, and 13 years) chose potential friends from descriptions of peers who had traits and preferences that were either consistent (normative) or inconsistent (deviant) with ethnic group membership. White children chose peers from the ethnic ingroup. Younger Asian children (5 years) more often selected an outgroup peer, although ingroup choices increased with age (9 and 13 years). Normativity and strength of ethnic identification did not affect choices. However, children who selected an outgroup child tended to have more cross-ethnic friendships than those who did not. The implications for theories of group dynamics and intergroup contact are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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