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Research on Cross-Race Relationships: An Annotated Bibliography

By Elizabeth Page-Gould | July 1, 2004 | 0 comments

A summary of scientific evidence related to cross-race friendships and romantic relationships.

The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to provide readers with a quick reference for questions about cross-race relationships. In terms of this bibliography, "cross-race relationships" and "interracial relationships" refer only to close interracial relationships, such as friendships and romantic relationships, rather than cross-race contact with no attendant feelings of closeness.

A list of questions regarding cross-race relationships has been compiled below to increase ease of navigation throughout this document. Simply click on a question to go to the related section. The bibliography has also been organized by topic, so you can also click on one of the topics listed below for a review of the literature on that subject.

Click on the questions below to learn more about cross-race relationships:

How common are cross-race friendships in the U.S.?

How common are interracial romantic relationships in the U.S.?

What situational characteristics foster cross-race friendships among children and teenagers?

What situational characteristics foster cross-race friendships among adults?

What individual characteristics and motives predict cross-race romantic relationships?

What individual characteristics and motives predict cross-race friendships among children?

What are some of the barriers to the formation and maintenance of cross-race relationships?

What factors are necessary for good maintenance of cross-race relationships?

What are the characteristics of children's cross-race friendships?

What are the characteristics of adult's cross-race friendships?

What are the general social attitudes towards interracial relationships?

What are the benefits of cross-race friendships for school children?

What are the benefits of cross-race friendships for adults?

Click on a topic below to learn more about cross-race relationships:

Introduction

Prevalence in the United States

Conducive Environments

Individual Characteristics

Barriers

Relationship Characteristics

Social Attitudes

Benefits

Introduction
While racial inequality still poses a major social problem in the U.S., close cross-race relationships may provide a context of equality in which intergroup differences act as an enhancement, not barrier, to positive cross-race attitudes. Indeed, many studies have associated interracial relationships with less prejudicial attitudes. Among school children, high proportions of cross-race friendships have been linked with social skills and achievement aspirations. However, cross-race relationships are scarce among Americans, and social attitudes towards interracial relationships appear to be mixed.

The findings from this review indicate that structural factors can actively affect intergroup relations. Changes in school structure from tradition to cooperative learning programs increase children's formation of cross-race friendships, as well as friendship quality. The research suggests that encouraging cooperative learning programs while maintaining small, diverse classrooms will increase proportions of cross-race friendships among school children. Interracial friendships appear to be less stable, but individuals with high proportions of cross-race friends have greater stability and interracial friendship quality than individuals with low proportions of cross-race friends. Therefore, children with high proportions of interracial friendships appear to be more open to future cross-race interactions. Cross-race friendships reduce racial bias and increase social competence and leadership skills. Overall, it appears that U.S. society could greatly benefit from an upcoming cohort of leaders with increased positivity towards intergroup relations and multicultural sensitivity.

Social distance is the degree to which one allows particular social groups to become part of their close social network. Interracial romantic relationships represent the smallest degree of social distance. Although interracial relationships are uncommon, they are characterized by mutual respect, support, and collective orientations towards common goals, which is in stark contrast to popularly held beliefs that interracial romantic relationships must be inherently dysfunctional. Individuals tend to enter interracial romantic relationships for the same reason others enter same-race romantic relationships: compatible personality characteristics. Unfortunately, interracial romantic relationships endure the harsher societal rejection than cross-race friendships which may pose a significant barrier towards their formation and maintenance. However, Americans who grow up in integrated neighborhoods and schools are more likely to be involved in an interracial romantic relationship.

Prevalence of cross-race relationships in the United States

How common are cross-race friendships in the U.S.?
Overall, the proportions of cross-race friendships in the U.S. appear to be increasing for both children and adults. This trend is most pronounced for Caucasian-Americans. Tuch, Sigelman, and MacDonald (1999) report data from a massive longitudinal survey of American youth collected annually from 1976 to 1995. Respondents were asked about the composition of their group of friends. Figure 1 represents the percentage of African-American and Caucasian high school seniors with all or almost all same-race friends for the last quarter of the 20th century. The percentage of African-Americans with all or almost all same-race friends is lower than for Caucasians, which reflects findings described throughout this bibliography. African-Americans appeared to have an increase in cross-race friendships during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but this trend reversed in the early 1990s. By the mid-1990s, the percentage of African-Americans with all or almost all same-race friends was basically equivalent to the percentage in the mid 1970s. Caucasian high school students' interracial friendliness appears to have increased, as the percentage of Caucasians with all or almost all same-race friends had a steady decline over the last quarter of the 20th century. However, even though the percentage of Caucasians with interracial friendships increased over the study period, they still exhibit less interracial friendliness (defined by sheer number of interracial friends) than the African-American respondents by the mid-1990s.

Figure 1: High School Students with All or Almost All Same-Race Friendships by Ethnicity, 1976 – 1995

*from Tuch et al.(1999)

While conducting their studies, many research papers included the percentage of cross-race friendships in their sample. Figure 2 displays the percentage of interracial friendships reported by each of five research papers that studied interracial friendships for African-American and Caucasian children. All studies except for Sigelman & Welch (1993) reported prevalence of students' cross-race "best friend" choices. Sigelman & Welch (1993) were simply interested in the prevalence of any cross-race friends, which is why the proportion of interracial friendships reported in that study appear so relatively high. This difference is important, as it highlights how different methodologies can yield very different results. Overall, it appears as if both Caucasian and African-American school children have elected fewer cross-race peers over the course of studies conducted between 1985 and 2000, with Caucasians showing a larger reduction than African-Americans.

*adapted from the above studies

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How common are interracial romantic relationships in the United States?
The prevalence of interracial romantic relationships is low in the United States, and varies by ethnicity. Figure 3 below displays the percentage of U.S. married couples and unmarried interracial cohabiting partners by each ethnicity. The data was collected in March, 2000 by the U.S. Census Bureau through the annual Current Population Survey. "Other Race" refers to non-Hispanic, non-Caucasian, and non-African-American individuals. In general, Caucasians and African-Americans were much less likely than Hispanic-Americans and Americans of other races to be cohabiting with an interracial partner, perhaps reflecting the harsher societal attitudes towards African-American-Caucasian unions. It appears that unmarried cohabiting partners are more likely to be interracial than married partners. This is especially so for Hispanic-Americans (approximately one quarter of Hispanic-American unmarried cohabiting partners are interracial) and Americans of other races (more than 40% of unmarried cohabiting Americans of other races were living with an interracial partner). These data reflect findings that Asian-, Hispanic-, and Native-Americans tend to have the most interracial relationships (Gaines & Leaver, 2002).

*adapted from the U.S. Census Bureau, March 2000 CPS

An interesting point is that the composition of interracial relationships is qualitatively different from the likelihood of cross-race relationships. Even though Caucasians have the lowest percentage of interracial cohabiting relationships they still account for the majority of interracial cohabiting relationships in the U.S. Figure 4 represents the proportion of all interracial cohabiting partners (irrespective of marital status) accounted for by each ethnicity. Being the numerical majority, even though a cohabiting Caucasian is least likely to live with an interracial partner than a non-Caucasian, individuals in cohabiting interracial relationships are most likely to be Caucasian.

*adapted from the U.S. Census Bureau, March 2000 CPS

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Conducive Environments

What situational characteristics foster cross-race friendships among children and teenagers?
Certain environments increase children's opportunities for and initiation of cross-race friendships. Structural factors such as teaching orientation, reward structures, demographic diversity, and classroom size can be effectively harnessed by schools to improve cross-race interactions among classmates. Overall, cooperative learning programs (Slavin, 1995a) and small, demographically diverse classrooms seem to have met with the most success in increasing the proportion of children's cross-race friendships.

The opportunity hypothesis proposes that cross-race friendships increase as the opportunities for cross-race friendships increase. Therefore, children in schools where most students are of other races should have more cross-race friendships than children in schools where most students are of their same race. Studies have found that minority students report greater proportions of cross-race friendships than majority students (Slavin & Cooper, 1999; Hallinan & Smith, 1985), which supports the opportunity hypothesis. An underlying assumption of these studies was that members of ethnic minorities are constantly surrounded with more cross- than same-race others. However, many studies have shown that a barrier towards societal integration is a consistent trend towards self-segregation (Slavin, 1995b; Pinkney, 1993). In addition, many controversies still exist about government sanctioned segregation through the use of bussing programs (New York-WABC, 2002). According to these sources, even though most of the general population is Caucasian-American, minorities still have more opportunities for same- than cross-race friendships. Therefore, ethnicity alone cannot be relied on to indicate opportunity for cross-race friendship. Minorities' higher proportion of cross-race friendships could be a result of simply having more opportunities for cross-race friendships, or there could be other factors that influence greater interracial friendliness among ethnic minorities.

In addition, there are caveats to the opportunity hypothesis. In order for environments with high proportions of cross-race others to facilitate interracial friendships, there must not be an ample population of potential same-race friends. Hallinan & Teixiera (1987b) found an interaction between diversity of classroom and classroom size: diversity increased proportion of cross-race friendships in small, but not large, classrooms, presumably because it was not necessary for students to make the effort to cross racial boundaries for friendships in large classrooms. However, the schools can implement learning techniques that encourage interracial friendliness between students.

One such learning technique is the use of cooperative learning teams (CLTs), which are randomly constructed teams of students rewarded for collective, not individual, performance. CLTs were developed as an alternative to traditional teaching methods that tend to stress individual achievement and to group students by ability. When developing a CLT teaching structure, students are divided into groups somewhat randomly, without segregating by grade, demographic characteristics, or "ability." In addition, the team is rewarded for collective performance and works toward a common goal. Usually, students stay on the same teams for about three years, so they are able to develop long-term friendships with their teammates. CLTs necessitate that team members interact as equals, which is probably one of the most important contributions of CLTs to interracial friendliness.

Studies interested in the effectiveness of CLTs among school children show increases in both the quantity and quality of students' interracial friendships. Theoretical reasoning for why CLTs are effective in fostering cross-race friendships is that students develop a team culture, and the collective team identity overrides the ethnic identity of individual team members. Studies have found CLTs increase proportions of Caucasian students cross-race friendships (Hallinan & Teixiera, 1987b; Damico, Bell-Nathaniel, & Green, 1981). Among African-Americans, classrooms which emphasized intrinsic motivation for learning increased cross-race best-friend choices (Hallinan & Teixiera, 1987b). In sum, small, diverse classrooms with CLT learning structures are the ideal school environment for fostering cross-race friendships.

Joyner, K. & Kao, G. (2000). School racial composition and adolescent racial homophily. Social Science Quarterly, 81, 810-825.

Joyner and Kao were interested in how school composition affects high school students' interracial friendliness. The graph below displays the approximate percentage of cross-race friendships (blue bars) and the approximate percentage of students of other races (red bars) by ethnicity. The percentage of students of other races can be used as a measure of opportunity to have interracial friendships. When opportunity for interracial friendships was controlled, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans were more likely than Caucasians to have interracial friendships, but African-Americans and Asian-Americans were less likely than Caucasians to have an interracial friendship. In terms of school racial composition, students' likelihood of having a cross-race friendship increased as the proportion of other-race students increased.

*adapted from Joyner & Kao (2000)

Slavin, R.E., & Cooper, R. (1999). Improving intergroup relations: Lessons learned from cooperative learning programs. Journal of Social Issues, 55, 647-663.

Slavin and Cooper provide an extensive review of the effectiveness of cooperative learning programs on interracial friendships and attitudes. Cooperative learning programs vary in exact method, but ultimately are structured so that students are assigned to diverse teams that work together towards a common goal. An important component of the cooperative learning structure is the distribution of rewards according to each team's collective performance instead of the performance of individual students. The authors find cooperative learning programs increase the prevalence and quality of interracial friendships. They propose that cooperative learning programs foster a sense of a "team culture" that overrides racial boundaries.

Hallinan, M.T., & Teixeira, R.A. (1987b). Opportunities and constraints: Black-White differences in the formation of interracial friendships. Child Development, 58, 1358-1371.

Hallinan and Teixeira examined structural and social factors that increased the likelihood of cross-race friendships among school children. They found that classrooms which exhibit a "status-leveling effect," such as de-emphasizing grades, standardized test scores, and curriculum, enhances cross-race friendship choices among Caucasian students. For African-American students, classrooms that emphasize student initiative and the intrinsic enjoyment of learning fostered more cross-race best-friend choices. As the percentage of African-American students in the classroom increased, more Caucasian students made cross-race best-friend choices. However, the larger the actual size of the class, the fewer the cross-race friends, presumably because students did not need to bother crossing racial barriers to find companions. In schools where students were tracked by ability, Caucasian students tended to choose interracial friends from within their "ability group." The authors conclude that small, demographically diverse classrooms that emphasize intrinsic motivation for learning foster more and higher quality cross-race friendships.

Hallinan, M.T., & Smith, S.S. (1985). The effects of classroom racial composition on students' interracial friendliness. Social Psychology Quarterly, 48, 3-16.

A large survey of northern California 4th to 7th graders was analyzed to distinguish the validity of two theories of interracial sociability: 1) interracial friendliness is a function of number of opportunities to initiate a cross-race friendship, and 2) due to feeling socially threatened, minority students isolate themselves from the majority. This latter theory received no support, as levels of interracial friendliness were about equal for both minority and majority students. In general, as the proportion of one ethnic group increased, the other ethnic group displayed greater interracial friendliness. These results imply that cross-race friendship can be viewed as a function of number of opportunities for cross-race or same-race relationships. Therefore, more diverse classrooms foster greater opportunities for interracial friendships to be formed. However, the findings of Hallinan and Teixiera (1987b) qualify this finding with classroom size; diversity is most effective in fostering cross-race friendships in small classrooms.

Damico, S.B., Bell-Nathaniel, A., & Green, C. (1981). Effects of school organizational structure on interracial friendships in middle schools. Journal of Education Research, 74, 388-393.

The authors were interested in how different school structures affected students' interracial friendliness. In particular, they examined two types of school organizational structures: 1) traditional organization – students separated by grade, verbal and mathematical classes were tracked by ability, and great emphasis was placed on academic achievement, and 2) team organization – students were randomly assigned to teams, the teams were interdisciplinary and included students from different grades, and students stayed with their team for three years. For African-American students, school organization did not affect number of cross-race friendships. However, Caucasian students in team organized schools had significantly more cross-race friendships than Caucasian students in traditionally organized schools. The authors concluded that team organization provides students with a cooperative, equal-status environment which foster interracial friendships, especially for Caucasian students who generally have less opportunity to develop interracial friendships.

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What situational characteristics foster cross-race friendships among adults?

In the same way that cooperative learning teams increase children's cross-race friendships, diverse business organizations that emphasize organizational membership and reward team achievement instead of individual achievement foster more member interaction and less salience of demographic categories. While the research into interracial friendships among adult coworkers has been sparse, the current literature seems to agree that creating a collective atmosphere that emphasizes a corporate culture promotes interaction between coworkers, therefore allowing for the benefits of a demographically diverse staff.

Chatman, J.A., Polzer, J.T., Barsade, S.G., & Neale, M.A. (1998). Being different yet feeling similar: The influence of demographic composition and organizational culture on work processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43, 749 – 780.

The authors examined how demographic diversity and corporate culture interact to influence interaction among members, the salience of social categories, and group creativity, productivity, and conflict in simulated organizations. Corporate culture was manipulated to be either individualistic (rewarding individual rather than team achievement) or collectivistic (rewarding team rather than individual achievement, emphasizing organizational membership), and demographic diversity was based on participants' age, sex, and race. Simulated organizations that were demographically diverse and emphasized organizational membership had more interaction between members and reported other member's demographic characteristics to be less salient than diverse and individualistically oriented organizations.

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Individual Characteristics

What individual characteristics and motives predict cross-race friendships among children?
There is hardly any literature on children's motives for initiating cross-race friendships. However, since similar situations foster interracial friendships for both children and adults (cooperative teams emphasizing team culture and collective reward systems), predictions can be made about children's motivations for entering cross-race relationships drawing from the literature on adult's motivations for entering interracial relationships. For instance, given that adults in interracial marriages report personality characteristics overwhelmingly influenced their spouse choice (Lewis, Yancey, & Bletzer, 1997), children are also probably primarily motivated by compatible personality characteristics to initiate cross-race close friendships. Indeed, Clark and Ayers (1992) found that similarity played a primary role in children's cross-race friendships.

The opportunity hypothesis provides some assumptions about children's motivations to enter cross-race relationships, as well; children's motivations for initiating cross-race relationships are a function of proportion of cross-race others in the environment. However, even though Hallinan and Teixiera (1987b) found that diverse classrooms fostered cross-race friendships, as long as there were a significant number of same-race peers in a child's environment, students were less likely to nominate a cross-race peer as a friend, regardless of opportunities for cross-race friendships. This is presumably because it is not necessary to make the extra effort to overcome racial boundaries if one has a suitable pool of same-race peers to choose as friends. These findings imply that it is not opportunity alone that motivates children to initiate cross-race friendships. In spite of the lack of motivation research, there have been many attempts to associate individual characteristics with interracial friendliness. Among school children, the friendlier and more popular a child is, the more likely that child is to report cross-race friends (Hallinan & Teixiera, 1987b). In addition, children with high proportions of cross-race friendships exhibited more social competence and multicultural sensitivity (Hunter & Elias, 1999). Since more social skills and multicultural sensitivity were merely correlated with interracial friendships, it is possible these factors are predecessors, not outcomes of interracial relationships. Most likely, it is a positive feedback loop: interacting with cross-race friends may promote social competence and multicultural sensitivity, which then promotes future interaction with cross-race peers. Overall, popularity, social skills, and multicultural sensitivity are individual characteristics that have been associated with children's cross-race friendship choices.

Hallinan, M.T., & Teixeira, R.A. (1987b). Opportunities and constraints: Black-White differences in the formation of interracial friendships. Child Development, 58, 1358-1371.

Hallinan and Teixeira examined structural and social factors that increased the likelihood of cross-race friendships among school children. In general, friendlier students (defined by sheer number of other students indicated as either "best friend" or "friend") had more cross-race friendships. In addition, students were much more likely to have same-sex interracial friendships than opposite-sex interracial friendships. Interestingly, the more same-race popularity a child had (indicated by number of same-race peers that elected the child as a friend or best friend), the fewer cross-race friendships the child reported. However, the more popular a student was within her/his own race, the more likely that student was to be elected by other-race students as a friend. The authors conclude that overall friendliness increases the likelihood of interracial friendliness, and children who were popular with their same-race peers were just generally more popular with all students, regardless of the popular child's individual friendship choices.

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What individual characteristics and motives predict cross-race romantic relationships?
There are a number of theories as to why individuals choose to get involved in interracial romantic relationships. Some assume attraction to individuals of other races indicates psychological maladjustment and self-loathing (Davidson, 1992; Pope, 1986). Other camps assume individuals engage in cross-race romantic relationships because of rebellious tendencies, such as the pull of "forbidden fruit" (Gaines & Ickes, 2000). However, these folkloric theories have found little support in the current literature (Gurung & Duong, 1999; Shibazaki & Brennan, 1998; Lewis, Yancey, & Bletzer, 1997). Overall, individual characteristics that predict interracial dating are strongly related to more liberal ideologies and integrated environments, not maladjustment. Also, motivations for getting involved in a romantic relationship are very similar to motivations for initiating same-race romantic relationships.

Drawing from data collected by a nationally representative telephone survey of adults, Yancey (2002) identified some individual characteristics that predicted interracial dating among different ethnic groups. For all groups, not being Catholic and either living in an integrated neighborhood or attending an integrated high school predicted interracial dating. Living in an integrated neighborhood and/or attending integrated schools provides individuals with more exposure to other ethnicities, so this commonality supports the opportunity hypothesis discussed above. One possible reason for the negative relationship between Catholicism and interracial dating is that Catholicism encourages its followers to marry other Catholics, and there are fewer ethnic minority Catholics than in other religious sects (ARDA, 1998). While the association with Catholicism could be explained by the Catholic Church's politically conservative ideology, the effect of liberal ideologies was only significant for Caucasians, which contrasted with the positive association between being a conservative protestant and interracial dating among Asian Americans. Overall, non-Catholics and individuals who grew up in integrated neighborhoods and schools are more likely to date interracially.

Motivations for entering interracial relationships have been studied through the analysis of personal ads and through retrospective self-reports of individuals in interracial marriages. Some theorists have proposed that people seek interracial relationships because they feel they have qualities that are more attractive to other ethnicities or that they desire characteristics that are associated with other races. Neither of these theories were supported by an analysis of personal ads (Yancey & Yancey, 1998), which found no differences between ethnicities in characteristics being sought or offered.

Self-reports of motivations to enter current interracial relationships reveal very similar motivations for entering cross-race romantic relationships as same-race romantic relationships (Lewis, Yancey, & Bletzer, 1997). All-in-all, it appears to be the personality of a potential mate, not the race, that most influences an individual's motivation to enter into a romantic relationship. Ironically, individuals involved in interracial marriages frequently report that their cross-race spouse's ethnicity is least sexually novel as a result of their long-term exposure to their spouse (Gaines & Ickes, 1997).

Yancey, G. (2002). Who interracially dates: An examination of the characteristics of those who have interracially dated. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 33, 179-190.

Yancey analyzed data from a national telephone survey of English and Spanish speaking U.S. adults conducted from 1999-2000. He identified factors that influence whether an individual interracially dates by each ethnicity. The table below displays characteristics that predicted interracial dating by ethnicity. Overall, Caucasians have the greatest number of qualifications affecting whether they will date interracially. For both Caucasian- and Hispanic-Americans, being well-educated was positively associated with interracial dating, and a higher income predicted cross-race dating among Asian-Americans. In addition, young Caucasian- and African-Americans were more likely to have dated interracially than older Caucasian- and African-Americans. Finally, Caucasian-, African-, and Hispanic-American males were more likely to interracially date than females, but there was no significant difference in likelihood of interracial dating between Asian-American males and females. For all ethnicities, interracial dating was predicted by not being Catholic and being immersed in an integrated environment.

Characteristics that Predict Interracial Dating by Ethnicity*

Caucasians

African-Americans

Hispanic-Americans

Asian-Americans

Male

Male

Male

Not Catholic

Not Catholic

Not Catholic

Not Catholic

Attended Integrated Schools

Integrated Neighborhoods

Integrated Neighborhoods

Attended Integrated Schools

Higher Incomes

Attended Interracial Schools

Young Adult

Well Educated

Conservative Protestants

Young Adult

Live in the Northeastern US



Well Educated




Live in the Western US




More Politically Liberal




*adapted from Yancey (2002)

Yancey, G., & Yancey, S. (1998). Interracial dating: Evidence from personal advertisements. Journal of Family Issues, 19, 334-348.

Yancey and Yancey analyzed personal ads from a variety of single's magazines to examine what qualities are sought and offered (termed "relational capital") by individuals who are open to interracial dating. When controlling for age and sex, there were no significant differences between African-Americans or Caucasians in either qualities desired or qualities offered. In addition, when controlling for age and sex, there were no significant differences in relational capital (defined as the characteristics one can offer in a relationship) between individuals who are or are not open to interracial dating. The authors conclude that neither the desire for out-group qualities nor the possession of attributes supposedly more attractive to other groups serve as bases for whether or not people will choose to date interracially.

Lewis Jr., R., Yancey, G., & Bletzer, S.S. (1997). Racial and nonracial factors that influence spouse choice in Black/White marriages. Journal of Black Studies, 28, 60-78.

The authors collected survey data from a nationwide sample of adults in interracial marriages. They compared their results to an annual national survey collected on a random sample of adults. Compared to intraracial marriages, individuals in interracial marriages had achieved slightly higher levels of education, yet had lower family income. In addition, individuals in cross-race marriages tended to have married at an older age and have fewer children than individuals in same-race marriages. Nonracial factors played a much larger role in spouse selection for the interracially married sample than racial factors. Over 89% of respondents rated common interests, physical attractiveness (independent of race), and common entertainment interests as very important or important in spouse selection. Overall, racial factors played a nominal role in choosing a spouse. Out of the racial factors, the most influential characteristics were the sexual attraction of someone from another race (19.7% rated this factor as very important) and ease of talking to individuals of another race (13.8% rated this factor as very important). However, out of individuals who had not dated outside their race prior to marrying a cross-race spouse, a significantly smaller percentage reported sexual attractiveness of other races and ease of talking to people of other races as very important or important in their spouse selection process.

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Barriers

What are some of the barriers to the formation and maintenance of cross-race relationships?

Perry, B. (2002). Defending the color line: Racially and ethnically motivated hate crimes. American Behavioral Scientist, 46, 72-92.

Perry reviews literature, statistics, and the popular media to examine motivations for race-based hate crimes. Hate crimes are viewed mainly as an attempt to assert one's racial identity and/or a means of maintaining existing social hierarchies. Perry reports that non-Caucasians are at the greatest risk for hate crime victimization when they engage in interracial romantic relationships. Cross-race romantic relationships are a visible violation of anti-miscegenation norms. In particular, African-American male-Caucasian female pairings appear to be the least socially acceptable. Drawing from interviews with American high school students, Perry explains that interracial relationships threaten Caucasian males' access to Caucasian women. Attempts to regulate interracial relationships by Caucasian males also imply that Caucasian women are viewed as the property of Caucasian males. All-in-all, increased risk of hate crime victimization for non-Caucasians in interracial relationships presents a barrier to the formation or maintenance of cross-race relationships, because the risk might scare individuals away from interracial relationships.

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Maintenance

What factors are necessary for good maintenance of cross-race relationships?

Foeman, A.K., & Nance, T. (1999). From miscegenation to multiculturalism: Perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development. Journal of Black Studies, 29, 540-557.

Foeman and Nance (1999) review literature on interracial marriage to construct a model of the development of interracial romantic relationships. They contend that maintenance of cross-race relationships involves the successful management of four stages: 1) racial awareness – discovering the perspectives of one's partner's race, and realizing the role race plays in one's life, 2) coping with social definitions of race – learning strategies for dealing with a racially biased reactions from society, 3) identity emergence – the couple begins to view themselves as having a unique, merged identity, and 4) maintenance – incorporating new perspectives and strategies into one's life. The authors conclude that the successful navigation of these stages yields a happy, self-sustaining cross-race relationship with the same intimacy and adjustment as same-race relationships.

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Relationship Characteristics

What are the characteristics of children's cross-race friendships?
The literature on characteristics of children's cross-race friendships has revealed that interracial friendships appear to be less stable and less intimate than same-race friendships. However, there are many caveats to these findings. Even though cross-race relationships are less stable, most school children's friendships lasted for at least six weeks (Hallinan & Williams, 1987). In addition, although cross-race friendships were found to be less intimate, they were still equally characterized by helping behaviors, emotional security, and positive affections. For those cross-race friendships that are of high quality, less racial prejudice was observed (Aboud, Mendelson, & Purdy, 2003). Therefore, while there seem to be more barriers towards cross-race friendships in terms of general relationships stability and intimacy, once those barriers are crossed, interracial friendships provide equal, positive environments that foster less racial bias as well as other benefits, discussed later (Click here to go to the Benefits section) .

Aboud, F.E., Mendelson, M.J., & Purdy, K.T. (2003). Cross-race peer relations and friendship quality. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 165-173.

The authors interviewed elementary school children to examine characteristics of cross-race friendship. Cross-race friendships were less likely in the older students than the younger, with Caucasian boys being the least likely to have cross-race friends. Fewer interracial friendships were stable than same-race friendships, and cross-race friends were less likely to be added over the course of the school year. In terms of friendship quality, same-race friendships were more intimate than cross-race ones. However, there was no difference between cross- and same-race friendships for helping behaviors, emotional security, or positive affection. High quality interracial friendship was associated with less racial bias. The authors conclude that cross-race friendship can be true "equal status relationships," providing mutual social and emotional support.

Clark, M.L., & Ayers, M. (1992). Friendship similarity during early adolescence: Gender and racial patterns. Journal of Psychology, 126, 393-405.

Clark and Ayers surveyed junior high school student friendships from a school with approximately 30% African-American enrollment. Approximately 21% of friendships examined were interracial. Both cross-race and Caucasian same-race friends were more similar to each other on mental alertness and less similar on personality characteristics that predict school achievement than African-American same-race friends. Caucasian same-race friends were more similar on verbal achievement than cross-race or African-American same-race friends. Overall, cross-race friendship nominations were less reciprocated (e.g., a student nominating a cross-race peer as a friend is less likely to be nominated by that cross-race peer), but the authors conclude that factors such as similarity and proximity play a greater role in friendship quality than reciprocation.

Hallinan, M.T., & Williams, R.A. (1987). The stability of students' interracial friendships. American Sociological Review, 52, 653-664.

Hallinan and Williams examined the stability of interracial friendships through the use of a longitudinal data set collected on 4th through 7th graders six times throughout one school year. All friendships, regardless of racial composition, were likely to endure for at least six weeks, and most lasted past the final assessment period. Same-race friendships were more likely than cross-race friendships to last longer than six weeks, with cross-race friendships identified by African-American students having the greatest risk of dissolving from one assessment point to the next. African-American students who identified Caucasian students as their "best friend" were the least likely to be labeled as a "best friend" by the Caucasian student they named. However, Caucasian students who named an African-American student as their "best friend" were just as likely as students who named a same-race student to have that election reciprocated. Classrooms with higher proportions of African-American students had more stable interracial friendships.

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What are the characteristics of adult's cross-race friendships?
In terms of characteristics of adult cross-race relationships, most of the literature has focused on romantic relationships. However, results from a large, nationally representative survey revealed that American adults' cross-race friendships were similar to children's cross-race friendships. In general, interracial relationships were less stable, but when there was a high –proportion of cross-race others in an individual's social network, cross- and same-race relationships exhibited similar levels of stability. There has not been much research on the characteristics of these friendships, but extrapolation from children's cross-race friendships implies that adult's cross-race friendships should be similar to their same-race friendships in terms of helping behaviors and positive regard, and that high-quality interracial friendships should yield more positive racial attitudes.

Reagans, R. (1998). Differences in social difference: Examining third party effects on relational stability. Social Networks, 20, 143-157.

Reagans analyzed data on Americans' social networks collected in a large, national survey. It appears that if a respondent has only one cross-race relationship, that relationship is more likely to have been formed recently than if a respondent has two or more cross-race relationships. Similarly, relationships with cross-race individuals were more likely to end prematurely than same-race relationships if the cross-race individual was a racial isolate in the respondent's social network. Reagans concludes that interracial relationships tend to end sooner than same-race relationships if the cross-race individual is a racial isolate, but not if the cross-race individual is one of a few cross-race friends.

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What are the characteristics of adult cross-race romantic relationships?
General social beliefs towards interracial relationships dictate they are problematic and dysfunctional (Davidson, 1992; Pope, 1986). However, many of these theories were not tested until only recently (Gaines & Leaver, 2002). The results indicate that interracial romantic relationships are actually quite rewarding, contrary to popular myth. Interracial married couples tend to be securely attached, and exhibit behaviors that work towards the collective goals of the union (Gaines, Granrose, Rios, Garcia, Youn, Farris, & Bledsoe, 1999). Interracial marriages appear to be characterized by mutual affection and respect (Gaines, Rios, Granrose, Bledsoe, Farris, Youn, & Garcia, 1999). Individuals in interracial marriages report they have much more in common, personality wise, than they do not have in common, demographic wise (Gaines & Ickes, 1997). All in all, there has been little to no support for the propositions that interracial relationships are inherently bad and dysfunctional. Interracial relationships appear to be as rewarding and cooperative as same-race romantic relationships.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., Rios, D.I., Granrose, C.S., Bledsoe, K.L., Farris, K.R., Youn, M.S.P., & Garcia, B.F. (1999). Romanticism and interpersonal resource exchange among African American-Anglo and other interracial couples. Journal of Black Psychology, 25, 461-489.

The authors surveyed interracial married couples to examine exchange of affection and respect in interracial marriages. The interracial couples had significant levels of affection and respect exchange. The authors conclude there is no evidence of relationships dysfunctionality for cross-race couples. In addition, composition of the union (e.g., African-American male-Caucasian female vs. Caucasian male-African-American female) did not alter its success.

Gaines Jr., S.O., Granrose, C.S., Rios, D.I., Garcia, B.F., Youn, M.S., Farris, K.R., & Bledsoe, K.L. (1999). Patterns of attachment and response to accommodative dilemmas among interethnic/interracial couples. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 16, 275-285.

The authors examined patterns of attachment style and responses to accommodative dilemmas (e.g., responding either destructively or constructively to a partner's negative behavior) with interracial couples as participants. Similar to findings from the general population, most respondents were classified as secure (66% and 62% classified as secure for men and women, respectively). Securely attached individuals reported less destructive behavior in response to a partner's negative behavior than insecurely attached individuals. The authors conclude that interracial couples "possess the ability to trust and form enduring socio-emotional bonds with their partners," and act in the interest of preserving the relationship.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., & Ickes, W. (1997). Perspectives on interracial relationships. In S. Duck (Ed.), Handbook of personal relationships: Theory, research and interventions (2nd ed.) (pp. 197-220). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Gaines and Ickes term most scientific approaches towards studying interracial relationships as "outsiders'" accounts of cross-race relationships. They argue that societal biases pervade the interracial relationships literature because most theorists tend to collect "objective" data on cross-race relationships without ever asking members of interracial relationships what their experiences actually are. For example, in terms of interracial romantic relationships, past theorists have determined the draw of "forbidden fruit" is the primary motivation for entering into a cross-race relationship. However, members of cross-race relationships tend to anecdotally report that they feel they have more in common with their partner personality-wise than they don't have in common demographic-wise. In addition, individuals involved in interracial romantic relationships report they value each other's differences as providing novelty and contributing to self-expansion. The authors conclude their chapter with a discussion on the resolution between the "outsiders'" and "insiders'" perspectives. The resolution of this conflict is vital for the success of an interracial relationship, and their conclusions on this subject are discussed in more detail in the interracial relationships maintenance section, below.

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Social Attitudes

What are the general social attitudes towards interracial relationships?
Overall, minorities appear to be more accepting of interracial relationships than Caucasian-Americans. This is evidenced by larger proportions of minorities involved in interracial relationships than Caucasian-Americans (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000), as well as many studies reporting more accepting attitudes towards interracial contact among minorities (Gaines, & Leaver, 2002; Baldwin, Day, & Hecht, 2000; Pinkney, 1993). Interestingly, among Caucasian-Americans, negative social attitudes towards other races seem to have taken the form of social distance; one study found Caucasian-American's negative racial attitudes were specific to the activities of interracial relationships (Mills, Daly, Longmore, & Kilbride, 1995).

Caucasian-American's attitudes towards interracial friendships seem to be neutral if not somewhat positive, but are much less accepting when it comes to interracial dating and marriage (Baldwin, Day, & Hecht, 2000). African-American college students were more accepting of interracial romantic relationships than were their Caucasian-American classmates, but both groups reported their families felt negatively towards interracial friendships and romantic relationships (Mills, Daly, Longmore, & Kilbride, 1995). Social attitudes about interracial relationships are important, particularly because fear of social reprisal may be a sufficient deterrent for initiating interracial relationships.

Social attitudes also are important from a legislative perspective. Given that juries are supposed to be representative of local populations, attributions of guilt in criminal situations should be studied for systematic differences. A set of studies into attributions of guilt in domestic violence situations found that respondents assigned more blame to the victim when she was an African-American and particularly if she had been drinking alcohol. In addition, when the abuse occurred in an interracial relationship, more blame was assigned to African-American males than Caucasian-American males. These findings imply that African-American females in interracial relationships may be most at risk for not receiving the legal and social services they need.

The findings concerning the differing interracial attitudes between the sexes have been quite mixed, where some findings report no differences, some studies report women have less tolerant attitudes, and other studies report women are more accepting of interracial relationships. Regardless of the finding, the corresponding authors managed to come up with a logical explanation for each contradictory result.

All in all, while most Americans espouse an egalitarian ideology (Katz,), social attitudes towards interracial relationships remain less accepting than intergroup attitudes, as a whole. Negative social attitudes towards interracial relationships can create barriers to interracial relationship formation and even contribute to unfair guilt attributions in legislature. However, attitudes towards interracial relationships have improved over time, so hopefully this trend will sustain its present positive slope.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., & Leaver, J. (2002). Interracial relationships. In R. Goodwin and D. Cramer (Eds.), Inappropriate relationships: The unconventional, the Disapproved, and the Forbidden (pp. 65-78). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gaines & Leaver explore the reasons behind cultural beliefs of interracial relationships as being "inappropriate." Anti-miscegenation laws still existed into the late 1960s, and it wasn't until these laws were abolished that social attitudes towards cross-race relationships began to change Lee & Fernandez, 1998). They find that persons of color tend to have much more liberal attitudes towards interracial relationships than Caucasian-Americans. The authors discuss various beliefs about interracial relationships and compare these popular beliefs with research. They find interracial relationships to be less stable than same-race relationships, but that relationship satisfaction appears to be the same in both cross- and same-race relationships. All in all, this is well-written examination into the intricacies of social attitudes towards interracial relationships.

Harrison, L.A., & Esqueda, C.W. (2000). Effects of race and victim drinking on domestic violence attributions. Sex Roles, 42, 1043-1057.

Harrison and Esqueda investigated the amount of blame college students assigned to victims of domestic violence in interracial relationships. They presented participants with a vignette of a domestic violence incident, including transcripts of interviews with the police. They manipulated the race of the batterer (African-American or Caucasian), race of the victim (African-American or Caucasian), and whether the victim had been drinking alcohol. Overall, the participants attributed more blame to a victim who had been drinking. However, this was qualified by the race of the victim: African-American drinking victims were blamed more for the incident than Caucasian victims who had been drinking. Participants assigned more blame to the batterer when the batterer and victim constituted an interracial couple. Respondents blamed African-American batterers more when the victim was Caucasian than when the victim was African-American. The authors conclude that assigned culpability is greater in interracial relationships than same-race relationships, and African-American victims, especially if they have been drinking, are at the greatest risk for not receiving the legal and social services they would need.

Mills, J.K., Daly, J., Longmore, A., & Kilbride, G. (1995). A note on family acceptance involving interracial friendships and romantic relationships. Journal of Psychology, 129, 349-351.

The authors were interested in college students' perceptions of their families' attitudes towards interracial relationships. Overall, African-American students held more favorable attitudes towards interracial relationships than Caucasians, which is consistent with other findings. Respondents' perceived their families were not very accepting of interracial friendships or romantic relationships. Both African-Americans and Caucasians reported their families had equally negative views on interracial relationships. Worry about family reactions to interracial relationships may deter individuals from initiating and maintaining interracial relationships.

Baldwin, J.R., Day, L.E., & Hecht, M.L. (2000). The structure(s) of racial attitudes among White college students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 553-577.

The authors investigated the structure of Caucasian Americans' prejudicial attitudes by testing various theories of racism. They determined that theories of racial prejudice tend to fall into three structural categories: 1) "one-dimensional racism" - highly prejudiced individuals are prejudiced against all out-groups equally; 2) "racism as target-specific" – racial prejudice varies by culture and historical time period, but all members of stigmatized groups are discriminated against equally; 3) "racism as multi-faceted" – attitudes towards particular groups and group members vary by context, such as Caucasians' attitudes towards civil rights legislation benefiting African-Americans may vary from Caucasians' attitudes regarding interracial marriage. Caucasian college students completed surveys assessing attitudes towards African- and Mexican-Americans in different contexts (e.g., affirmative action, interracial dating). Using structural equation modeling, the authors found that participants' attitudes varied more according to functions of interactions with minorities than between ethnic groups. In other words, Caucasians' attitudes towards Mexican- and African-Americans were more a function of social distance (with interracial dating and marriage being the most inclusive level of social distance) than particular group membership.

Back to Questions


Benefits


Despite
negative social attitudes towards interracial relationships, there
are many benefits to cross-race friendships and relationships. These
benefits span from decreased prejudice to higher educational
aspirations and leadership skills. Overall, studies involving both
children and adults overwhelmingly support contentions that
cross-race friendships increase positive intergroup relations in the
U.S. There has been much replication of studies showing better
cross-race attitudes among individuals with high proportions of
interracial friendships. For children, the positive effects appear to
span beyond intergroup attitudes to social and achievement domains.
In addition, there is evidence that individual’s intergroup
attitudes could benefit from cross-race friendships merely by
observing positive intergroup friendships among their fellow in-group
members.



Back to Questions

What are the benefits of cross-race friendships for school children?
Among school children, greater interracial friendliness has been associated with beneficial outcomes in both achievement and social domains. One study reported greater social competence, increased minority acceptance, and less desire for social distance from ethnic minorities among female 5th graders (Hunter & Elias, 1999). Other studies found higher educational aspirations and outcomes among students with high proportions of cross-race friendships (Hallinan & Williams, 1990). In addition, students with high proportions of cross-race friendships show no difference in attitudes towards their same- and cross-race friends, whereas students with low quality or no interracial friendships consistently rated their same-race friends more positively on personality measures. Therefore, cross-race friendships among children can improve their academic motivations, their feelings about same- vs. cross-race friends, and their social competence.

Hallinan, M.T., & Williams, R.A. (1990). Students’ characteristics and the peer-influence process. Sociology of Education, 63, 122-132.

A large, national sample of high school sophomores and seniors revealed beneficial outcomes of interracial friendship for academic success and leadership. Overall, African-Americans had higher educational aspirations than Caucasians. However, both African-American and Caucasian students with cross-race friends had higher educational aspirations and outcomes. The authors conclude that interracial friendships appears beneficial for educational and achievement domains.

Hunter, L., & Elias, M.J. (1999). Interracial friendships, multicultural sensitivity, and social competence: How are they related? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 20, 551-573.

Hunter and Elias examined the social competence and multicultural sensitivity of 5th graders who had no or low quality interracial friendships or high quality interracial friendships. Among the female students, interracial friendships were associated with greater social competence (more sociable, less aggressive) and multicultural sensitivity (increased minority acceptance, lowered desire for social distance from other ethnic groups, more diverse social networks). This effect was not found for male students, indicating that male students’ social competence and multicultural sensitivity cannot be explained through prevalence of interracial friends in their social networks.

Damico, S.B., Bell-Nathaniel, A., & Green, C. (1981). Effects of school organizational structure on interracial friendships in middle schools. Journal of Education Research, 74, 388-393.

The authors examined how positively students viewed their same- and cross-race friends on a variety of personality characteristics. Overall, African-American students rated their African-American and Caucasian friends equally positively, but Caucasian students rated their African-American friends less positively than their Caucasian friends. However, when interracial friendships were taken into account, Caucasian students who reported having even “some” African-American friends rated their African-American friends more positively than Caucasian students who reported “almost none” of their friends were African-American. The authors conclude that even a small increase in interracial friendships significantly improves Caucasian students’ interracial attitudes.

Back to Questions

What are the benefits of cross-race friendships for adults?
For adults, interracial friendship has been most commonly associated with decreased prejudice (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2000; Wright, Aron, McLaughlin-Volpe, & Ropp, 1997; Sigelman & Welch, 1993). Sigelman & Welch (1993) report U.S. adults with interracial friendships have more positive intergroup attitudes and were more oriented towards actively pursuing more positive intergroup relations. A meta-analysis on intergroup contact conducted by Pettigrew and Tropp (2000) revealed that cross-race friendship was associated with less prejudicial attitudes over 39 studies. Finally, in a study that created a competitive team atmosphere, but then manipulated a friendly, neutral, or negative intergroup interaction between confederates in front of the participants showed that even the knowledge that another in-group member has an out-group friendship increases the positivity of out-group beliefs (Wright, Aron, McLaughlin-Volpe, & Ropp, 1997).

Pettigrew, T.F., & Tropp, L.R. (2000). Does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Recent meta-analytic findings. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination,The Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology” (pp. 93-114). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.</P>

Pettigrew and Tropp conducted a detailed meta-analysis of studies which measured the association between intergroup contact and decreased prejudice. In addition to intergroup contact, the authors examined 39 tests which specifically investigated the positive effects of intergroup friendship on levels of prejudice. They found that intergroup friendship was highly associated with decreased intergroup prejudice. Since these reports are from a meta-analysis, the authors’ findings are especially compelling. These findings support the contention that cross-race friendship is a key factor in reducing intergroup prejudice, mistrust, and discrimination.

Sigelman, L. & Welch, S. (1993). The contact hypothesis revisited: Black-White interaction and positive racial attitudes. Social Forces, 71, 781-795.

Sigelman and Welch analyzed data from a national telephone survey of American adults. They were interested in how interracial friendship effected perceptions of anti-African-American sentiment. In general, African-Americans were much more likely than Caucasians to endorse items stating most Caucasians shared beliefs with the Ku Klux Klan and perceive rising levels of racism nationwide as well as in their neighborhood. Interestingly, African-Americans were also more likely than Caucasians to perceive rising anti-Caucasian sentiment among African-Americans. However, interracial friendship moderated these effects. For African-Americans, interracial friendships were associated with less belief in the prevalence of Klan-like attitudes, and less perceived increase in racism in their neighborhood. In addition, African-Americans with interracial friends perceived less anti-Caucasian sentiments. For Caucasians, interracial friendship was associated with less perceived anti-African-American sentiment in their neighborhood. In addition, Caucasians with interracial friends had a greater commitment to African-American-Caucasian interaction than Caucasians without cross-race friends.

Wright, S.C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S.A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 73-90.

The authors propose that an individual’s racial attitudes can be improved vicariously by knowing a friend with an interracial friendship. They found Caucasians who report knowing another Caucasian with a cross-race friend had less negative attitudes about non-Caucasians, regardless of the respondent’s direct level of contact with non-Caucasians. The authors created competition between two groups of randomly assigned participants who thought the groups had been formed on the basis of similarity. After intergroup hostility had been established, the participants observed one member of their in-group (a confederate) complete a puzzle task with a member of the out-group (also a confederate). Depending on condition, the participants observed the confederates react 1) positively to each other (the “friend” condition; e.g., hugged and greeted each other as pre-existing friends), 2) neutrally ( the “neutral” condition; e.g., were polite, but not necessarily warm), or 3) in a hostile manner (the “hostile” condition; e.g., acted as if they were pre-existing enemies). As can be seen in the graph below, compared to the hostile and neutral conditions, participants who observed a member of their in-group interact positively with an out-group member rated the out-group more positively on both positive characteristics (labeled “positive affection” below; e.g., intelligent, confident) and negative characteristics (labeled “negative affection” below; e.g., indifferent, inflexible). The authors conclude that merely observing an in-group member act friendly towards an out-group member increases positive feelings towards that out-group. This finding is very optimistic for social change, as it implies that the positive effects of interracial friendship extend beyond the immediate friendship; increased positive attitudes towards other races may increase exponentially as more interracial friendships are formed.

*From Wright et al. (1997)

Back to Questions

References


Aboud, F.E., Mendelson, M.J., & Purdy, K.T. (2003). Cross-race peer relations and friendship quality. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 165-173.

Baldwin, J.R., Day, L.E., & Hecht, M.L. (2000). The structure(s) of racial attitudes among White college students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 553-577.

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Damico, S.B., Bell-Nathaniel, A., & Green, C. (1981). Effects of school organizational structure on interracial friendships in middle schools. Journal of Education Research, 74, 388-393.

Davidson, J.R. (1992). Interracial marriages: A clinical perspective. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 20, 150 – 157.

Foeman, A.K., & Nance, T. (1999). From miscegenation to multiculturalism: Perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development. Journal of Black Studies, 29, 540-557.

Gaines Jr., S.O., Granrose, C.S., Rios, D.I., Garcia, B.F., Youn, M.S., Farris, K.R., & Bledsoe, K.L. (1999). Patterns of attachment and response to accommodative dilemmas among interethnic/interracial couples. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 16, 275-285.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., & Ickes, W. (1997). Perspectives on interracial relationships. In S. Duck (Ed.), Handbook of personal relationships: Theory, research and interventions (2nd ed.) (pp. 197-220). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., & Leaver, J. (2002). Interracial relationships. In R. Goodwin and D. Cramer (Eds.), Inappropriate relationships: The unconventional, the Disapproved, and the Forbidden (pp. 65-78). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gaines, Jr., S.O., Rios, D.I., Granrose, C.S., Bledsoe, K.L., Farris, K.R., Youn, M.S.P., & Garcia, B.F. (1999). Romanticism and interpersonal resource exchange among African American-Anglo and other interracial couples. Journal of Black Psychology, 25, 461-489.

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Hallinan, M.T., & Williams, R.A. (1987). The stability of students’ interracial friendships. American Sociological Review, 52, 653-664.

Hallinan, M.T., & Williams, R.A. (1990). Students’ characteristics and the peer-influence process. Sociology of Education, 63, 122-132.

Harrison, L.A., & Esqueda, C.W. (2000). Effects of race and victim drinking on domestic violence attributions. Sex Roles, 42, 1043-1057.

Hunter, L., & Elias, M.J. (1999). Interracial friendships, multicultural sensitivity, and social competence: How are they related? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 20, 551-573.

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Shibazaki, K., & Brennan, K.A. (1998). When birds of different feathers flock together: A preliminary comparison of intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic dating relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 248-256.

Sigelman, L. & Welch, S. (1993). The contact hypothesis revisited: Black-White interaction and positive racial attitudes. Social Forces, 71, 781-795.

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Wright, S.C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S.A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 73-90.

Yancey, G. (2002). Who interracially dates: An examination of the characteristics of those who have interracially dated. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 33, 179-190.

Yancey, G., & Yancey, S. (1998). Interracial dating: Evidence from personal advertisements. Journal of Family Issues, 19, 334-348.

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About The Author

Elizabeth Page-Gould, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

  

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