Same-Race Friendships and School Attachment: Demonstrating the Interaction Between Personal Network and School Composition
The Florida State University
- What is the relationship between number of same-race relationships and school attachment?
- Does the relationship between same-race friendships and and school attainment get stronger when the school includes a large proportion of same race peers?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 515-537
- White students showed the strongest attachment to school, Black students showed the weakest and
Asians and Hispanic students were in between.
- Compared to White and Black students, Hispanic and Asian students had lower proportions of same-race friends, mainly because they make up a smaller proportion of the student body in many schools.
- Proportion of same-race friends was positively associated with school attachment. The relationship between friendship, racial composition and school attachment was similar across racial groups (when school composition was not considered).
- Proportion of Black peers had a significantly more positive association with school attachment with
Black students than with White students.
- The main effect of school composition was small or nonexistent once friendship composition was
taken into account.
- The relationship between same-race friendships and school attachment was more positive when
the racial group makes up a higher proportion of the student body for Asian students, this pattern did
not appear for Black or Hispanic students.
- There is a significantly positive relationship between proportion of same-race friends and school
attachment in the overall sample. This relationship was not any stronger for Whites than for non-
Journal Article Empirical Research
Race, Racial Composition, SES Composition, Social Capital
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
7th through 12th grade students
Unit of Analysis:
- The author used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Analysis includes 112 schools. The sample includes 50,817 students.
- Racial background, egocentric network composition, school composition
control variables: sex, grade level, parents’ education, extracurricular activity, GPA, proportion same race
friends, proportion same race friends *White, school type, school proportion White, school
proportion White* White, school proportion White* same-race friends, school proportion White*
School Composition and School Attachment- school attachment increases under structural
conditions and school climates that promote personal and pleasant interactions among students and
teachers. Students who attend a school with many same race peers tend to have stronger
- Friendship Network Composition and School Attachment- students spend a great deal of time
interacting with their school friends and engaging in many school activities in the company of their
friends. Therefore, racial composition of their friend groups is likely to shift the degree to which
students are exposed to positive and negative responses to their racial background at school.