Hallinan, Maureen T., & Texeira, Ruy
Opportunities and Constraints: Black-White Differences in the Formation of Interracial Friendships
University of Notre Dame
Studies the effects of classroom climate, instructional organization, and classroom racial composition on cross-race friendliness
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Vol. 58, No. 5, pp. 1358-1371
- Black students in desegregated classrooms are friendlier than White students toward cross-race peers.
- White students are more reluctant to make cross-race friendships.
- The effects of classroom climate were different for B;ack and White students.
- Classroom climate can have a positive effect on Whites. Whites are more likely to form cross-race friendships in classrooms where they are placed in an ability group with Blacks and where teachers do not emphasize skills and curriculum content.
- Racial composition of the class affects the cross-race friendships made by White students.
- Whites value achievement and respect their peers for who they are academically.
- The lower academic status of Blacks, makes them less attractive to Whites as friends.
- The more Black students in a classroom, the more likely a White student to select a Black peer as a friend---supporting opportunity hypothesis.
- The larger the class size, the less likely children are to make outgroup friends.
- Teacher emphasis on grades had a strong, significant negative effect on Whites and no effect on Blacks.
- Teacher emphasis on student enjoyment of learning had significant positive effects only for Black students.
- De-emphasized standardized tests and grades had a positive effect on Whites that outweighs the slight negative effect on Blacks.
- Classroom climates that emphasize a love of learning are positive for both races.
- The racial composition of the class affects the cross-race friendships of Whites but not of Blacks.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Classroom Composition, Cross Race Friendships, Curriculum, Desegregation, Diversity, Peer Effects, Racial Composition, Tracking
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- The data are from a large, longitudinal data set from 1,477 students in 48 classes in 10 schools in Northern CA. The 16 desegregated classes in the dataset were used for this study.
- 4th-7th graders make up the final sample of 359 students in 16 classes.
- The White children were primarily middle-upper middle class. Black children were primarily lower-middle class.
- Teacher questionnaires provided data about classroom climate, teachers described the instructional practices they used, whether they ability grouped, names of children in each group. Most classes had 2-4 ability groups (3 most common). Students completed questionnaires indicating their relationship with each classmate (responses range from "best friend" to "don't know").
- Factor scores that measured classroom climate: FAC1-stnadarized test and good grades, FAC2- reading and math skills and mastery of the curriculum, FAC3-student initiative for learning and self-development and enjoyment of learning (intrinsic enjoyment of learning).
- IV: Student variables- age, race, gender, grade, friendliness. Class level variables--proportion Black, grade, class size, classroom climate.
- DV: P's choice of O as best friend (cross-sectional analysis) and change in P's choice of O from friend to best friend (longitudinal analysis).