Damico, Sandra B., & Sparks, Christopher
Cross-Group Contact Opportunities: Impact on Interpersonal Relationships in Desegregated Middle Schools
University of Iowa
Examines the effects of school organizational structure on students' interracial and cross-sex communication patterns
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 113-123
- Verbal contact was affected by school attended, race and sex. School organization matters. Junior High students experience significantly less contact than Middle School students.
- 3 patterns were found in the differences between the schools in within-race and between-race contact: 1) Blacks at JH received significantly less communication from whites than blacks at MS. True even with controls for school, race and gender; race did not limit the amount of verbal contact between black and white students. 2) At MS Black and White students have reciprocal communication. At JH blacks talk to Whites more often than Whites talk to Blacks. 3) Whites had less within race contact at JH than at MS.
- White females get more social interaction than any other group. Black females are the most socially isolated.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Contact Theory , Heterogeneous Grouping, Intergroup Relations, Tracking
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data were collected at two schools (grades 6, 7, & 8) in a mid-sized city district in the SE. The schools are similar in size, SES, and racial composition (70% White, 30% Black). 1/3 of the student body at each school participated in this study.
- Middle School Sample - 2 teams were randomly selected
- School organization: multigrade teams, heterogeneous grouping (race & ability)
- Mode of instruction: more multi-task & cooperative learning activities
- Junior High Sample - the 7th grade class
- School organization: more traditional, segregated by grade, more homogeneous classes, ability grouping & tracking
- Mode of instruction: recitation and teacher lecture
- Survey data: catij - method for analyzing quantity of interactions within bounded groups. Students indicate the frequency of their verbal contact with classmates across and within race and sex groups.
- DV: Frequency of verbal contact with classmates
- IV: Race, gender