Abstract/Details

Children's perceptions of interethnic/interracial friendships in a multiethnic school context


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

This cross-sectional, mixed-methods study investigated the development of children's perceptions of interethnic and interracial friendships by employing the Perceptions of Intergroup Friendships Questionnaire , a measure designed for this study. A total of 103 children (53 Kindergarten and first graders and 50 fourth and fifth graders) attending one, ethnically/racially-diverse, urban, elementary school in a middle-sized Northeastern city, were interviewed employing the questionnaire. In addition, a sub sample of 17 children (7 Kindergarten and first graders and 10 fourth and fifth graders) were interviewed employing a lengthier semi-structured interview format. Results indicate that K/1st and 4 th/5th graders' differ significantly in their perceptions of intergroup friendships with younger children holding more positive perceptions than older children. African American children demonstrated more positive perceptions of intergroup friendships than European American children. Younger children and girls also held more positive perceptions of intragroup friendships than older children and boys. Children involved in intergroup friendships attributed lower levels of these relationships in the higher grades to prejudice and incidents of racist behavior in the school, along with fewer opportunities to interact with children of different ethnicities/race both within and outside of the school context. Children involved in exclusively intragroup relationships attributed lower levels of intergroup friendships to a normative developmental pattern through which children become increasingly more selective and include only "similar" peers in friendships circles. These differing perspectives are based in children's own racial attitudes and experiences of prejudice. Lastly, children shared their perspectives on how intergroup friendships could be better-supported in schools.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Bilingual education;
Elementary education;
Child psychology;
Perceptions;
Friendship
Classification
0282: Bilingual education
0524: Elementary education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Children; Friendships; Interethnic friendships; Multiethnic
Title
Children's perceptions of interethnic/interracial friendships in a multiethnic school context
Author
Pica, Cinzia
Number of pages
191
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549785996
Advisor
Nugent, Kevin
Committee member
Anderson, Daniel; Wells, Craig
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Education
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ed.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3325116
ProQuest document ID
304565224
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304565224
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