The Interplay of Positive and Negative Intergroup Contact: A Minority Perspective on Mixed Experiences of Intergroup Interactions.

Árnadóttir, K. (University of Leuven, Belgium), Phalet, K. (University of Leuven, Belgium), Kende, J. (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), Tropp, L. R. (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA), O´Brien, T. (Yale University, USA)

Discrimination experiences may lead devalued-minority-group-members to enter intergroup interactions with less positive expectations. By contrast, intergroup friendship – which is more intimate in nature – tends to be robustly associated with positive intergroup outcomes. We therefore predict that intergroup friendship will be associated with positive intergroup orientations, even in the face of negative contact experiences. However, less intimate forms of positive contact (e.g. friendly contact), may not be sufficient to promote positive intergroup orientations when intergroup experiences are more mixed, i.e. when friendly contact is experienced alongside discrimination.  126 Latinx (10-14 years, Mage = 11.68), recruited from 53 classrooms in Massachusetts completed a questionnaire. We ran multilevel regression analyses controlling age and gender, and majority-proportions. As expected, the positive effects of intergroup friendship on intergroup orientations were consistent and not affected by levels of discrimination. However, friendly intergroup contact was associated with less positive intergroup orientations (e.g. increased anxiety and more ambivalent contact attitudes) among those who reported personal-discrimination-experiences. We conclude that mixed intergroup interaction experiences may harm positive intergroup orientations among minority-group-members. By contrast, intergroup friendship was robustly associated with positive contact orientations. This suggests the importance of reducing discrimination and enabling intergroup friendship for minority-group-members, for mutually positive intergroup relations.


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