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Patterns of intergroup contact and friendship formation among students

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dc.contributor.author Schrieff LE en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T09:14:21Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T09:14:21Z
dc.date.submitted 2004 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/49337
dc.description.abstract Research on intergroup contact and friendship have long existed as popular complementary areas of research in social psychology. Not only does contact underlie friendship, but friendship also offers the opportunity for voluntary, frequent, intimate contact. Thus, friendship may not only offer the most optimal intergroup contact setting, but it may also present the ideal outcome most social psychologists desire for intergroup contact. The present study investigates the extent to which a relationship exists between intergroup contact and friendship among students in a residence dining hall. A measure of intergroup contact was obtained through naturalistic observations of students' seating patterns. The investigation of students' friendship was undertaken by means of a 3-part questionnaire. Each questionnaire contained both closed and open-ended questions. These questionnaires also served to provide additional information about students' seating patterns. Both means of data collection were longitudinal. Generally, an aim of the study was to establish the level of segregation among the students in the dining hall and to attempt to understand the motivations that establish and maintain such patterns. Students' level of intergroup contact and interracial attitudes were among the factors investigated for such motivations. With this, a further aim of the study was to establish whether the patterns observed were also patterns of friendship. If this were so, then a further aim of the study was to investigate the determinants of friendship for these students, generally, in order to ascertain the level of importance of race among such determinants. The analysis was focused around 10 specific objectives. Students' seating patterns were analysed using 2 indices of spatial variation. These included D and xPy*. For the most part, the rest of the data was analysed descriptively. However, simple qualitative coding of some open-ended responses was also undertaken. The descriptive were at times supplemented by correlations, t-tests and multiple regression analyses. Results reflect a distinct pattern of informal segregation among the students in the dining hall. Generally, results show that these patterns are indeed, for the most part, patterns of friendship. Further investigations into students' friendship also reflect a tendency for a predominance of same-race friendships. Such a preference for same-race individuals was found to be consistent with certain emotive factors and to a lesser extent, with intergroup attitudes. In addition a significant finding was the correlation between this same-race preference in students' seating patterns and how comfortably they were with other-race students. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Psychology en
dc.title Patterns of intergroup contact and friendship formation among students en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA (Psych) en


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