This study examined patterns of intra- and interracial best friendships during middle school and their associations with social and emotional well-being. We hypothesized that intraracial friendships would be beneficial for racial or ethnic minority youth because such relationships provide protection and solidarity in a discriminatory society. Results revealed that most youth had only intraracial best friends during middle school, but 38% had at least one interracial best friend. Associations between interracial best friendships and well-being varied by racial group; Black and Asian American youth with only interracial best friends reported lower emotional well-being than those with only intraracial best friends. Additionally, intraracial best friendships were associated with higher conflict than interracial best friendships, especially for Black and Latino youth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience