The impact of crossgroup friendships in South Africa: Affective mediators and multigroup comparisons
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany; University of Padova, Italy
Two cross-sectional survey studies among majority-status White and minority-status Coloured high school students in South Africa explored the effects of crossgroup friendships on prejudice, and the affective processes (intergroup anxiety in Study 1, and intergroup anxiety and affective empathy in Study 2) underlying these effects with respect to two target groups for each sample. Crossgroup friendships were negatively associated with negative action tendencies, and positively associated with positive outgroup attitudes and greater perceived outgroup variability for both samples, irrespective of the target group. The importance of intergroup anxiety and affective empathy as mediators of these effects was also confirmed. Multigroup comparisons showed significant differences in the structural models across the two samples in both studies, and confirmed prior findings in the contact literature that contact effects are stronger for majority than minority groups. These findings are the first of their kind within the South African context. © 2010 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
cultural relations; group behavior; minority group; social characteristics; social status; student; South Africa