Interracial and Intraracial Contact, School-Level Diversity, and Change in Racial Identity Status Among African American Adolescents


  • This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH 5 R01 MH061967-03) and the National Science Foundation (BCS-9986101) awarded to the third author.

concerning this article should be addressed to Tiffany Yip, Department of Psychology, Fordham University, 332 Dealy Hall, Bronx, NY 10458. Electronic mail may be sent to


Among 224 African American adolescents (mean age = 14), the associations between interracial and intraracial contact and school-level diversity on changes in racial identity over a 3-year period were examined. Youths were determined to be diffused, foreclosed, moratorium, or achieved, and change or stability in identity status was examined. Contact with Black students, Black friends, and White friends predicted change in identity status. Furthermore, in racially diverse schools, having more Black friends was associated with identity stability. Students reporting low contact with Black students in racially diverse schools were more likely to report identity change if they had few Black friends. In students reporting high contact with Blacks in predominantly White schools, their identity was less likely to change for students with fewer White friends.