Friendship Preferences Among German and Turkish Preadolescents


  • We thank the schools, parents, and children who made this research possible, and Julian Blanck for help with data collection. We also thank Allard Feddes and Ilka Gleibs for comments on earlier drafts of this article. Preparation of this article was supported by a doctoral fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (GRK 622) awarded to the first author. This article is based on the first author’s PhD thesis, and portions of this article were presented at the 15th General Meeting of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology in Opatija, Croatia.

concerning this article should be addressed to Philipp Jugert, Department of Educational Psychology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Humboldtstr. 27, 07743 Jena, Germany. Electronic mail may be sent to


This study examined changes in and predictors of preference for same-ethnic friendships among German (= 106) and Turkish (= 45) preadolescents (M age = 10.4 years) during their 1st year in an ethnically heterogeneous school. Drawing on the contact hypothesis, it examined the relation between children’s attitudes and their preference for same-ethnic friendship. Among both German and Turkish children, the latter decreased over time and its variability was predicted by intergroup attitudes and peer norms about cross-ethnic friendships. Outgroup orientation and perceived contact conditions predicted only German children’s preference for same-ethnic friendships. Over time, classroom identification increasingly reduced preference for same-ethnic friendships among Turkish children. The results showed that interindividual attitudes were related to children’s level of intergroup contact.