African American and European American Children in Diverse Elementary Classrooms: Social Integration, Social Status, and Social Behavior

Authors


  • We are grateful to the children, teachers, and school principals who participated in and contributed to this project. We thank Allison Ryan, Karen Rudolph, Glenn Roisman, and the anonymous referees for their thoughtful feedback on previous drafts of this manuscript. This research was supported by grants to the second author from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R03 HD48491-01) and the Spencer Foundation (Small Grant #20050079).

concerning this article should be addressed to Travis Wilson, 224D Col. Wolfe School, Mail Code 422, 403 E. Healey Street, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820. Electronic mail may be sent to wilson2@illinois.edu.

Abstract

With a sample of African American and European American 3rd- and 4th-grade children (= 486, ages 8–11 years), this study examined classroom ethnic composition, peer social status (i.e., social preference and perceived popularity as nominated by same- and cross-ethnicity peers), and patterns of ethnic segregation (i.e., friendship, peer group, and cross-ethnicity dislike). African American—but not European American—children had more segregated relationships and were more disliked by cross-ethnicity peers when they had fewer same-ethnicity classmates. African American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity and with cross-ethnicity perceived popularity. European American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference but negatively associated with cross-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity.

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