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Does Higher Socioeconomic Status Increase Contact Between Minorities and Whites? An Examination of Interracial Romantic Relationships Among Adolescents


  • *Direct correspondence to Hongyu Wang, Av. Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau, China 〈〉. All coding information is available from the authors, but the restricted contract data can be obtained directly only from Add Health. This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by Grant P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due to Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwistle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 〈〉. The authors are grateful for support by a grant from the NICHD (R01 HD38704-01).


Objectives. We examine how socioeconomic status of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian adolescents affects their likelihood of dating across racial lines and the racial characteristics of their romantic partners.

Methods. We analyze data nationally representative sample of adolescents in 1994–1995 using logistic regression models.

Results. Socioeconomic status has little effect on whether adolescents choose an interracial partner except in the case of Hispanics. However, higher socioeconomic status blacks and Asians who interracially date are more likely to have white partners than their SES counterparts.

Conclusion. Although social class does not increase the odds of interracial contact, it does increase contact with whites compared to other groups for blacks and Asians.