Can cross-group friendships influence minority students' well-being at historically white universities?Psychol Sci. 2008 Sep; 19(9):933-9.PS
Past research has demonstrated the negative impact of race-based rejection sensitivity (RS-race) on institutional belonging and satisfaction among minority-group students in predominantly White universities. Given research documenting the benefits of cross-group friendship for intergroup attitudes, we tested whether friendships with majority-group peers would attenuate the effects of RS-race within these contexts. In a longitudinal study of African American students (Study 1), cross-group friendships with majority-group peers buffered students high in RS-race from lack of belonging and dissatisfaction at their university. An experimental intervention (Study 2) that induced cross-group friendship replicated the findings and established their specificity for minority-group students. We discuss implications for efforts toward diversifying educational settings.