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School and Neighborhood Friendship Patterns of Blacks and Whites in Early Adolescence

David L. DuBois and Barton J. Hirsch
Child Development
Vol. 61, No. 2, Special Issue on Minority Children (Apr., 1990), pp. 524-536
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131112
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131112
Page Count: 13
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School and Neighborhood Friendship Patterns of Blacks and Whites in Early Adolescence
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Abstract

This research examined the school and neighborhood friendships of 292 black and white children who attended an integrated junior high school. Most students reported having a close other-race school friend, but only 28% of the sample saw such a friend frequently outside of school. Reports of an interracial school friendship that extended to nonschool settings were significantly more common among black students than whites and among children who lived in integrated neighborhoods rather than segregated ones. Race differences in reported friendship behavior were also found on other friendship variables. Compared to whites, blacks reported more extensive neighborhood friendship networks but indicated that they talked to fewer friends during the school day. In addition, the study replicated prior findings that white girls report more peer social support than white boys but failed to find a gender difference in peer support among blacks. The discussion emphasizes the importance of the school/nonschool ecology and the need for further comparative study of white and black children's friendship patterns.

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