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Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice

Date:
June 20, 2014
Source:
Wayne State University Division of Research
Summary:
The physical presence of romantic partners in intergroup friendships -- friendships with different racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, or sexual orientations -- positively influences interactions with people who are perceived to be different from themselves.

Recent research findings from Wayne State University show that the physical presence of romantic partners in intergroup friendships – friendships with different racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, or sexual orientations – positively influences interactions with people who are perceived to be different from themselves.

The study, “Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love,” currently available online in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, found that couples that interacted with couples of another race showed a greater positive attitude toward the other group than to same-race couple interactions.

Research participants spent time answering and asking questions that increased the level of self-disclosure over time. The conversations began with lower-level information and then escalated to more personal information.

“Our research found that there were more positive attitudes towards answering questions when there were intergroup couples interacting versus same-group couples or individuals,” said Keith Welker, Ph.D., a Wayne State graduate and lead author of the study. “Our findings suggest that interacting in an intergroup context with the presence of your romantic partner is something that can improve your attitude toward other groups significantly rather than just interacting alone. This is because romantic partners can alleviate threats, help improve conversations and create something you have in common with other couples.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wayne State University Division of Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. M. Welker, R. B. Slatcher, L. Baker, A. Aron. Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0265407514522369

Cite This Page:

Wayne State University Division of Research. "Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620102139.htm>.
Wayne State University Division of Research. (2014, June 20). Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620102139.htm
Wayne State University Division of Research. "Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620102139.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

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