The present study examines the ethnic heterogeneity of children’s social networks and cross-ethnic friendships as a function of gender, age, and time in an ethnically diverse school. Subjects were 350 children in first through sixth grades. Mutual peer nominations of 350 children yielded 956 reciprocal dyads and 88 social network groups. Girls had larger and more ethnically diverse social networks than boys. Girls were more likely to belong to a social network group and less likely than boys to be isolates as the school year progressed. At roughly fifth and sixth grade, girls had more reciprocal friends than boys, and at roughly third and fourth grade, girls were more likely than boys to have cross-ethnic friends. With regard to friendship stability, same-ethnic/same-gender (girl) dyads were most stable and cross-ethnic/mixed-gender (boy-girl) dyads were least stable.
Lee, Linda; Howes, Carollee; and Chamberlain, Brandt
"Ethnic Heterogeneity of Social Networks and
Cross-Ethnic Friendships of Elementary School Boys
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 53
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol53/iss3/3