College students' racial attitudes and friendship diversity

Judith N. Martin, Alison B. Trego, Thomas K. Nakayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Using the contact hypothesis as a theoretical framework, this study investigates the relationship between college students' racial attitudes and the diversity in their intercultural friendship networks. The results tend to support a conventional view of racial hierarchy, as students in this study categorized ethnic/racial groups into fairly dichotomized categories of Whites and non-Whites. In addition, students who reported fewer ethnically/racially different friends are more likely to define race by skin color than those who have more diverse friendship networks. Further, White students were more much more likely to see race as defined by skin color than students of color. Overall, results reveal an interesting relationship between these college students' racial attitudes and their friendship choices. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-118
Number of pages22
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Ethnicity
  • Friendship
  • Race
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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