Living with an other-race roommate shapes Whites' behavior in subsequent diverse settings
In a multi-phase research design over two academic semesters, White college students assigned to either a same-race or other-race roommate were tracked across two survey phases and a third phase involving an interracial interaction with a Black stranger. After four months, Whites who lived with an other-race roommate came to have more diverse friends and believe that diversity was more important than did Whites with a White roommate. After six months, self-reports, partner ratings, and nonverbal behavior indicated that Whites with an other-race roommate were less anxious, more pleasant, and more physically engaged during a novel interracial interaction. These results demonstrate that residential contact with other-race individuals not only affects race-related attitudes, but can also reduce interracial anxiety and positively influence behavior in subsequent diverse settings. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
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