Living with an other-race roommate shapes Whites' behavior in subsequent diverse settings


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gaither, SE; Sommers, SR

Published Date

  • March 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 272 - 276

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1031

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.10.020

Citation Source

  • Scopus