Peer Influence on Ethnic Identity

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Description: Recent research has shown that peers influence ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development during early adolescence. Arguments based on social identity theory (SIT), however, suggest that only same-ethnic but not cross-ethnic friends are important for ERI development. Using longitudinal social network analysis, we examined peer influence of both same- and cross-ethnic friends on ERI attachment and private regard. Data were drawn from six ethnically diverse schools in Western Germany (N = 1,349; Mage = 13.3). Our results provide empirical evidence for early adolescents’ ERI being influenced by same- but less by cross-ethnic friends. Considering peers’ ethnicity therefore is crucial for understanding peer influence on ERI development.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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