Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 1628–1641

Intragroup Contact and Anxiety Among Ethnic Minority Adolescents: Considering Ethnic Identity and School Diversity Transitions

Empirical Research


Everyday interactions with same-racial/ethnic others may confer positive benefits for adolescents, but the meaning of these interactions are likely influenced by individual differences and larger structural contexts. This study examined the situation-level association between contact with same-ethnic others and anxiety symptoms among a diverse sample of 306 racial/ethnic minority adolescents (Mage = 14 years; 66 % female), based on (1) individual differences in ethnic identity centrality and (2) developmental histories of transitions in diversity between elementary, middle, and high school. The results indicated that at the level of the situation, when adolescents interacted with more same-ethnic others, they reported fewer anxiety symptoms. Further, for adolescents who had experienced a transition in school diversity, the positive benefits of contact with same-ethnic others was only conferred for those who felt that their ethnicity was very important to them. The importance of examining individual differences within larger developmental histories to understand the everyday experiences of ethnic minority adolescents are discussed.


Intragroup contact Diversity Ethnic identity Adolescence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Douglass
    • 1
  • Tiffany Yip
    • 2
  • J. Nicole Shelton
    • 3
  1. 1.T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family DynamicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Fordham UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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