Race and sex as factors in children's sociometric ratings and friendship choices


This research provides a comprehensive analysis of the association of race and sex to children's peer relationships by assessing: a) the association of both race and sex; b) multiple measures of peer relationships (sociometric ratings and friendships); and c) an entire elementary school (Grades 1 to 6) with nearly an even number of African-American to European-American children in each class. Regardless of age, race, or sex, and for both relationship measures, children showed a greater bias favoring same-sex peers than same-race peers. Although older African-American children had more same-race than cross-race mutual friends, African-American children were more accepting of European-American children than the reverse. Despite some same-race preferences, cross-race evaluations were generally quite positive on both measures. The differential impact of sex and race as considerations for peer evaluations is discussed.

Publication Title

Social Development