A between-subjects comparison of same-group and cross-group friendships amongst Coloured South African students at Stellenbosch Univeristy

Lewis, Cindy Lisa (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Interpersonal friendships fulfil several important functions in the lives of individuals across their lifespan, and cross-group friendships have been shown to be strongly associated with reduced outgroup prejudice (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). The emerging literature comparing same-group and cross-group friendships along interpersonal-level variables amongst majority-status participants in Northern Ireland, England, Serbia, and South Africa has consistently shown that same-gender, same-group friendships are rated as greater in overall quality than corresponding cross-group friendships (Swart et al., 2011). The present study aimed to replicate these findings amongst minority-status coloured South African respondents by (1) undertaking between-group comparisons of the mean-level scores reported for same-group and cross-group friendships along nine interpersonal-level variables, namely friendship length, friendship type, friendship closeness, friendship contact, friendship functions, friendship affection, interpersonal trust, positive reciprocal self-disclosure and negative reciprocal self-disclosure; (2) comparing the structural relationships between these interpersonal-level variables across the two friendship conditions; (3) exploring whether attitudes towards a specific outgroup exemplar (closest same-gender white South African friend) generalise towards more positive attitudes towards white South Africans in general; and (4) exploring the extent to which interactions with a specific cross-group friend were related to access with a wider social-network of outgroup peers and the development of further cross-group friendships. Cross-sectional, electronic survey data were collected amongst 302 coloured South African students studying at Stellenbosch University and included 157 respondents in the same-group condition and 145 respondents in the cross-group condition. Results showed that (1) same-group friendships were characterized by significantly greater intimacy and overall quality than cross-group friendships; (2) there exist several differences in the structural relationships between the interpersonal-level and group-level variables across the two friendship conditions; (3) that positive attitudes towards a specific outgroup exemplar generalised to more positive attitudes towards white South Africans in general; and (4) that a single cross-group friend provides valuable access to a broader network of outgroup peers with whom to form further cross-group friendships. These findings not only replicate the results found in the emerging literature (Goosen, 2011; Swart et al., 2011), they further its contributions by providing a comparison with minority-status groups

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Interpersoonlike vriendskappe vervul verskeie belangrike funksies in die lewens van individue in hul leeftyd. Kruis-groep vriendskappe dui aan dat dit in groot mate verbind word met verminderde buitgegroup veroordeeltheid (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Die opkomende literatuur wat selfde-groep en kruis-groep vriendskappe vergelyk langs interpersoonlike-vlak veranderlikes onder meerderheid-status deelnemers in Noord-Ierland, Engeland, Serwië en Suid-Afrika en het gewys dat selfde-geslag, selfde-groep vriendskappe word gegradeer as groter in kwaliteit as ooreenstemmende kruis-groep vriendskappe (Swart et al., 2011). Die huidige, tussen-groep studie het „n poging aangewend om hirdie bevindinge te repliseer deur: (1) die gemiddelde-vlak punte vir selfde-groep en kruis-groep vriendskappe met nege interpersoonlike veranderlikes te vergelyk, naamlik die lengte van die vriendskap, vriendskap tipe, vriendskap nabyheid, vriendskaps kontak, vriendskap funksies, vriendskaps gehegtheid, interpersoonlike vertroue en positiewe en negatiewe wedersydse self-bekendmaking; (2) die strukturele verhoudings tussen hierdie interpersoonlike-vlak veranderlikes tussen die twee vreinskap-kondisies te vergelyk; (3) om te omdersoek of houdings teenoor „n spesifieke buitegroep model (naaste, selfde-geslag blanke Suid-Afrikaanse vriend) veralgemeen tot positiewe houdings teenoor blanke Suid-Afrikaners in die algemeen; en (4) te ondersoek tot watter mate wissel werking met „n spesifieke kruis-groep vriend aan verwant is met toegang na „n breër netwerk van buitegroep lede om verder kruis-groep vriendskappe te ontwikkel. Deursnee, elektroniese vraelyste data was ingesamel onder 302 kleurling Suid-Afrikaanse studente wat aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosh studeer en 157 proefpersone in die selfde-groep vriendskapskondisie as ook 145 proefpersone in die kruis-groep vriendskapskondisie. Die resultate het aangedui dat (1) selfde-groep vriendskappe word gekenmerk deur noemenswaardige hoër vlakke van die interpersoonlike veranderlikes as kruis-groep vriendskappe; (2) daar bestaan verskeie verskille in die strukturele verhoudings tussen die interpersoonlike-vlak en groep-vlak veranderlikes tussen die twee vriendskapkondisies; (3) dat positiewe houdings teenoor „n spesifieke buitegroep model word veralgemeen tot meer positiewe houdings teenoor blanke Suid-Afrikaners in die algemeen; en (4) dat „n enkele kruis-groep vriend waardevol toegang tot „n breër netwerk van buitegroepe lede verskaf en met wie verder kruis-groep vriendskappe geworm word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86223
This item appears in the following collections: