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Do Hispanic and Asian Adolescents Practice Panethnicity in Friendship Choices?

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Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we investigate whether Asian and Latino youth value racial boundaries more than ethnic boundaries. We evaluate the relative preferences of same-ethnic, same-race (but different-ethnic), and different-race friends. Methods.

We use multilevel multinomial logistic regression models to examine the odds of choosing same-ethnic, different-ethnic (but same-race), and different-race friends net of the opportunity to interact. Results.

We find strong effects of school racial and ethnic composition, immigrant status, and parental education on the likelihood of crossing boundaries in the selection of friends. In addition, we develop a new scale of panethnicity and find substantial ethnic group variation in panethnic sentiment. Conclusion.

We find an overwhelming preference for same-ethnic peers over same-race (different-ethnic) and different-race peers.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Pennsylvania 2: Cornell University

Publication date: December 1, 2006


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