Do minorities’ friendships with majority culture members and their emotional fit with majority culture influence each other over time?

Immigrant-origin minorities who have majority friends have emotions that fit the majority norm. However, previous research on the link between minorities’ emotional fit and their friendships with majority culture members has been cross-sectional. Hence, little is known about the directionality of the association and whether emotional fit facilitates minority inclusion. In a longitudinal study of 3216 minority and 2283 majority youth, we tested bidirectional associations between emotional fit and majority friendships over time. Emotional fit was calculated by relating minorities’ emotional patterns to the average pattern of the majority sample in comparable situations. Majority friendships were measured as reciprocal friendship nominations in classrooms and self-report. Cross-lagged panel models offered partial support for the hypotheses using friendship nomination data, and full support using self-reported data. The findings suggest that minorities’ fit with the majority culture increases when they have majority friends and that emotional fit is a promising route for inclusion.

Jasini, A., De Leersnyder, J., Ceulemans, E., Gagliolo, M., & Mesquita, B. (2023). Do Minorities’ Friendships with Majority Culture Members and Their Emotional Fit with Majority Culture Influence Each Other Over Time? Social Psychological and Personality Science.