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J Soc Issues. 2014 Jun;70(2):256-278.

Stress and coping in interracial contexts: The influence of race-based rejection sensitivity and cross-group friendship in daily experiences of health.

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University of Toronto.
University of California, Berkeley.
University of California, San Francisco.


We examined the interplay of psychosocial risk and protective factors in daily experiences of health. In Study 1, the tendency to anxiously expect rejection from racial outgroup members, termed race-based rejection sensitivity (RS-race), was cross-sectionally related to greater stress-symptoms among Black adults who reported fewer cross-race friends but not among participants who had more cross-race friends. In Study 2, we experimentally manipulated the development of a same- versus cross-race friendship among Latino/a-White dyads prior to collecting daily experiences of stress-symptoms using a diary methodology. While RS-race predicted more psychosomatic symptoms in the same-race friendship condition, RS-race was unrelated to symptomatology among participants who made a cross-race friend. These findings suggest that experiences of intergroup stress can spill over into everyday life in the absence of positive contact, but cross-race friendships may be a resource that mitigates the expression of interracial stress.


Chronic stress; cross-group friendship; health; psychosomatic symptomatology; race-based rejection sensitivity

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