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Higher Ed in the News

Interracial roommates can reduce prejudice, campus studies find

July 8, 2009

Several recent studies have found that having a roommate of a different race can reduce prejudice, but such relationships are more stressful.

Having a roommate of a different race can reduce prejudice, diversify friendships and even boost black students’ academic performance according to recent studies. But, the research found, such relationships are more stressful and more likely to break up than same-race pairings.

“Just having diversity in classrooms doesn’t do anything to increase interracial friendships,” said Claudia Buchmann, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State and an author of a study of students at Duke University. “But the intimacy of living together in residence halls, with no roommate, or a different-race roommate, does lead to more interracial friendships.”

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Read more from the New York Times.