High-Quality Contact With Fellow Majority Group Students Is Associated With Better Academic Performance of Minority Group Students

Rotem Kahalon, Nurit Shnabel, Keren Sharvit, Samer Halabi, Stephen C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined the association between intergroup contact and academic performance at university among minority students in a context with a segregated pre-university school system. Study 1 tested whether participation in a group dynamics course, which involves intimate interpersonal contact between Israeli Arab (n = 125) and Jewish students, was associated with better grade point average (GPA). As expected, Arab students who participated in the course had a higher GPA than those who did not, even when controlling for pre-university achievements. The corresponding difference among Jews was substantially smaller. Study 2 (N = 90), a longitudinal study, revealed that the quality of contact with Jewish students at university was associated with Arab students’ subsequent higher GPA, even when controlling for pre-university contact, proxies of academic achievements, and perceptions of intergroup relations. The quality of contact with Jewish students was also associated with Arab students’ sense of academic belonging. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1736
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume49
Issue number12
Early online date17 Aug 2022
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Keywords

  • Israeli Arabs
  • academic belonging
  • academic performance
  • intergroup contact
  • minorities in academia

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