As the U.S. becomes increasingly ethnically diverse, opportunities for cross-ethnic interaction at school may be increasing, and these interactions may have implications for academic outcomes for both ethnic minority and White youth. The current study examines how cross-ethnic peer relationships, measured using peer nominations for acceptance and daily lunchtime interactions, relate to academic outcomes for an ethnically diverse sample of 823 (45% boys and 55% girls; M <sub>age</sub> = 11.69) public middle school sixth graders across one Midwestern and two Western states. For White, Black, Asian, Latino/a, and Multiethnic students, self-reported daily cross-ethnic peer interactions were associated with higher end-of-year GPAs in core academic courses and teachers' expectations for educational attainment, but not self-reported school aversion. Making cross-ethnic acceptance nominations was not associated with any academic outcomes. Thus, daily opportunities for cross-ethnic interactions may be important school experiences for early adolescents.
J Youth Adolesc (Journal of youth and adolescence)
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