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Exploring the interpersonal and intergroup consequences of cross-group romantic relationships

Paterson, Jennifer Louise (2012) Exploring the interpersonal and intergroup consequences of cross-group romantic relationships. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Extensive research over the past half century suggests that many types of intergroup interactions, including contact between strangers, acquaintances, roommates, neighbours, workmates, and teammates, have positive implications for intergroup relations. This extensive research has, moreover, revealed that intimate forms of intergroup contact, such as cross-group friendships, are particularly effective at improving intergroup attitudes. Despite this emphasis on intimate cross-group contact, however, there has yet to be an investigation into the intergroup outcomes of cross-group romantic relationships. The current research utilises and unites research on interpersonal relationships and intergroup contact theory in order to investigate the predictors and outcomes of cross-group romantic relationships. Across a series of cross-sectional and experimental studies, I examine the interpersonal and intergroup consequences of having direct and extended cross-group romantic contact. In addition, I explore intergroup preferences regarding romantic relationships and how the quality and norms associated with cross-group relationships are associated with these preferences. Results indicate that romantic preferences and choices are predicted by a powerful and pervasive ingroup bias. Importantly, the findings also reveal that although there are similarities with other forms of intergroup contact, cross-group romantic relationships are a unique form of contact. Similar to cross-group friendships, for example, extended contact with cross-group romantic relationships is associated with positive intergroup attitudes via perceived ingroup norms. Distinct from friendships, however, results reveal that cross-group partners continue to be maligned and this disapproval is negatively associated with their relationship quality and intergroup attitudes. Nevertheless, as extended contact predicts positive outcomes, future research and interventions could apply the current findings to reduce prejudice towards cross-group couples which would not only benefit the relationships, but would also promote a more harmonious society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-347-8
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.577359
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2013 09:19
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 14:40
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4151

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