Comparing the effect of cross-group friendship on generalized trust to its effect on prejudice: The mediating role of threat perceptions and negative affect
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionPLoS ONE 16(2): e0245983. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0245983
Intergroup relations theory posits that cross-group friendship reduces threat perceptions and negative emotions about outgroups. This has been argued to mitigate the negative effects of ethnic diversity on generalized trust. Yet, direct tests of this friendship-trust relation, especially including perceptions of threat and negative affect as mediators, have remained rare at the individual level. In this article, we bridge this research gap using representative data from eight European countries (Group-Focused Enmity). We employ structural equation modelling (SEM) to model mediated paths of cross-group friendship on generalized trust via perceptions of threat and negative affect. We find that both the total effect as well as the (mediated) total indirect effect of cross-group friendship on generalized trust are weak when compared with similar paths estimated for prejudice.