This chapter deals with two of the major recent developments in theory and research on intergroup contact: the focus on direct crossgroup friendships, as the most effective form of prejudice-reducing contact, and the impact of extended cross-group friendships (mere knowledge that other in-group members have outgroup friends). Thomas Pettigrew is largely responsible for the focus on cross-group friends, and he has suggested that contact in general, and friendship contact in particular, would most likely have its effects via affective processes. We review the impact of these two developments, with special focus on results of our own extensive research program. Our research has provided, first, a systematic analysis of the impact of four affective processes in direct contact with friends: reduced intergroup anxiety, reciprocal self-disclosure, and the promotion of empathy and perspective taking. Our research has also identified mediators of extended contact. We conclude by: (1) emphasizing the importance and complementarity of both forms of contact, direct and extended; (2) pointing to the many applications of this work, such as planned interventions; and (3) referring to some of our current and planned research. Throughout the chapter, as is appropriate in this volume tracing the legacy of Thomas Pettigrew, we highlight his crucial role in the development of these ideas.
Improving Intergroup Relations: Building on the Legacy of Thomas F. Pettigrew p. 107-123