Peer relations in multicultural schools

Christiane Spiel, Dagmar Strohmeier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Peer relations in the school context play important roles in development and socialization, yet there has been surprisingly little research on the significance of peers for the acculturation of immigrant youth. Empirical studies on immigrants and host communities have primarily investigated acculturation orientations in terms of attitudes (Berry, 1997; Bourhis et al., 1997). Research that extends the acculturation model to actual behavior in peer relations is comparably rare (Graham, Taylor, & Ho, 2009), although relationships with peers play a major role in the development of cognitions, emotions, and behaviors in children and youth (Hawker & Boulton, 2000; Salmivalli & Isaacs, 2005). For immigrants, school provides an opportunity to socialize. School is a place where native and immigrant children and youth spend a substantial part of the day. School provides prolonged firsthand contact with people from different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and races, and is therefore an important context for forming peer relations. As a result, school can afford positive opportunities like friendships, learning about other cultures, understanding other ethnic groups; as well as negative experiences such as prejudice and racism, rejection and social exclusion, bullying and victimization (Schofield, 1995).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRealizing the Potential of Immigrant Youth
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781139094696
ISBN (Print)9781107019508
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Peer relations in multicultural schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this