This article examines the formation of ethnic attitudes among 266 school-age children who were born in China and adopted by Americans and, at the time of the
study, were attending 254 different elementary schools across the country. The authors hypothesised that a disposition to associate socially desirable traits with being Chinese would be fostered by a school environment that was itself racially and ethnically diverse. In order to test this hypothesis, they linked attitudinal data from a photo preference task with archival data quantifying the number and distribution of students of different 'races' and ethnicities in each child's school and other relevant data elements from a parents' questionnaire. The results do not support the assumption that diversity at school encourages children adopted from China to associate socially desirable traits with being Chinese. On the contrary, children attending schools with greater diversity were less likely to show a Chinese preference and more likely to show a white preference. Further analysis suggested that such paradoxical results may be explained by the privileged economic status of the adoptive children which gave them more in common with white than with other minority classmates.
This one surprised me, and yet the ultimate conclusion about socio-economic status made sense to me. What's your reaction?